FitOldDog Wants To Run Like Dennis Kimetto. Imagine!

Running with the Whole Body book by Jack Heggie

A great Feldenkrais-based book on running by Jack Heggie, which shows the power of the mind over body function.

I said to Deb this morning, “I want to run like Dennis Kimetto.” She replied, “You can’t, you’re not Kenyan.” True, I’m not Kenyan, and nor do I have the perfect runner’s shape. I didn’t say that I hoped to run as fast as Dennis Kimetto, who just set the World Marathon record. I said I want to run like him. Why? Because he shows the hallmarks of a great athlete, the most important of which is a state of complete relaxation.

He looks like a kid playing, rather than a man working.

There are a number of other impressive features of his running style, including the way he is light on his feet, kicks back his heels, runs from his core, with the real power appearing to come from his shoulders. I can do that, if I start over, and reinvent my run, so that is what I plan to do.

Where to start?

First things first. Can I learn to avoid recruiting muscle groups that I don’t need, and improve the timing of those that I do? Can I relax into my run, but run with my whole body. I started with water running, slowly including and removing muscle groups. It was very interesting. Got to start somewhere!

A key to my success will be my ability to imagine running like Dennis Kimetto, whilst avoiding injury.

Aim for the moon, and you might reach the stars. Then I’ll be able to beat those other old codgers at my Ironman races (if I shorten my transition times, I can hear Rory saying). People may laugh, but I don’t care. I only have to do a sub-4:05 marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon, not a sub-2:03!!!

You’ve got to dream! Or imagine, at least.



  1. Yes, Kimetto’s running is beautiful thing. I’m not sure that it’s his shoulders so much as everything just working together – running with his whole body. He was at 4:41/mile! At my best I might have stayed with him for 3/4 mile.

    • Hi Rory! Yep, I’m sure he’s using his whole body, but the rhythm comes from his shoulders, or his hips (that spinal recoil). The impressive use of his gluts is demonstrated by the way his heels kick back, and so forth. Time to rebuild my run, and I’m starting in the pool. Impressive as hell, especially the way he looks like a kid running. Coffee sometime? Cheers, Kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.