Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ethiopian Form Drills

Here is an interesting video showing some of the warm-up drills that the Ethiopian runners practice. If you have seen the movie "Endurance" about the great Haile Gebresalasie than maybe you too wondered about the drills you saw depicted in the movie. Looking at this video clip which features Kenenisa Bekele, I see rotational, lengthening, and mobility work being done in a very loose and quick manner. Some of the looking behind drills remind me of Feldenkrais practice but in a more hyper way. Obviously, through much practice and talent the Ethiopian runners can do these drills with the same amount of perfection that they bring to their running form and racing dynamics. I would like to learn more about the Ethiopian system. It must be a system with much tradition. I recall watching videos of two-time Olympic Marathon champion Abebe Bekila doing calisthenics after his wins.

Here is a video of Bikila's barefoot win in the 1960 Rome Olympiad.

Here us a New York Times article comparing the success of Usain Bolt with Kenenisa Bekele: Matching Bolt’s Success, Stride for Elegant Stride.


a feng said...

The Bikele video is fantastic, thanks for posting. It's also worth noting that everyone else in that race is wearing shoes that we would hardly recognize as running shoes today - super thin and super light. There is not a great deal of difference in form between Bikele and the other runners, ie. they are running like they are barefoot.

Jim Hansen said...

I'll have to take another look at the video to see what they are wearing. Good observation!