Galen Rupp Training – How He Got So Fast

I want to know everything about Galen Rupp training regiment. Thankfully, I found out 2 main ingredients to his high-performance forefoot running ability: doing speed work under fatigued conditions and the forward-lean.

Galen Rupp Training – How He Got So Fast

1. More Speed Workout at the End of a Speed Workout

In the January, 2013 issue of Running & Fit News, Alberto Salazar, who also coaches Mo Farah, revealed that Rupp does hard fartleks (almost all-out sprints) at the end of his speed workout. In this vision, the legs are essentially trashed after a regular speed workout session.

Galen Rupp Running Form
Galen Rupp has great finishing speed and that’s because he used to dropping the pace on tired legs!

Stacking on more speed work at the end of your run is actionable because it allows you to blast-away at the end of a race with a better energy budget.

  • After a typical running or speed work session, Galen Rupp does hard striders that begin at 80m down to 55m sprints.

Doing speed work at the end of your run essentially reboots the legs, but the real goal is to harness the efficiency of your forefoot running mechanics when pushing through fatigued conditions.

2. Lean Forward to Get Higher Back-Kick

Galen Rupp has a very high back-kick. Before training under Salazar, Rupp ran with an upright-trunk. Now, he leans forward (but not too far forward), letting his feet drop under him or close to his center of mass –doing so ceases forward leg extension, thereby freeing up more time to deliver a higher back-kick.

Galen Rupp Running Technique


Leaning forward and forward leg extension avoidance are complementary responses to reduce braking when forefoot running.

The Take Home Message

When it comes to improving running performance, you really need to change the way you think about speed work to get the gains. Most runners think speed work is dangerous, but not if a forefoot strike is used. Ethiopian runners –most of which run forefooted–do speed work every day in the morning! Likewise, Salazar makes it clear that speed work is safe, if the proper forefoot running technique is employed.

More on How to Boost Running Performance:

Best Energy Tablets for Runners

Endurance Running Energy Gel Reviews

Running Shoes to Promote Better Form

Avoid Pre-Run Stretching

More Tips From AL SAL


How speed training, better form and weight training can lead to running fast… Running & Fit News. Jan/Feb, 2013; 31(1): 30-31.

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!

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