short strides vs long strides

short strides vs long strides

Post by RC » Wed, 23 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
is actually better?

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Rick Gerwi » Thu, 24 Jul 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
> Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
> stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
> I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
> Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
> is actually better?

Each individual has a biomechanically (for them) optimal stride length for
any given stage in their conditioning or development. Artificially or
overtly trying to change this length, either shorter or longer, is less
efficient and will increase the energy cost of the effort.

The training that you might do to increase performance (intervals, tempo
runs, hills etc) will naturally increase your stride length as your speed
and conditioning improve. At that point, you will have established a new
stride pattern that for you is the most biomechanically efficient. Trying
to consciously alter your stride length (as opposed to concentrating on
posture and overall form) is self-defeating.

Rick Gerwin

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Bonnie Form » Thu, 24 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
>stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
>I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
>Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
>is actually better?

I'm glad you brought this up because I've been puzzled about it and
experimenting with stride.

I recently ran my first race ever - a 10K.  For the last few years I've been
running only occasionally - as I was teaching 6 aerobic classes a week.
In the last few months I cut back my teaching schedule, and have been
running 2 to 3 times a week, about 3-4 miles, mostly treadmill, sometimes outside,
usually alone.

 As this was my first run - my goal was simply to finish - I wasn't
worried about time.

I'm 5'2".
As we started the run, I noticed that I seemed to be taking twice as many steps
as everyone else - and seemed to be working twice as hard.  I had a hard time
finding my comfortable pace.  I told the friends I was with (all with longer legs :-), to go
on ahead of me, and I finally found my pace (and did finish, by the way).

I realized that because my legs are shorter, my stride is "naturally" shorter,
which means I have to take more steps to keep up a decent speed.  I hadn't
thought of this before because I was use to running alone.

So now I'm starting to experiment with a longer (though "unnatural") stride.
It feels different - but I think in the long run (so to speak :-) it will make my
runs a little easier.

Any other shorter runners out there that have come across this?

Bonnie

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by George H. Thi » Thu, 24 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Be careful, overstriding can cause injuries.  The stride length is really
an individual thing (isn't everything in running).  A shorter stride is
not necessarily bad.  Cadence is extremely important.  
I think the keys to running form are
1. stand up straight (don't slouch)
2. keep your weight forward (don't "sit" down)
3. light steps ( think about running on eggs without breaking)
4. RELAX

Good Luck,
George

* >Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
* >stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
* >I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
* >Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
* >is actually better?

    -snip-
* I recently ran my first race ever - a 10K.  For the last few years I've been
* running only occasionally - as I was teaching 6 aerobic classes a week.
* In the last few months I cut back my teaching schedule, and have been
* running 2 to 3 times a week, about 3-4 miles, mostly treadmill, sometimes outside,
* usually alone.
*
   -snip-
* I'm 5'2".
* As we started the run, I noticed that I seemed to be taking twice as many steps
* as everyone else - and seemed to be working twice as hard.  I had a hard time
* finding my comfortable pace.  I told the friends I was with (all with longer legs :-), to go
* on ahead of me, and I finally found my pace (and did finish, by the way).
*
* I realized that because my legs are shorter, my stride is "naturally" shorter,
* which means I have to take more steps to keep up a decent speed.  I hadn't
* thought of this before because I was use to running alone.
*
* So now I'm starting to experiment with a longer (though "unnatural") stride.
* It feels different - but I think in the long run (so to speak :-) it will make my
* runs a little easier.
*
* Any other shorter runners out there that have come across this?
*
* Bonnie

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by BClark4 » Fri, 25 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Stride length is generally a result of conditioning and strength.
Artificially changing stride length either shorter or longer frequently
results in injury.  Runners with shorter srides generally will find their
stride getting longer with speed ahd hill work, while those runners who
tend to lope will generally shorten their stride with similar type work.

BJC
Coach in Colorado

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Ralf Linnema » Thu, 31 Jul 1997 04:00:00

|> Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
|> stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
|> I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
|> Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
|> is actually better?

 My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
 I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
 speed *and* my heart rate drops.
 I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
 tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
--
 Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Thom Trimbl » Thu, 31 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> |> Talking to a lot of runners, they say to lengthen your
> |> stride in order run faster. However, I have found that
> |> I can run faster and more efficient with a shorter stride.
> |> Does anyone else run better with a shorter stride? Which
> |> is actually better?

>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
> --
>  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

 Do not concern yourself with stride LENGTH.  Stride length is usually
associated with the current strength, and to some degree, flexibility
of your legs.  What you should aim for is the best Stride RATE.  Shoot
for 90-100 strides/min and let the length take care of itself.

Artificially lengthening your stride (overstriding) will result in a
footstrike slightly in front of your center of gravity, which will
lead to a braking force.  Unnatural strides also take more energy and
can increase the probability of injury.

Thom Trimble

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Gary Erickso » Fri, 01 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
> --
>  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
could explain this to me I would be interested.

Seeya

Gary

--
===========================================

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Duane Mor » Sat, 02 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:



>>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
>>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
>>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
>>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
>>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
>> --
>>  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann
>I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
>strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
>could explain this to me I would be interested.

The current _Runner's World_ has some words about stride and turnover.
In short, most elite runners take about 90 steps per minute, which is
higher than what most of us commoners do; it turns out that this is
actually more efficient for a variety of reasons (which are spelled out
in the article).

