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Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Mo Farah in Slow Motion at the 2013 Great North Run

I’m a sucker for good slow motion videos of elite runners. A Twitter friend (@RunningTraining) captured a nice video of the top three men at mile 12 of the 2013 Great North Run. You might be familiar with these three, all of whom will go down in history as being among the greatest distance runners of all time: Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Mo Farah.

Have a look:

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Midfoot strike. Makes a big difference. When I changed to a midfoot (to stop hamstring injuries) I went from being able to do 5-10 miles at a time to 0 miles. You have to start completely over at 0 like you have never run before if you change your form. It has made such a big difference, no more injuries, I am a little faster, and I can run in any shoe (I like zero drop shoes like the merrell road glove.) I read an article on flotrack the other day that said Mo Farah worked on /changed his form several months before the Olympics in 2012. I read another article on flotrack that said high school phenom Mary Cain is going currently working on her form for the next couple of months with Alberto Salazar. Form makes a bigger difference than people think and to change it takes a lot more effort than most people are willing to commit to. Took me 6 months to completely change my form to a midfoot strike. Totally worth it though.

  2. My three favorite runners (Rupp is up there too). Awesome to see Bekele back. When I run, I try to think of looking like these guys. Hopefully I don’t actually look more like John “The Penguin” Bingham.

  3. I still feel that you can’t take the form of a 5min/mile guy and say that it is the best for someone who runs at a 8min/mile pace.

    • Whatever. It’s all for fun. Who cares? I don’t. Ran 6 the day after a marathon. 9 the day after that. Worried for a moment about injury, then realized I actually didn’t care. Still feel fine. Will continue to try to emulate real runners.

    • DId it again on a run today. Maybe I can’t get the kind of stride length these guys have, but I think it can be helpful to emulate the way they use their arms, their faster turnover, and the relaxed, natural way they move their bodies in general. And about the arms: If you find videos on Youtube of this race from in front of these guys, you can see that these elite guys do not simply move their arms forward and back, as many running “experts” advise. How many times have you heard that the arms must move forward and back, because we want all motion to help us move forward? Such a motion is actually unnatural and stiff, and you can see that these guys instead sweep their arms down in front of their chest a bit with each step.

      Here, watch ’em for yourself in this clip. This motion is so much more efficient and comfortable than that forward motion bullshit most coaches talk about:

      • Lisa Hewitt says:

        Yes, I agree with your observation, with this sweep they are able to open up their chests and breathing is more controlled, you’ve got to empty and fill the lungs efficiently to run at this calibre.

        • I guess. Maybe it helps the breathing. But mainly it just seems like a more relaxed and natural motion. You can find videos of the 2012 Great North run and the Manchester run from the last two years that show this perspective in front of the runners. It’s interesting to watch the early part of the race, and notice the difference particularly between Haile and some of the European runners, who look stiff and unnatural in comparison. Haile’s arm motion looks so much more fluid, and I have to believe that over the course of a race, his relaxed, natural arm motion is much more efficient and saves a lot of energy. It’s pretty easy to copy, too, so why not give it a try, I say. It’s just easier. It’s a simple as that. Easy is good.

  4. seems like the link is gone?

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  1. […] came across this video clip via Peter Larson. Despite the fact that Bekele is turning through much of it, it gives us an opportunity to look at […]

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