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Mo Farah and Galen Rupp: Relaxed Running Form on the Treadmill

I was recently interviewed by Runner’s World for an article about form and injuries, and in an email exchange with an editor at the magazine I received a link to the following video. The video is by Hydroworx, and shows some footage of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp on treadmills at the Nike complex. Nice glimpse of their relaxed form, and makes me feel better that I tend to be a “line runner” just like Rupp!

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.


  1. Nikos Pilikas says:

    What shoes are they wearing?

  2. Mo is in a Pegasus, but i cant see what the other shoe is maybe Vomero??

  3. John Williams-Searle says:

    I really think this lends credence to the idea that for elite runners it is not so much the shoes, but running form that really matters. I remember seeing some pictures of Kenyans running in the bulkiest trainers imaginable, and it doesn’t matter – they are still mid-foot and forefoot strikers and barely touch the ground when they plant their feet. I just ran across Bernard Lagat’s 2006 Nike commercial and it looks like he is running in a pair of moonboots – shoes that make minimalists wince. Yet, his form, of course, remains perfect. I bet it’s the same with Farah and Rupp – they really could run in anything. I know this isn’t a new idea, but shoes only matter for nonelites.

  4. FernandoL. says:

    What does a “line runner” mean?

  5. onelungrunner says:

    I’d be interested to hear more about runners experience on the water treadmills. I’m fortunate to have a Hudson Aqua Gaiter at my gym in dallas. They are amazing for injury recovery. Takes the impact off. You can also gain insight into balance and foot placement which is much easier to perceive with slower pace and buoyancy. I have a marathon this weekend and most of my running has been done on the water treadmill; we’ll see how that works out with less than 50 miles of road running in the last 5 weeks (and lots of cross training).

  6. even if the shoes don’t appear to change anything, they still change quite a bit, they have to adjust their form to the shoes, i mean yea, if done right and worked on, anyone can have good form with bulky shoes, thing is, without bulky shoes, you don’t have to be TOLD to do it, you just do it

  7. Christopher Babb says:

    I wonder sometimes if athletes at this level due to pure physical talent attain near perfect form so easily that they see no real reason to change their running shoes. There are certainly some elites who have changed the way the run and what they run in but many of the best runners I know land forefoot naturally in basically anything with little to no instruction. I have a hard time seeing Galen heel striking at any point in his running career. Does anyone know statistics regarding form change in elites over time? They obviously change little things over time but I’m talking major form changes such as foot strike.

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