running technique

Can running in small trides slow you down, apparently I have really small strides, but how do you get used to taking bigger strides without thinking about it too much


  • Huge strides not really something you should aim for. Better to think about cadence and increased foot turnover. Changing your natural stride length could put strain on muscles/joints in a way they're not used to and increase the risk of injury.

    I don't think small strides slows you down anyway - one of the fastest guys at my club runs with the shortest strides I've ever seen. He's got a really impressive 'effortless' looking way of running where even when he's really flying along he just looks like he's out for a gentle jog...

  • But...... outside of your little club the best runners have a good stride length. This come from adopting a good running style. I think there is a video somewhere from StrideUK that shows some tips for improving your style.
  • This is just one of those very open subjects and of course it will depend what you are running, watch a sprinter and during the first phase they will take short strides to gain pace quickly and as they attain speed and to maintain it will change to a longer stride.  Long distance doesn't particularly need the changes unless you are sprint finishing.  Most of the time though for most runners it is something that should be natural and there is no really wrong or right answer.     

    Waits to be shot downimage

  • Yes, it most certainly will make you slower if you want to race and place as well as you can. Go to a track meet and watch the athletes on a flat surface at a highly competitive level and you will be in no doubt of this. In particular, train alongside some sprinters occasionally - they tend to have entirely different form to distance runners.

    However, not over-striding will ensure that you can put in the miles in training, which will help your endurance. Being injured will certainly slow you down!

    So, it's a fine balancing act and depends on how competitive you want your running to become.
  • Having a good stride length and over striding are very different things. Good technique provides a good stride length. Over striding is bad technique and can lead to injury.
  • It is never ever a good idea to consciously try and take longer strides.  Your strides will naturally get a little bit longer as you get stronger but there's nothing conscious about the process. 

    It's silly of course to say that there's no such thing as a too short stride.  If you are too inflexible then that can impede your range of motion.  The solution however is not to try and legthen your stride but to remove the impediment to a 'normal' range of motion (tight hip flexors are a common area).

  • A drill session twice a week plus improving flexibility of hip flexors and strength of glutes and hamstrings is the best way to improve running form generally.

    As far as stride length is concerned, you want to be landing with a bent knee under your centre of mass. The focus should be on opening up the stride behind you and on improving cadence, not in front - Mo Farah's style is a good example of this. 

  • Another tds thread?  Does she read the responses?  Looks like people have put in some real effort on this one, so it would be kinda nice if the OP acknowledged it at least, or entered into the discussion.

    I think we'll see another Running Technique thread tomorrow.  Oh, except there's a mention in here about sprinting and running techniques, so we might have another Sprinting vs Running thread started.

    I can't wait to find out!

  • The words, in no particular order, she's, round, the bend, spring to mind..
  • You mean Dances with Spikes?
  • Stride length comes from speed, not the other way around. also, opening up your stride behind you will slow your cadence, as you van only change support when when you and your swing leg are over your general centre of mass.

    Lean more and quicken your cadence

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