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# 'splain this for me: science question (Read 778 times)

Intentionally Blank

So, I am a halfling, and I frequently get comments like: "You have to run twice as far because your legs are so short!"

I know this is not true.  I am covering the same distance as everyone else.  But explain to me what's different, if anything.  Am I running more steps because I have a shorter stride?  That doesn't mean I am working harder, does it?  After all, I have less body to carry.

Anyway, I was talking to a parent in our school's running club.  He mentioned that his daughter (who recently did well at a 5k), was running so much more than her competition because she's so much smaller and has smaller legs.  I wasn't sure how to respond.

just a simple cat

It seems to me that it would even out...say your legs were half as big as Slo-hand's, you would take twice as many steps with half of his stride length, but move half the bulk of leg that he has to move.

Running is stupid

Needs more cowbell!

It seems to me that the ideal would be to be short and light with proportionately long legs.

## '16 Goals:

• Do some dus...and some CX...and some tandem gravel...and some podiums...

• PRs

• 130#s (or less)

• Stop letting my core go to hell

JimR

For distance runners, it's nonsense.  Were it true, the best distance runners would be the tallest and this isn't the case.

Stride length has nothing to do with how long your legs are.  Stride length is the distance between your foot placement on consecutive strides.  Longer legs doesn't necessarily mean longer stride.

For the amount of work, longer legs may be longer but they are also heavier and take more energy to move.

Now why the hell are you bringing me into this?

For the record...I get beat all the time by people much shorter than me that run fewer miles than I do.

sruiz, So if I understand the other parent was implying that taking more steps is equal to running more miles (if your short). I'd say flawed logic but running economy certainly has to come into play but I have no idea how.

There is also the weight factor. I have more weight to throw and haul around.

We'll see what the experts half to say. (see what I did there)

Feeling the growl again

The short answer is, it is BS. Ask Leo Manzano how he managed to medal in the 1500m in London since his short stature made him run so much harder than the world class competition. The only running race where there seems to be legitimacy to an ideal height is hurdles, where there is an optimal balance between height to clear hurdles well and legs not overly long to need to stutter step to maintain proper stride number between hurdles. They said Bolt was too tall to run the 100m as his turnover would be too slow. Heh. Regarding leg length and weight however, there are at least a couple real (but small) studies indicating that lower weight below the knee may be more ideal for distance running. The better efficiency from swinging less weight offsets the loss in strength for distance races. Supposedly. Correlation studies only.

"If you want to be a bad a\$s, then do what a bad a\$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills

Intentionally Blank

I'll have to come up with a more tactful response to this dad then calling it BS, but I appreciate the comments.  The thing is, for 8 year old girls or for middle aged recreational joggers such as myself, leg length probably doesn't make a huge difference at the pedestrian (ahem) times we're running.

I'll have to come up with a more tactful response to this dad then calling it BS,

Maybe that's my problem.

Interval Junkie --Nobby

Tell them it's not how many times the wheels spin, it's how much freight you have to move to get there.

2015 Goals: Chicago Marathon BQ -- don't push it

Current Status 08/23: Not in the shape I want, but healthy just the same.

GC100k

The late great Jim2 had several insightful posts on this, including:

http://www.hillrunner.com/jim2/id109.html

Leg length is basically an insignificant factor in running and stride length is not very related to leg length.

GC100k

Little is good for distance running.  The top 8 men in the 2008 Olympic marathon averaged 5'6", 116 lbs.  The bronze medalist, who also won Chicago this year, is 5'2".  Some of the top women have been under 5 feet tall.

The dad's observation is bs, but none of us is objective when it comes to our kids.

The late great Jim2 had several insightful posts on this, including:

http://www.hillrunner.com/jim2/id109.html

Leg length is basically an insignificant factor in running and stride length is not very related to leg length.

Uh, late great? He was posting on FB as of yesterday.

just a simple cat

Maybe he just never shows up on time.....

Running is stupid

Uh, late great? He was posting on FB as of yesterday.

Must be another Jim2. The Jim2 in question passed away more than a couple of years ago.

Oh my. I guess I had my Jims mixed up.

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