It seems I moved from Germany to California two months too soon. Had I still been there on September 16, 2018, I would have been out on the streets cheering Eliud Kipchoge on and capturing some high-speed video as he set a new world record of 2:01:39.
Since I was in California instead and, I admit it, so immersed in my role as my family’s move manager I actually forgot it was Berlin marathon day, I only found out about Kipchoge’s massive new record after the fact.
I haven’t been able to find video of the full race, so unfortunately I can’t do a full analysis of the elites’ form. I’ve just got a couple of highlights videos, and working from them and all the times I’ve written about Kipchoge before, I’m going to give you a few bullet points about the ways his running form is a key asset for him.
My rule of thumb when analysing the technique of the top runners is that if one person does it, no matter how great they are, it’s not necessarily right, and if a majority of world class runners do it, it’s probably not wrong.
Kipchoge doesn’t do anything special with his technique. It’s exceptionally clean, simple, and epitomizes the form of the vast majority of world class runners. He’s a paragon of what, plainly, works.
So go ahead, make him your role model.
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Jae Gruenke, GCFP, is a running technique expert and Feldenkrais Practitioner. Known as a “running form guru,” she is the Founder and CEO of The Balanced Runner™ in New York City and The Balanced Runner UK. She has helped runners from beginner to Olympian improve their form to become pain-free, economical, and fast.