Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

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Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby mabli » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:00 pm

OK, so Im learning to run... again. Last year I tried but it caused back problems, having seen an osteopath Im now able to try once more

So far Im including running into my daily 4 mile walk up a hill behind my house and Iv managed to do one proper run in the mountains, I go on the treadmill at the gym too... my initial goal is to be fell running properly by spring.

So the question is how big should my strides be???? I like using long strides but just wondered if that takes more energy than smaller ones. Today on the treadmill I was going at 12kmph and the guy next to me was on 9kmph but I was taking less steps which started me wondering which was right... as in which will allow me to run for longer
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Re: Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby KjKranz » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:24 pm

Well I have seen research showing a higher cadence and midfoot strike results is a slightly more efficient stride.

However, with a lower stride count you have less vertical movement due to less strides.

I aim for a high cadence, midfoot strike, and very little bounce. I have had strangers comment on how effortless my running looks. If I am doing a 50 mile race but bounce less than the guy next to me, I am actually going less distance since he is moving up and down farther than I am.

It seems that the less you think about it the more natural your stride becomes. Just let it be, and your cadence will adjust itself based on the terrain and speed.

You want to know what kind of stride lets you run the longest. IMO anyone can run a marathon with crappy form. However, look towards us ultramarathoners. It is very difficult to fake your way through 50+ miles. I talk a bit about the "ultramarathon shuffle" or "clayton shuffle" here: http://www.runningonthewhiteline.com/20 ... -goes.html
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Re: Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby dublin dave » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:50 pm

Going uphill during fell races you should find small steps the most effective and you should lean forwards and take bigger strides going downhill...
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Re: Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby xrodolfox » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:50 pm

I used to hurt when running.

Now I just try to never "reach" when I run. Instead, I try to lean forward at the ankles, and have my foot land just under my center of gravity. That's shortened my stride, but I rarely hurt now.
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Re: Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby mabli » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:33 am

DD, since you told us all to do this on yorks 3 peaks Ive been using smaller steps when trying to conserve energy walking uphills, it felt unatural at first but its much easier now, so yes it stands to reason that its same for running uphill I guess.

Thanks for your answers, Im just off to try a longer run I'll see how I go with shorter strides except on descent... might make it less fun but I think I'll get further :-)
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Re: Optimum length of strides for running... advice please

Postby mabli » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:33 pm

okeedokes so 15km with 600m of ascent... Im ok with that, Ill get further and higher as time goes by

I suspect that if my running self and my walking self had a race my walking self would win... Im definately not concentrating on speed, for now
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