--


(602) 861-7609; Phoenix, Arizona

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Thom Trimbl » Sat, 02 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:



> >  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
> >  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
> >  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
> >  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
> >  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
> > --
> >  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

> I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
> strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
> could explain this to me I would be interested.

> Seeya

> Gary

Simple.  You are using more energy to take longer strides, thus a
higher heartrate.

Thom

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Chaz The T » Tue, 05 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:




>> >  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
>> >  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
>> >  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
>> >  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
>> >  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
>> > --
>> >  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

>> I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
>> strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
>> could explain this to me I would be interested.
>> Seeya
>> Gary
>Simple.  You are using more energy to take longer strides, thus a
>higher heartrate.
>Thom

Over and above what you say, Thom, a longer stride has a different angle of
impact, and a considerably higher impact force (consider the amount of
time your body's in the air) when hitting the ground...this definitely jumps
the HR. Short quick strides almost create a glide/padding effect on the legs
when you watch some of the fast elites who use this technique.
Chaz
 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Mark Li » Tue, 12 Aug 1997 04:00:00

On Thu, 31 Jul 1997 23:54:15 -0700, Gary Erickson

Quote:



>>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
>>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
>>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
>>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
>>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
>> --
>>  Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

>I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
>strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
>could explain this to me I would be interested.

Efficiency baby, efficiency.  If you try to run a non-optimal
configuration, you will need to expend more energy (in this case
overstriding).  In order to deliver more fuel and flush out more waste
you need more oxygen and *** supply and therefore, a higher heart
rate.

Of course, the same would happen if you were understriding...

Mark Lind
-+-+-+-+-
Mark W. Lind

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Mark Li » Tue, 12 Aug 1997 04:00:00



Quote:
>I'm 5'2".
>As we started the run, I noticed that I seemed to be taking twice as many steps
>as everyone else - and seemed to be working twice as hard...

That isn't neccessarily true.  I am 5'6" (same height boat % wise per
sex) and I am fairly fast.  If your stride is longer, it does mean you
cover more distance per step, but you are also having to move your leg
through a longer arc.  In addition, your longer leg probably weighs
more, etc. etc.

Of course, you DO have an optimium stride length, but the truth (as
with many things) isn't "the longer the better".  In fact,
overstriding is as inefficient as understriding and can even cause
injury if you are experimenting with it, so be careful.

My problem is that I have a lot of muscle tissue I picked up from
lifting weights and wrestling which doesn't do me much good in a 10K
(unless I sprint ahead and am allowed a period of grecco-roman with
the leaders).  I'm slowly leaning out just from running, but I don't
think I'll ever be an Olympic class marathoner.

Some of us were made for other things... but we can still be good at
running if we try... maybe not the top 0.001%, but certainly in the
top few %.

Besides... we're cuter.

Mark Lind
-+-+-+-+-
Mark W. Lind

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Ozzie Gonta » Wed, 13 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
> On Thu, 31 Jul 1997 23:54:15 -0700, Gary Erickson



> >>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
> >>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
> >>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
> >>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
> >>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
> >> --Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

> >I've noticed the same thing.  I can control my heart rate with shorter
> >strides but when I open up my stride, my heart rate jumps up.  If anyone
> >could explain this to me I would be interested.

> Efficiency baby, efficiency.  If you try to run a non-optimal
> configuration, you will need to expend more energy (in this case
> overstriding).  In order to deliver more fuel and flush out more waste
> you need more oxygen and *** supply and therefore, a higher heart
> rate. Of course, the same would happen if you were understriding...


As Mark says, it's a matter of efficiency.  The problem with the higher
heart rate probably deals with the overstriding, which means you're
landing on the back of the heel of the shoe and decelerating with every
step.  You have to overcome that deceleration which means you're working
harder and not getting there any faster.  Efficient running would be
marching up and down in place.  Notice that you land ball/heel.  If you
leaned from the ankle ever so slightly, and keeping the body erect, you'd
notice that you'd still be lifting your feet up and down but you'd be
moving forward.  That's what running is about.  Falling and catching
yourself gracefully with each and every step.

--
In health and on the run,
Ozzie Gontang
Maintainer-rec.running FAQ
Director, San Diego Marathon Clinic,  est. 1975

 
 
 

short strides vs long strides

Post by Bill Hunaul » Wed, 13 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> > On Thu, 31 Jul 1997 23:54:15 -0700, Gary Erickson



> > >>  My own experience during long *slow* distance running is: when
> > >>  I shorten my stride and increase the frequency, I pick up my
> > >>  speed *and* my heart rate drops.
> > >>  I haven't seriously experimented with that during my speed or
> > >>  tempo sessions, but I believe the pattern is different for that.
> > >> --Ralf 'Slowhand' Linnemann

> As Mark says, it's a matter of efficiency.  The problem with the higher
> heart rate probably deals with the overstriding, which means you're
> landing on the back of the heel of the shoe and decelerating with every
> step.  You have to overcome that deceleration which means you're working
> harder and not getting there any faster.  Efficient running would be
> marching up and down in place.  Notice that you land ball/heel.  If you
> leaned from the ankle ever so slightly, and keeping the body erect, you'd
> notice that you'd still be lifting your feet up and down but you'd be
> moving forward.  That's what running is about.  Falling and catching
> yourself gracefully with each and every step.

I am not sure that overstriding is the question being asked. I think he
is discussing lifting the knees vs suffling stride, the so call
"Marathon Suffle." Please comment on this. I would be interested in your
opinions.