Can A Short Person Run Faster Than Tall Person

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Can a short person run faster than a tall person?. This is the age old question and one that us short people are determined to prove once and for all.

Height is an important factor in determining the performance of a player in many sports. For example, basketball players are usually tall while jockeys are much shorter.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you should participate in a sport only based on your height. Sometimes, your talent and tricks can win matches for you.

Running is a basic ingredient of many sports, and has also gained popularity as a main sporting event across the globe. Relay, 100 meters, as well as 200 meters, 400 meters and marathon are some of the most popular running events. Whenever we think about a runner or an athlete, we normally expect a person with great height and a well-built physique.

However, this is not true in all the cases. We can easily find players and runners who may lack in height, but make it up with talents, and recognized and appreciated all over the world. In this article, we will discuss how short heighted people are good runners with facts and case studies to support our claims.

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How Does Height Create A Difference In The Performance Of The Runners

The different varieties of running events have given opportunity to a number of people irrespective of their height. Research suggests that short people have better endurance and need less oxygen as compared to taller people. This fact acts as an anchor for the running events; and help shorter runners to deliver a consistent performance.

As a result of long legs, taller people are able to take long strides. However, this is useless until they have sufficient stamina and flexibility to reach their highest potential. Strength is required to drive a good rate of acceleration and at the time of gaining acceleration, runners need adequate amount of oxygen. The requirement of less oxygen for their metabolism gives them an additional advantage for short runners.

Another important factor that determines the performance of runners is energy. The effective use of energy by runners affects their endurance and speed. In this regard, it is observed that tall runners generally have a bulging body and weigh more so they need more energy and oxygen as compared to their shorter counterparts. This, in turn, help short people to acquire more speed, devoting less energy.

Are Short People Better Endurance Runners?

Short people are often able to cover long distances easily. There are basically two reasons behind this fact. Firstly, a short person needs less energy to gain momentum and once they achieve it, it is very easy for them to carry it through as their body weight is light as compared to tall runners. The rate of energy loss through sweat is less in short runners as compared to tall runners and this is precisely because their surface area is less.

It is observed that the design of our feet always matches our body type. A short person will have a broader foot as compared to a tall person of the same age. This design helps short runners to gain thrust from the ground. This feature has proven to be a trump card for short people when it comes time for running. By gaining thrust, they spend more time in air and will have a bigger step during any running event.

Tall Runners VS Short Runners

Case Studies Proving Short People Are Great Runners

We have so far built hypotheses around the fact that short people are great runners, but we cannot blindly agree to the facts until and unless we have some examples. In this part of the article, we will take a drive through some of the world’s leading runners inTall Runners VS Short Runners a bid to see how their height, short or tall has helped them to earn their name and fame.

Jesse Owens

One of the greatest and world’s famous runners in history was Jesse Owens. He has a spectacular field-and-track record and was notably a shorter professional runner. In 1936 Summer-Olympics which was held in Berlin, Jesse grabbed four gold medals, three in running and one in long jump. His tricks and regular practice had made him master of the tracks, and was a real gem in his hey days. The height of Jesse Owens was 5 foot 9 inches but his talent was exceptionally brilliant. He is a true inspiration for a number of people even today.

Veronica Campbell-Brown

Here’s yet another amazing runner, having specialization in 100 and 200 meters races. She won eight Olympic medals in running and is only the second woman in the world to win two consecutive medals in 200 meters Olympics(at the time of writing this). Her height is 5 foot 3 inches but her records have made her shine like a star. She uses her body strength to run fast and has proved that height is not a barrier for a devoted athlete. Though Veronica runs against many tall competitors, she has never underestimated her talent.

Yohan Blake

Yohan Blake is a leading star and has proved his talent multiple times. This young runner has a height of 6 foot but his talent and devotion towards running is ravishing. He has won medals for his nation at a very young age, and is an idol for many young talents from Jamaica. He won gold medal in 100 meter race at World Championship 2011 and is the youngest 100 meter champion so far. Most notably, he beat his much taller companion, Usain Bolt, in this race, proving that when it comes to running, height is just a state of mind.

Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa is an all star in the long distance running world and at the time of writing this a world record and Olympic record holder, for the 10,000 meter and 5,000 meter track events. Not only that but he has won multiple gold and a silver medal as well. He did all this while only measuring in at 5 foot 4 inches.

Why I Chose These Examples

I feel after you read some of those examples you will see a trend appearing, and hopefully get why I put tall and short people on the list. The trend is that shorter people tend to be better at long distance running, and tall people are better in sprints. While this isn’t always a guaranteed thing and there are some exceptions, there does seem like there is a correlation between the two.

How To Increase Skills In Running

If you love to run, there should not be any barriers of age, weight or height. A tall runner can maintain his weight through exercise and emerge as a key player. There are many brilliant runners in the world who have a great physic and use their body in all Are Short People Faster Runnerspossible ways to increase their efficiency. Their coaches also help them to keep fit and keep them motivated so as to deliver their best.

These runners practice a lot and at the time of any event, their focus is entirely on the event and as such, they try their level best to grab the first position despite any consideration of height and weight. So the best way to improve your running is like most things, by actually doing what you’re trying to get better at. There are various techniques that helps in increasing the speed at the time of running and you should master these tricks and skills to become one the best runners. Above all, constant practice should be your biggest strength. Practice! Practice! Practice!


Evidently, short runners appear to have an edge over their taller counterparts when it comes to long distance running. However, this does not expressly mean that if you are short, you can easily win a race against a tall person of your age and weight. There are a variety of factors that come into play, such as health and training. But it really does come across that tall people are faster over short distances, and shorter people are faster over longer distances.


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