What stride length is best for you?

written by Meena Azzollini

Couple jogging in autumn nature

Credit:123RF

Every wonder if your stride length is the best when you are running?

Many people advocate “optimal running forms” and running coaches may encourage you to change your stride length to improve your performance.

But is changing your stride length really conserving your energy and improving your performance?

The participants maintained their stride with the help of a computer-based metronome which beeped every time their foot should have hit the treadmill.

A new study from Brigham Young University finds that the stride length people naturally choose  is best for them, whether they are experienced runners or novice runners.

The study included 33 runners of which 19 were experienced runners and they averaged at least 20 miles a week of running. There were 14 inexperienced runners in this study and they never ran more than 5 miles per week.

The runners carried out various strides during a 20 minute run while the scientists measured their energy levels.

During the runs, the participants used five different stride lengths which included their natural stride and then strides of plus 8 and 16 per cent of their normal stride.

The participants maintained their stride with the help of a computer-based metronome which beeped every time their foot should have hit the treadmill.

The scientists measured their energy output with masks that recorded the amount of oxygen used.

The findings show that both experienced and inexperienced runners were most efficient when they used their natural stride.

This suggests that runners should not alter their stride length and go with their natural stride or they will use more energy in the end.

No matter what kind of runner you are, stay with your natural stride and let your body be your best coach.

Source: International Journal of Exercise Science


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!