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Stride length (Read 213 times)


Slow-smooth-fast

    Whilst recovering one afternoon last week from heavy drinking on my stag do I started thinking about my stride length. A few calculations later I discovered that it takes me on avg 1400 strides to complete a mile. My stride equating to about 3"10. I have always thought I had a little stride and have often been told so. I often do turnover exercises whilst running and pretty much hit 180 steps per minute. I have got so got at this that I can now count to 90 in my head (I count one foot and double it) and approximate a minute - GEEK. The thing is what ought I do to improve my stride length without obviously trying to force it and causing an injury? Ryan hall for example has a stride of 6"7!!!

    Additionally I don't do any stretching other than a phew static stretches before my run. Are the specific stretches that could help too? Perhaps hip flexors? Any help would be appreciated.

    "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

    JimR


      You increase stride length by running faster.

       

      Think about it.  if you want your foot to cover more ground on a single stride, you have to increase your pace, increase your leg speed, etc.

        Stride length=fitness. You increase your stride length by becoming a faster runner, not the other way around. Flexibility has little to do with it apart from preventing injuries so you can keep training.

        Runners run.

          In my opinion, stride length is not about how far you reach with your front leg so stretches will not help. Stride length is all about how hard you push off with your back leg. Just work on intervals and hills to build up the force you need to travel farther in the air per stride.

            I'm sure there are some exercises you can do (Pfitzinger's flexibility and strength stuff talks about this, some of which you can see in the preview on Google Books), but from what I understand, stride length improves naturally as your fitness improves.  Forcing yourself to lengthen it while running can cause over-striding, which causes a braking effect and a host of other problems.  I don't know if the Pfitz stretches really help, but I do them post-run a few times a week.  They feel good, anyway.

            "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
            Emil Zatopek

              In my opinion, stride length is not about how far you reach with your front leg so stretches will not help. Stride length is all about how hard you push off with your back leg.

               

              Correct. The best way to think about stride length is that it is the distance your center of mass travels between foot strikes. It has basically nothing to do with how far out your each with your front leg, or how tall you are, or any of the other stuff people think of.

              Runners run.

                Whilst recovering one afternoon last week from heavy drinking on my stag do I started thinking about my stride length. A few calculations later I discovered that it takes me on avg 1400 strides to complete a mile. My stride equating to about 3"10. I have always thought I had a little stride and have often been told so. I often do turnover exercises whilst running and pretty much hit 180 steps per minute. I have got so got at this that I can now count to 90 in my head (I count one foot and double it) and approximate a minute - GEEK. The thing is what ought I do to improve my stride length without obviously trying to force it and causing an injury? Ryan hall for example has a stride of 6"7!!!

                Additionally I don't do any stretching other than a phew static stretches before my run. Are the specific stretches that could help too? Perhaps hip flexors? Any help would be appreciated.

                 

                Completely understand this!  If I count strides (90 per side) I find that it forces me to almost exactly 180 per minute.  If I forget my watch and I'm doing an x-minutes-on / y-minutes-off type of workout that is exactly how I 'time' the intervals.  Yep, geek.

                  It's how I do strides. Count 60 steps = 20 seconds.

                  Runners run.


                  Slow-smooth-fast

                    Thanks fthe input. I know I am not as fit as I need to be so hopefully h

                    as I continue to get fitter it will help. Anyone do one legged squats or box step,ups/downs ?

                    "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

                      Anyone do one legged squats or box step,ups/downs ?

                       

                      I do squats, but I prefer very short, max-effort sprints up a steep hill for strength-building.


                      I've got a fever...

                         

                        Correct. The best way to think about stride length is that it is the distance your center of mass travels between foot strikes. It has basically nothing to do with how far out your reach with your front leg, or how tall you are, or any of the other stuff people think of.

                         

                        If you consciously try to increase you stride, you will likely be over-striding, and with that comes often comes more pounding and injury.

                        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                        zonykel


                          I suppose fitness can be a primary factor that impacts stride length (if you keep cadence fixed). However, I can see where eventually, as the person becomes faster, lack of flexibility becomes the limiting factor. I think Jay Dicharry mentions in his book that runners need a runner's flexibility, not a gymnast's. one test I recall from his book has you lay on the floor, lift one leg until you reach your limit, and then measure the angle. IIRC, if the angle was less than 70 degrees, you needed to work on increasing flexibility for that area. I'll have to double check the angle when I get home. I don't have the book in front of me.


                          Slow-smooth-fast

                            I suppose fitness can be a primary factor that impacts stride length (if you keep cadence fixed). However, I can see where eventually, as the person becomes faster, lack of flexibility becomes the limiting factor. I think Jay Dicharry mentions in his book that runners need a runner's flexibility, not a gymnast's. one test I recall from his book has you lay on the floor, lift one leg until you reach your limit, and then measure the angle. IIRC, if the angle was less than 70 degrees, you needed to work on increasing flexibility for that area. I'll have to double check the angle when I get home. I don't have the book in front of me.

                             

                            Sounds interesting. Look forward to hearing clarification on that and anything else of interest  Many thanks.

                            "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

                            zonykel


                               

                              Sounds interesting. Look forward to hearing clarification on that and anything else of interest  Many thanks.

                               

                              From pp 192-193 of "Anatomy for Runners", by Jay Dicharry:

                               

                              Test 4: Hamstring

                               

                              Lie on your back with one leg straight out on the floor. Flex the other leg so you can interlace your fingers behind the back of your thigh. Straighten your knee and pull the leg up to the ceiling. For distance runners, with the knee straight, you should be able to get the leg up to 70 degrees of hip flexion. For steeplers and hurdlers, this angle needs to go past vertical to about 100 degrees, since taking the lead leg out to 95-100 degrees of hip flexion is a requirement that other distance runners don't have. At these end limits, it's OK to feel a mild stretch in the back of the leg. However, if you feel death-grip tightness in the back of the leg, it obviously means that things are too tight and could use extra motion.

                               

                              The big conspiracy theory is that everyone has tight hamstrings. Most folks think that you need 90 degrees to run, and you really don't (again, unless you need more motion due to running a steeple of hurdles). But you never know until you check, right? Hamstring tightness limits the motion of your pelvis on your hip causing compensatory roundness of the low back and lose of core stabilization. They are also a contributing factor to hamstring strains.

                               

                              How to improve:

                               

                              * The test position becomes the stretch, although using a doorway is a nice option to hold the leg up since you'll be there for 3-5 minutes. Want other options? Grab the LAX ball and check out the tissue mobility work in the treatment session. One word of caution: If you feel any sharp electrical or "zingy" sensations when doing this stretch, call your clinician of choice. This test is also a way to identify problems with nerves, tension, and compression. Nerves don't like to be stretched, and doing so will actually make them worse.

                                Thanks fthe input. I know I am not as fit as I need to be so hopefully h

                                as I continue to get fitter it will help. Anyone do one legged squats or box step,ups/downs ?

                                I've done one-legged balance squats with reach (focus on motion stability rather than depth) for other reasons, but would focus on plyos, strides, and hill drills/sprints for something like stride length.

                                 

                                If you've been running on snow all winter, something as simple as strides can really open things up when you've got traction.

                                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
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