The Science of Running: Shortening Your Stride

As previously promised, tonight is the debut of my second new feature. I plan to use this feature to have a look at some of the theories behind running and also discuss my experiences as they related to them.

Tonight I am looking at the length of your stride and how it affects running. For me this is of recent interest. During an outing at the dome a few weeks ago a couple of people I was running with suggested my running stride was long. Since then I have been working on it to see if it would have a positive impact on my running.

If you are not familiar with theory behind a shorter running stride basically the idea is that increasing your cadence (and shortening your stride) will help you run more efficiently. According to a study mentioned here shortening your stride may even reduce the risk of getting stress fractures. Here is another good article on the topic.

In terms of my own experience, I didn’t want to do anything to cause an injury or throw off my progress but I was willing to give it a try if there was a possibility the change could help me run more efficiently over a marathon distance.

The first night I tried shortening my stride it did feel awkward at first because I was trying something new but it has been three weeks now and the change is starting to feel more natural. Of course there are still a few months to go before I get to test this theory in a marathon but so far so good!

Have you tried shortening your stride?

2 thoughts on “The Science of Running: Shortening Your Stride”

  1. Shortening stride is how I came back from my ITB injury a year ago, but instead of just focusing on that, I counted my foot strikes to get to what is perceived as a “normal” range. Doing that will naturally lead to a shorter stride.

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