One question that is always asked is whether an athlete should focus on increasing stride frequency or stride length. Importantly, it can also help you lose weight and belly fat. Clin Biomech 2003;18(6):511-517. Ok, explaining stride length is easy. Be careful when opening up your stride when trying to increase the length of ground covered. Specifically, decreasing stride length has been shown to reduce GRFs, joint moments, impact accelerations, and leg stiffness, factors that have been associated with a greater risk of running-related injury.1,12,13 GRF magnitude provides an estimate of the forces that are transmitted to the mus… Suydam suggests recording a video of you running on a treadmill from the side. Impact forces during heel-toe running. Running in a minimalist and lightweight shoe is not the same as running barefoot: a biomechanical study. Reducing your stride length so your foot lands under you reduces that braking force." 8 The increase in speed can be achieved by increasing the length or frequency of the stride. Pohl M, Hamill J, Davis I. Biomechanical and anatomic factors associated with a history of plantar fasciitis in female runners. Every runner is a bit different, but for most people, smaller strides are beneficial for alignment. Short distances call for long strides. Your email address will not be published. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009;41(12):2177-2184. That being said, the distance of the race also matters. Altman AR, Davis IS. Evidence suggests that decreasing stride length results in biomechanical changes, including reduced GRFs and joint moments, that can contribute to reduced injury risk. Tall people take longer strides when running. Impact and overuse injuries in runners. Because of these trends and because of the proportionally larger decreases in stride frequency vs. stride length, it has been suggested that runners focus on maintaining their stride frequency as fatigue sets in. Several studies have shown significant differences between barefoot running and running in minimalist shoes. Your stride length is the length of each of your steps. The number of calories you burn while walking depends on different factors, including your weight, pace, terrain, and more. Int J Sports Phys Ther 2014;9(2):222-231. A review. Bonacci et al examined joint kinematic and kinetic variables in runners in barefoot and three shod conditions (minimalist shoe, racing flat, and regular athletic shoe).48 Their results showed significant differences between barefoot and shod conditions for kinematic and kinetic variables at the knee and ankle, but no significant differences between the three shod conditions.48 Further, McCallion et al compared several spatio­temporal variable of athletes running barefoot, in minimalist shoes, and in conventional running shoes.49 They found stride duration, flight time, and contact time were greater in conventional running shoes and minimalist shoes compared with barefoot running.49. Disclosure: The authors report that there are no conflicts of interest associated with this manuscript. First, decreasing stride length—particularly if it is achieved by switching from shod to barefoot running—may result in individuals contacting the ground initially with the forefoot rather than the rearfoot. Over-striding means that you will generate less power during ground contact. Br J Sports Med 2009;43(4):288-292. In terms of tibial stress fracture, Edwards et al reported that strain magnitude plays a more important role than the total number of loading cycles in stress fracture development.13 Additionally, Willson et al found that patellofemoral joint stress was lower with decreased stride length and, despite more strides per mile, patellofemoral joint stress per mile was also reduced.35 However, other musculoskeletal injuries may be more sensitive to the number of loading cycles. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(7):1335-1343. Hreljac A. The effect of a cadence retraining protocol on running biomechanics and efficiency: a pilot study. Thompson MA, Gutmann A, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. Edwards et al used a finite element model to examine the effect of a reduction in stride-length on the probability of tibial stress fractures.13 The authors found that reducing stride length by 10% decreased the probability of stress fracture by up to 6%.13 Lastly, Rowlands et al examined the effect of stride-length manipulation on strength retention and muscle soreness with repeated bouts of downhill running.41 They found reducing stride length during downhill running decreased exercise-induced muscle damage and provided protection against muscle soreness.41, While not examining the effect of stride length directly, much of the research looking at the effect of barefoot running and minimalist shoes indirectly evaluates stride length, as barefoot/minimalist runners tend to adopt a reduced stride length. Note that stride frequency is inversely related to stride length – for any given speed, a higher steps per second frequency equates to a shorter stride length. Lorenz DS, Pontillo M. Is there evidence to support a forefoot strike pattern in barefoot runners? You can reduce your muscle mass by doing the opposite of what you would do to increase muscle mass: Consume fewer calories, use lighter weights and…. Factors for exercise related injuries among male and female army trainees Russell M Mullineaux! Determine the number of steps it will take you to walk a mile, divide 5,280 your... Of step length are two important measurements in gait analysis is a great form of physical and mental fatigue A.... Contacts of the stride by subtly increasing or decreasing stride length RG, Tilzey C. of. It in a long distance running must be increased to maintain a given running velocity is the average length... 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