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TOPIC:   Training tip: STRIDE?? 

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QCESCADA's Photo SparkPoints: (37,875)
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6/26/10 10:22 P

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I did my first speedwork session today and realised (during the last set) that shorter strides, quicker cadence made me faster and more relaxed.

There is a book called "Explosive Running" that I want to read. The author wrote an article on posture/stride/etc in the Jul/Aug 2010 issue of Running Times

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6/26/10 7:52 P

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I did a lot of research about running form when I started running 3 years ago and most of what I read suggested shorter strides and quicker cadence are more efficient. I have really crummy knees from years of playing tennis and I can say that keeping my stride short, striking on my mid-foot (not the heel) and keeping my cadence around 170-180 really helps my knees. When I start to get tired, I have a tendency to start to lengthen my stride and bounce more, and that's when I can feel it in my knees. So when I get tired at the end of a long run, I really focus on staying level, and keeping my leg turnover fast. It has really worked for me.

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KARRIJ3's Photo Posts: 85
3/31/10 5:40 P

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This makes me feel so much better because I've always had a short stride.

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Securian Winter Half marathon 01/28/13 2:16:00

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4EVERADONEGIRL's Photo Posts: 5,543
3/11/10 6:51 P

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Awesome! Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight! Very helpful...


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MARGARITTM's Photo Posts: 5,293
3/11/10 9:02 A

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Thank you all! I love the tip about the bicycle - I'll try it out this week end on my race this Sunday. I have a bad habit of bouncing. Hard to change your stride but I am will to give it a try.

MRS_LOOMIS's Photo Posts: 1,044
3/10/10 2:08 P

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I change my stride as I go---usually to match the beat of my music. I find that changing it up prevents soreness.

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3/10/10 12:11 P

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I've taken a few running clinics and I've always been told that a shorter stride will help reduce injuries and help you go faster. I've been experimenting with cadence and if you believe that 180 foot strikes (90 each foot) in one minute is the ideal cadence then you will find out how a short stride can really be effective.

I think that there is so much information out there that its all overwhelming, I've found with running advice that you can hear one thing and then turn around and hear the exact opposite. I would say find your comfortable stride and don't bounce or try to over extend each turnover.

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RUNDARCYRUN's Photo Posts: 2,837
3/10/10 11:44 A

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Yeah, I'm thinking the advice that was given to me about making a longer stride was a little out-dated!

Good to know others are using a smaller stride with success too! I visualize myself pedalling a bike when I run too, to keep my feet moving quicker. :)


My PRs:
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10K Run: 46:16
Half Marathon: 1:43:12
30K: 2:43:54
Marathon: 3:47:44

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CAROLYN1213's Photo Posts: 5,202
3/10/10 10:38 A

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I read that same article. I thought it really support some of the advice I give new runners on the Couch to 5K program. A shorter stride lessens the impact on my knees. Additionally, a shorter stride causes you to land a little more mid foot which puts less strain on the muscles in your shin and calf muscle and decreases the chances of shin splints. I have to use a short stride, and so far I have not had any injury issues or down time in my half marathon training. Eight weeks to go!

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REBYTR's Photo Posts: 1,294
3/10/10 6:26 A

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I've heard shorter strides are better too. Overstriding is a big cause of injuries. I also like to think of pedaling a bike while I's good imagery to get those feet moving quick.

Melissa, from Texas

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RUNDARCYRUN's Photo Posts: 2,837
3/10/10 1:59 A

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When I started running about 10 years ago, I was told to always make sure my stride was longer. I was told many times that a short stride will tire you out. Have any of you been told that??? I actually think that is now just as much of a myth as the myth that taller people make better runners. Maybe that is not the advice that is given today, maybe my advisor was old-school and didn't know any better, and maybe what I am about to share is something you all already know... not sure.

Well, I just got my Shape magazine for March 2010, and in there is a small article in there about running, and how to reduce injury. And guess what it suggests??? SMALLER STRIDES! The author of the study says: "Shortening your stride decreases the force when your foot lands, which lessens the stress on your bones.... Although you'll need to take more steps to go the same speed and distance, it shouldn't feel any harder.'

MY personal experience:
It wasn't until last year that I started seriously running longer distances, and as I trained throughout last year, I started playing around with my stride length. I noticed that going downhill, the tendancy is to make your (my) stride longer, but I noticed my foot was landing very forcefully, and I thought,"this can't be good." So, I started taking really small faster steps, and letting myself GLIDE down the hill. I immediately noticed that my pace did not suffer, and that it lessened (almost eliminated) the jolt on my body from landing so hard.

I then started playing around with taking shorter, faster steps on a flat surface and going uphill. And much to my surprise, not only did my pace immediately get FASTER, but I was able to maintain a faster pace for a longer time, and it felt WAY easier than trying to push for longer strides.

My conclusion: Longer strides are not the answer, necessarily, and maybe, just maybe, you don't have to sacrifice speed to avoid injury. I still change it up, and do intervals using longer strides - I figure it can only strengthen my running to practice using different techniques, but as a whole, I find shorter, faster strides much less fatiguing and more gentle on my body.

Oh, and by the way, I believe doing a spinning class helped me greatly with being able to take faster steps (increasing my turn-over rate). Particularly, doing the sprint segments in spinning (peddling very quickly). Jeff Galloway's website said biking wouldn't really improve your performance in running, but I think it has, actually.

What do you think? What has your experience been???

Another tip from Darcy: Don't "bounce" when you run - keep your feet pushing you forward and not UP. It's a waste of energy and momentum. If you tend to bounce a lot when you run, try to concentrate on keeping your body level, and pushing forward with each step. =)


My PRs:
5K Run: 22:55 (non-race)
10K Run: 46:16
Half Marathon: 1:43:12
30K: 2:43:54
Marathon: 3:47:44

 Pounds lost: 46.4 

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