Posted by: Armand | January 30, 2011

Running technique–the stride

Another run today, thinking a bit more about running technique.

Before this recent bout of running hit me, if someone had talked to me about running “technique” I’d have been somewhat cynical. One foot in front of the other, and all that.

When the ITB injury hit me last year I learnt how much I was doing wrong from Sudhir, and it became apparent that I needed to put much more thought into the way my feet rolled off the ground, the length of my stride, etc.

On Friday, Amanda was watching the One Show (before Eastenders rather than through deliberate choice) and they were doing a feature about rabbits – and how they run quicker than people. A big part of this, they said, was because the proportional stride of a rabbit was equivalent to a full grown man striding three meters with each footfall as they run. My running stride probably varies between 60cm and a metre, at a guess, due to rubbish hamstrings, poor fitness and disciplines. So on the run today, I gave it more thought and was amazed at the difference in pace I achieved when making a conscious effort to lengthen the stride. (Incidentally, the One Show tried to extend the stride of a man by extending his legs with those running stilt things – silly, but fun)

It makes sense, after all. 1000m is 1000 steps with a metre stride, and 600 odd more with 60cm strides. Effort wise, it stands to reason that the smaller effort in lengthening the stride is proportionately less than the effort needed to take the extra 600 steps. So I plan to spend a bit more time focussing on my hamstrings and my stride in the runs to come.

As an aside, another bit of random telly we had on whilst Emily was feeding was some athletics. During a 3000m race, people were finishing in 8 minutes, with a 2m 30 odd second split per kilometre. Given my best time for 3 km is about 17 minutes, this was pretty awe-inspiring. Their stride was immense. No idea how big but a damn sight bigger than my meter / 1.2m at best running stride.

More effort / training needed. Need to give that running coach thing a bit more thought…

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