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Increasing my stride length

Hi there:

I am looking for suggestions or recommendations in order to increase my stride length when I run. I am 5'7" and feel as if my stride is more appropriate for a shorter/younger person. I hope that by lengthening my stride I'll be able to jog at faster paces and for longer distances.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Thu. Dec 1, 11:10am

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perhaps try running slower for a while, but focusing on taking a longer stride. If you're on a treadmill, increase the incline a little- should help with the stride, and you'll work harder.

And, if weather in your area permits- try rollerblading. Focus on taking long strides, and pushing out to the side. Helps condition the muscles for a longer stride in running.

Thursday, December 01, 2005, 7:41 PM

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Perhaps my observations and experience will not apply to your situation. I am male, and have been running competetively and otherwise for nominally 50 years. This includes competition in high school, college, as a Marine Corps officer, and a triathlete. The conventional wisdom I have always heard and lived by is, "Don't mess with your stride".

Conventional wisdom aside, if I wanted to change my stride, I would begin by taking yoga instruction to ensure that I would not injure myself by overstretching the tendons and ligaments that tie the thigh muscles to the pubic bone. This is a lesson hard-learned for me over a half-century span. I would wish to spare you the pain of learning it the hard way.


Thursday, December 01, 2005, 9:15 PM

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I think that Digby is right, you shouldn’t mess with your jogging stride. I am a physiologist (although not an exercise physiologist) and I attended an interesting seminar last year. The researchers were measuring the frequency of people’s strides. They found out that an individual’s stride was not always the same, there was some variability around a certain length. They tried to get the person to walk or run exactly the same length every time to the beat of a metronome…and the people fell all over themselves. The researchers thought that the act of running or walking is the result of a highly complex interaction between the balance muscles, the extensors and contractors (you know what I mean, I forget the word) with a certain rhythm generator starting it all off and then responding to the feed back from the senses of the muscles and feet as the strides go. If the person tried to consciously change the beautiful system in place, they messed up. I think Number 2 poster made a good suggestion that if you want to do a different stride, do a different activity that requires you to do that. If you want a more intense running work out, just go faster…

Thursday, December 01, 2005, 10:17 PM

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Boy if that doesn't stike a chord. I have a very long stride and I'm tall so I really move out. I have tried and tried hard over the years to shorten it and try to walk at a more 'normal' pace (normal for almost everyone else), but I still end up way ahead and looking over my shoulder wondering why everyone is so far back there. I don't FEEL like I'm walking fast. My husband acuses me of 'galloping' and doesn't understand why I can't just slow down. My legs just don't want to work that way!

Friday, December 02, 2005, 12:09 AM

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Interesting. My stride has changed by itself recently, and I'm a little worried about it. I have just lost all my "bounce," and although I am running good times and not overtraining, it just feels dead. I was considering different shoes and more weight-lifting to target gastrocnemius. Any thoughts?

Friday, December 02, 2005, 7:55 AM

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Putting "bounce" back in a stride

If you are not familiar with it, you might check out "Galloway's Book on Running", by Jeff Galloway. Jeff Galloway is a former Olympian in the long distances. As I recall, he has exercises to put a "bounce in your stride" in his book.

I think I tried the exercise a couple of times, then decided my stride was more efficent without it---or maybe I just wasn't coordinated enough to run and bounce at the same time.


Friday, December 02, 2005, 9:50 AM

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I recently attended a running workshop from my chiropractor/sports therapist. He said people's stride tends to be too long when they run, therefore when you land, you are landing squarly on your heel. Your heel is then taking the majority of the impact and that impact travels up to your ankle and your knee, causing reptitive stress injuries he sees in his clients. He taught us to change our stride so that we can landing on our entire foot to absorb more of the impact. He also taught us to lean forward from our ankles, as if our bodies are in 1 line from our ankles. By changing the degree of the lean forward will change how fast you run. Our bodies naturall want to catch ourselves by moving forward, and therefore you propel yourself more with this method.
My overall point is you should probably be working on shortending your stride, not lengthing it so that you can landon your foot (impact on the middle of the foot) not on the heel. Good luck with it, it takes some practice.

Friday, December 02, 2005, 12:56 PM

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Original poster sends thanks

Thank you to everyone who's replied. There are some very helpful comments here. As a long-timer fitness walker who once abhorred running, I have found jogging to be a better cardio activity for heart health and weight loss. I am still learning how to properly pace myself and work on my stride. I depend too much on a treadmill. I have recently bought a copy of The Runner's Handbook by Bob Glover, hoping it will have some pointers for me. I am sure with patience, persistance and time my skills will improve.

Thanks again:)

Friday, December 02, 2005, 2:02 PM

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stride length

You should measure your inseam. If you have short legs , like 30", then your stride will be shorter than someone with a 34" inseam.

Saturday, December 03, 2005, 12:46 PM

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