Efficient Running

The title of the thread is also the title of a book by Jack Cady whose www.stridemechanics.com website promotes 5 principles of efficient running as derived from watching how elite distance athletes run.

I see that there is a POSEtech thread on here and a ChiRunning thread on fetch and know also that evolution running and the Alexander Technique are supported by others.  The purpose of this thread is to focus on the principles and guidance given in "Efficient Running" by Jack Cady.  So, if you are interested join me here and let's help each other run longer, faster and without injury.


  • toddy: For those of us who do not have the book, please can you state the 5 principles? I just hope its not: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive........and Dodge image


  • ooooh thanks for that - as a not very naturally graceful or efficient runner I am always looking to improve.  I get really cross with the 'just run as nature intended' crowd.

     Just ordered the book.

  • Thanks

    Gymaddict -- i soo echo those statements 

  • the thumb harness looks interesting

  • nrg-b, the five principles are:

    less bounce, or up and down movement (this is mainly about over-striding which agrees with Dr R)

    greater knee bend of the support leg (this is to reduce impact force and store plyometric energy for the toe off)

    tendency towards a rear foot strike - well actually it's flatish foot and definately not a heel strike.

    less arm movement - probably the number one consideration as arms have a direct influence on legs throughout the whole of the gait cycle.  arm position and movement affect stride length, toe-off power and cadence.

    Slight forward lean - use gravity to move you rather than fight gravity.

    So, lots of similarities to POSEtech but then there are differences and the approach is different also.

    If you look at elite runners I am sure you will see all of the above.

    J-J have you watched the video of Mark Curp?  If only I could run so smooth. 

  • Blimey too much like hard work that. image
  • Oh...................looks like Im getting it all wrong. Foot strike is fine, Im too upright!, My arms are fine, but to increase my speed I bounce more and increase my stride. Dammit!
  • matt - do you feel like a smooth, efficient runner?  if you do then there is probably no need to change anything.  if you feel there  is some room for improvement then take a look at the video on the website and pay particular attention to what Jack Cady is saying about Mark's form.  if feet and arms are fine you are a long way along the road to being efficient.  post a video on googlevideo for others to contribute to any changes that you may wish to make to your running form.
  • I started another thread last week to a different book that also tries to change the running stride, and suggests that using cues when you are running will help.  Some areas overlap, such as less bounce, but there are seemingly more cues that those suggested by Jack Candy.

    The link to the thread is here

  • Matt - when you say increase your stride do you mean that you make it longer or make it faster?  I think the former is wrong and the later is correct.
  • an analysis of elite distance runners shows their stride rates at 180 beats per minute.  by increasing stride length and maintaining 180 beats per minute you would run faster.  chirunning and stridemechanics support the maintenance of beats per minute whilst increasing the length of your stride - to the rear - to move you faster.  in chi the increase is achieved by more of a forward lean; in stridemechanics a sharper rearward swing of the arm leads to more power at toe-off and the stride lengthens as a result of this increased power.  the stridemechanics technique is the one that i follow.
  • tt: The term stride implies that both feet are in contact with the ground at the same time which is not true for running, a better way of looking at this is the distance between alternate foot contacts.

    For a given cadence this distance increases as the speed of running increases. This increase can be achieved by either actively adding more drive at each toe off as in stridemechanics or subconciously by leaning more as in chi/pose. Leaning increases the horizontal components of the forces involved in running without actually thinking about increasing drive. In chi if you lean and don't add drive at toe off your cadence will increase otherwise you end up on your face.

    If you lean and add drive you get a double hit so vroom along.

  • I increase the stride, not the pace, this makes me faster, however 10k on Sunday, and err increased the stride and have a badly bruised outside of my right foot. Unlucky I guess.
  • Matt: My guess would be that in trying to increase your stride your are starting to land ahead of COG. If you are also trying to maintain a forefoot/midfoot landing you would naturally land on the outside of the foot which could be the reason for your bruising. What you need to learn is how to increase the distance between foot contacts without trying to force it. You can do this by either leaning more, driving more at toe off or a combination of both.

    It may be worth posting a video of your running both normally and when pushing the pace, there are a number of people around who will offer good advice (cabletow, nrg-b, jonp and others)  

  • "Slight forward lean - use gravity to move you rather than fight gravity."

    Slight forward lean yes, using gravity to move you forwards no.  Feels like you are using gravity, maybe.

  • Crikey. I thought running was running. Thanks chaps. Will try when I can actually run again! Im well cross as I can barely walk let alone run! Went to gym last night weights and bike, that was ok, but walking in and out of gym hurt!
Sign In or Register to comment.