This always concerns me as I can see the injury potential so I thought it might be helpful to have some understanding about what governs your stride length and what happens when you try to increase your stride length in the wrong way.
The length of your stride is influenced by a combination of your skeletal structure, your muscular strength, and your flexibility. As muscular strength and flexibility decrease as people get older (if they don’t focus on strength training) their stride length often gets shorter. New runners may not yet have developed the necessary muscular strength for a long stride. Also often overlooked is the influence of your daily activities and posture! Trying to increase your stride length without taking into account flexibility and strength will only encourage you to over stride and strike with your heel first ahead of your hips with your knee locked out – and this is a shortcut to injury. Over striding leads to greater braking forces (so will slow you down) and excessive impact. You will tire earlier and move your legs at a slower rate. Read More »