Running Analysis: Running the FASTEST Indoor 1500M Ever!

Running Analysis: Running the FASTEST Indoor 1500M Ever!


Hey guys, its Dr. JP and today we are going
to take a look at the running form of Samuel Tefera as he broke the world record for the
indoor 1500m race! This is an incredible feat as the previous
world record set by El Guerrouj has stood for over 20 years…which is basically older
than Tefera himself at 19 years old! It will be interesting to take a look at this
middle distance runner and take a closer look at the way he runs! Hopefully, you guys will learn more about
running and apply this knowledge to improve the way you run as well! Now, lets get into this analysis! To get a good understanding of Tefera’s running,
lets look at the way he ran this race as a whole. First, we will be taking a look at his time
splits. The race started pretty quickly as the pacemakers
were set to help achieve a new world record. The first lap was completed in around 27.66
seconds. Then, the following 2 laps were pretty consistent
as they were completed in basically 28 seconds. At this point, the top runners were on track
to getting the world record. However, going toward the 1k mark, the pacemakers
started to slow, as this distance was completed in 2:21.27. This was slightly slower compared to world
record pace. This is basically where Kejelcha started to
pick up speed and Tefera followed. Lap 6 ended up being completed in 28.01, which
was faster than all previous laps besides the 1st one. This pace didn’t let up either as they continued
to go faster, as the 7th lap was completed in 27.92. It ended up being a close race between Tefera
and Kejelcha; however, unlike Kejelcha who was starting to tire, Tefera kicked up another
notch..breaking the world record! This race was definietly influenced by the
pace set by the pacemakers, then by Kejelcha during the later part of the race. The intense competition between the two after
the 1k mark definitely brought out the best in both of these people. Now, we will take a closer look at Tefera’s
running form during this race. The clip we will be analyzing is during the
final part of the race. This takes place as Tefera begins to pick
up speed and go past Kejelcha. I would have loved to analyze another clip
that looks at his form during a straight away instead of coming off a curve; however, this
is was the best view of his form throughout the entire race footage. Anyway, as we look at his running form, lets
take a look at overall components of speed, which are stride frequency and stride length. First, we will look at stride frequency and
during this specific clip, he presents with a step rate of 200 steps per minute. This is a pretty high step rate compared to
recreational runners for this type of race; however, compared to elite runners, this is
not a step rate that completely sets him apart. Now, we will take a look at stride length… Based on some calculations for this lap, he
presented with a step length of 2.15m. Now this kind of step length sticks out a
bit more compared to his step rate, but nothing absolutely out of the ordinary. Overall, hes pretty balanced between his step
rate and step length. Next, we will take a look at specific aspects
of his running form to see what allows him to maintain this slightly increased step length
coupled with his decent step rate, leading to him breaking the 1500m world record. First lets start with the foot landing. As you can see, Tefera lands right around
the midfoot area. This seems pretty typical as I tend to usually
see people adopt more of a forefoot landing during high speed runs, like sprints….
then for slower paced races like marathons, a good amount of elite runners adopt a more
rear foot landing pattern. Since this is a middle distance race, landing
around the midfoot area pretty much follows this theme. Many people tend to focus on the type of foot
strike; however, it may be more important to look at where the foot lands relative to
the body. I placed markers from where the foot lands
to where the body’s estimated center of mass should be. As you can see, his foot lands slightly in
front of the body’s center of mass. Usually people think about biomechanics in
ways to just increase speed. This is why its a common belief that landing
as close to the body’s center of mass is ideal as doing so will increase step rate and in
turn, increase speed. However, this does come with a price as landing
too close to the center of mass doesnt give enough time to fully utilize the elastic properties
of the muscles and tendons, leading to decreased efficiency. In this case, while he doesnt land that close
to the center of mass, he doesnt land too far from the center of mass where it could
be considered overstriding. Landing in this manner allows him time to
use the elastic properties of the muscles, allowing for a more cost efficient run. Doing so may have helped conserve energy for
that final kick toward the end of the race. Now, we will look at the range of foot movement
from when the foot first makes contact on the ground to when the foot begins to push
off the ground. What I find to be one of the more important
aspects of this frame is hip movement prior to push off. Tefera does a great job of utilizing the hip
extensors as well as proper timing of the push off as you can see by the positioning. By utilizing his hips to this extent, this
may contribute to his decent step length. Now, even though he takes bigger steps, this
does not signficantly impact his step rate. One reason for this is due to the stretch
reflex that occurs in the hip flexors as the hips extend back during push off. The hip flexors act like an elastic band and
get stretched out prior to push off. Then, after push off, the tension is released,
aiding in swinging the leg forward. Next, lets take a look at vertical oscillation,
which is basically the amount of bounce he has as he runs. As you can see, he really doesnt have much
vertical bounce.. This may be attributed to great utilization
of the hips as I mentioned earlier as well as the decent step rate he maintains as he
runs as both of these factors minimize vertical oscillation. This is important as excessive bouncing can
lead to increased stressed on the joints as well as force directed more upward than forward,
leading to decreased running efficiency. Now, we will take a look at this frame. Postural alignment is important in this frame
as tons of force is being released at this moment and being able to stabilize the body
in the appropriate position will minimize energy leakage and optimize force output. Take a look at his trunk. He presents with a balanced upright trunk
that is not leaning forward and no excessive arching of the back is seen. It may initially seem bent forward, but that
is because the whole body is tilted forward. This slight forward body tilt actually allows
for improved ability to extend his hips as we mentioned earlier in the video as well
as improved momentum forward. Lets pay closer attention to the arms now. I placed markers showing the range of the
shoulder movement as he runs. Really not much to talk about here as he presents
great shoulder movement for this pace, especially that backside movement. Having enough shoulder movement helps counteract
angular forces produced from the legs, which helps stabilize the body and maintain a straight
path when running. Now, lets a look at the arms from a different
angle. You can see that there is is no crossing of
arms through midline. However, unlike other middle distance runners
we have seen, he pretty much keeps his elbows at a 90 degree angle and is not really compact
as they are kept a little out to the side; however, as I mentioned in previous videos,
specifics in arm swing do not matter as much as long as angular forces from the legs are
counteracted effectively. Staying on this angle, lets look at the head. He pretty much keeps it in a neutral position. There is not much forward and backward movement,
but rather side to side movement of the head, which is typically due to weightshifting that
occurs. We can also take a look at the body as a whole
to take a look at symmetry. As you can see, there is no significant assymetries
or differences when comparing both the right and left side of the body. And thats it for the quick analysis on Samuel
Tefera as he broke the 1500m indoor world record! Let me know what you guys think about the
video! I’d really appreciate it if you shared it
with your friends as well. Also, please let me know who you’d like me
to analyze next. And as always, THANK YOU FOR WATCHING!