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Beginner Running

Tips for widening my running stride and increasing speed?

asked about 3 years ago | Report

As a new runner, I'm mainly working on endurance right now. But I'd like to pick up my speed a bit and widen my very short stride. Any tips on how to do that?

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  • G'day Amanda,

    With not knowing you and not ever seeing you run, it's hard to give you advice on how to widen your stride or increase speed. However, I have been doing quite a bit of reading of late and think widening your stride may not be the answer to speed you're after.

    So not to boring you with my take on how you should run, check out some of the ideas from people who do it for a living. http://www.posetech.com/ & http://www.chirunning.com/ these are two of the best known running techniques and are well worth a look into if you're keen to run faster and injury free. There are also plenty of books to read on running (ie Born to Run http://borntorun.org/) and heaps of youtube videos on how to run etc. I think, if your keen on running and want to become better it's worth the time to investigate all these and work out what works best for you.

    No real answer from me sorry, just a list of places that may have the answer for you.

    Good luck,
    Dennis.

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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  • It is usually a bad idea to try to force a stride change. If you can already run 5 miles, you can start adding speed to your runs. I started doing speed work by running from one landmark to the next at top speed then cruising to the next landmark and repeating the cycle. Your stride will automatically get longer as your as your speed increases.

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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  • I will chime in and agree with Ted, adding a speed workout to your routine will increase your speed and lengthen the stride. His description is an example of a Fartlek session, fun, with little structure. If you feel you need more structure head to the track and try intervals, the easiest interval workout is to run fast on the straights, and easy on the turns.

    I also agree with Dennis, Chi running is based (in part) on a cadence of 180 steps per minute, your stride is lengthened with the increase in speed.

    I would recommend not trying to change your mechanics, unless you are experiencing injuries.

    Dan

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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  • yoga for runners or just some good old fashing hamstring stretching on non-run days will help. I started off with oak tree-like flexibility and now I'm more palm tree flexible.

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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  • I use a stretch band to stretch pre and post runs. I generally lay on my back and strectch each leg as far as I can go and then hold it. Doing lunges will also help but try to hold the lunge for thirty seconds on each leg. I normally do like three sets. Doing range of motion exercises will help lengthen your runner stride. There are also a lot of you tube videos on stride lengthening. You might want to start adding some tempo runs and short and long speed into your workouts. This will also help increase your speed.

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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  • Amanda,
    How new a runer are you and are you trianing for a particular race or distance?
    I wouldn't even consider trying to change your stride if I were you and I've been running and racing for quite a while. Your stride is what it is. Speed is all about leg turnover not about how far each step is and by extending your stride you'll probably slow yourself down because that forces you to heel strike even more.

    Personally I stay away from all these "how to run books and videos" because if you're not built to run a certain way you're not run going to enjoy running that way. If you want to get faster than get on the track start doing speed specific workouts at your stride length. And don't get all crazy with your track workouts. Keep it simple at first; warm for a mile and then run 4 or 5x400(once around) and recover for 400. I promise you'll see an increase in speed.

    Don't get all hung up on the length of your stirde. There are plenty of fast people out there with short stride length.
    Good luck getting faster!
    Eddie

    Ps: the day i start counting my steps ala Chi Running shoot me.

    answered about 3 years ago |Report

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