Thursday, 18 October 2012

Increasing Your Stride Length

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, October 18, 2012 with 2 comments
For the last couple of years I have been championing reducing the stride length for people who run at a slow tempo, so that they may work on increasing their tempo. And it works, those who have mastered a faster tempo have reported that they experience a marked improvement in their race times.

However, it is obvious that if you can sustain a given tempo, and at the same time increase your stride length, then you will arrive at the finish line sooner again.

So is it time to think about how we can increase our stride length? What are the benefits and costs of this approach?

Food for thought: here is Jimmy Barker's take on the stride length and on forefoot running:
Taken when I ran a 50 minute 10 mile cross country race, years ago. Clearly my stride would have been much longer then than it is now. What has changed? 

(But even before then, I had consciously reduced my stride length when I moved from track to distance running)
(I am re-growing my beard to see if that was the secret :-))
(Note the flat racing shoes! I ran my fastest marathons - sub 2:30s - in those shoes)

Vets Track starts tonight. You only have to be 30 years old or more to be eligible to take part. The schedule includes
6:00pm 3000m
7:15pm 800m
8:05pm 3k/5k

I don't expect to make it out there this week, so if that is the case, I will find out tomorrow how everybody went. Good luck!


  1. I would love to say count me in for the 3000m... But I don't think I can get there!!!

    Love the racing flats, now a days one calls them Minimus or Barefoot shoes!!! how the wheel has turned...

    I also have a couple of people who overstride and what I have them doing is running a couple of 100m on the tar, barefoot, then with shoes and the idea is to run with the same style... It seems that they don't like to listen to the coach, but they will listen to their bodies.

  2. The beard Geoff, definitely the beard. When mine reaches my navel I'm predicting a stride length of 2 metres.