Proper Stride Length for Optimal Running

Proper Stride Rate for Running

I’ve been running with my Adidas miCoach for more than a month now and I notice that my average stride length for my training runs’ are averaging at around 155-160 steps/min. I’m not sure if this is good or bad so I did a little research and got this.

I found out that professional runners have frequently shown to have shorter strides than the less experienced counterparts, and the recommended and optimal stride length is said to be 180 steps/min.

Stride length

Stride length, both natural and optimal, increases at faster speeds. The key is to discover the way your optimal stride length feels, and it will follow you at any running speed. Renowned exercise physiologist, coach, and Running & FitNews editorial board member Jack Daniels, Ph.D., has observed repeatedly that leg turnover naturally determines stride length.

Focusing runners on reaching 180 steps per minute is an excellent way to move their stride length into the optimal range, without unduly placing all of their focus on running form. For many people, this running cadence is faster than they are used to attaining, but it achieves several noteworthy results.

Daniels writes, “The main problem associated with a slower turnover is that the slower you take steps, the longer the time you spend in the air.” This displaces your body mass higher, and leads to a greater ground landing shock. A shorter stride means a lighter stride. Daniels advises that optimal stride rate should feel like you are running “over the ground, not into it.”

Try to get the feeling that your legs are part of a wheel that just rolls along … Try counting the strides of one leg for one minute and see how close you can get to 90. Alternately, you may count arm swings or count steps for 30 seconds and multiply the result by two. So optimal stride length and running turnover are really two sides of the same coin.

Source: (click for original article)

I’ll be focusing on this area and try to improve my stride rate in my succeeding training runs. I’m glad that my miCoach can help me track it.

How about you? Do you know what your current stride length is? Let’s compare and improve together.

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