Maintaining Form During Middle Distance Runing

Author: Steve Bennett


Published as a printable E-Book 2002
ISBN 0-9580746-1-5



For many years I have watched Middle Distance races and I have noticed something special that exists in some of the Elite. It is particularly evident in athletes such as David Rudisha, Wilson Kipketer, Hicham El Guerrouge and Sebastian Coe.






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In assessing what makes them different, it can be identified that these athletes have apparent Special Abilities in two areas:

1.         An incredible appearance of “Ease of Speed” at race paces. They seem to be able to run effortlessly in the middle stages of their races. All are not large athletes yet they have been able to cruise with apparent efficiency at race pace. This is also accompanied by a superior ability to accelerate and ‘change gears’ at paces near maximum.

2.         They are able to maintain a very high level of their most effective running form for the entire duration of their races. They do not collapse into a poor running position in the final straight.

I believe these two special abilities can be developed using a range of methods in any athlete. The variety of ways that athletes can improve the special abilities listed above will be discussed in this paper with some practical suggestions.



The Quest for Special abilities
The “Training in” of bad habits
Accelerating and Gears
The nature of “loss of Form”
Improving Foot Strike
Optimizing knee lift
Stabilizing the Pelvis
Can we and should we change Technique?

Conditioning to improve the Special Abilities
Focusing on improving function
Physiotherapy Assessment
Mid-Torso Conditioning
Swiss Ball
Medicine Balls
Theraband exercises
Weight Training
Circuit training
Ankle Conditioning
Exercise ideas for dorsiflexors
Foot conditioning

Transferring gains into Running
Hipflexor conditioning
Arm & shoulders
Running on Uneven surfaces
Hill Training
Resistance Sled Tempo Training
Downhill Running
Tempo Training

Planning Ideas
Some thoughts on planning
Race preparation phase
Foundation Training
(young athletes)

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