Running Technique learnings from Galen Rupp

29 January 2023 | Category: Running Technique Advice

I have been lucky enough to work with Galen Rupp a few times over the past year as he looked to get back to his best for the marathon. What an absolutely cracking person and athlete, I thought it may be interesting to share some of the things we worked on. Galen does everything he possibly can to make sure he is running his best, he is the consummate professional.

After surgery a few years ago and a couple of niggles since then, Galen started to create some unhelpful movement patterns. For someone that has for so long moved very well this was giving him a lot of grief.

New on top. Old on bottom.

Working on torso position and shape. Has nothing to do with lean or mass forward but instead how Galen holds his torso. This position allows better hip range through extension and location of landing in relation to body.

Too often I hear “your technique is your technique, you can’t change it”, or get asked “am I too old to work on my technique?”

The answer is you’re never too old, or too new to running to improve how you do it. To those who think you can’t change running technique, you’re pretty much saying that the only movement you can’t improve is running technique… If it the changes attempted are the wrong ones, don’t apply to you or are taught incorrectly then sure, you won’t get improvement.

Above is an example of someone who has been elite for near on 20 years and continues to work on technique to get the best from himself.

This comparison is after only two sessions.

A “tall upright position” is not a strong position to be in when running, yet for some reason it’s often suggested. The left image (old way) shows such a position.

In the right image (new way) shows a much stronger, forward position. This allows better range of motion through hip range/femur swing. Centre of mass is forward allowing the landing to be closer under the body. This position is also a better position for breath capacity as the chest isn’t already stretched to get tall.

This isn’t a lean forward or change of mass cue but instead focuses on the position and shape of the spine.

After comparing the two positions whilst running Galen felt more powerful and stable in the new way. He then went and did a marathon workout holding that position the entire time which was super impressive.

Galen Rupp working with Paul Mackinnon - The Balanced Runner

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