Reduce Running Injuries With a Shorter Stride
This is the time of year that I notice a definite increase in running-related injuries in the clinic. When I do treadmill analysis on runners, injured or not, I commonly find that recreational runners overstride or have a cadence that is too low.
To explain a few terms, the stride is a distance measured from the time one foot touches the ground until the time that same foot touches the ground the next time. The stride is basically two steps (one by each leg) and is measured in length. The number of strides over a certain time is the cadence. The ideal cadence is commonly referred to as 85- to 90-strides per minute. In recreational runners, 70- to 80-strides per minute is common. The lower the cadence the more a runner over-strides.
What is the problem with over-striding? The longer the stride the harder the heel strike, which results in greater impact that must be absorbed by the body. The more impact loading, the greater the chance for overuse and injuries.
How do you find your cadence? At your normal running pace, time yourself for one minute and count the number of times your right or left foot touches the ground. Repeat two or three times and take your average. That number is your cadence.
Check back later for ideas on how to change your stride length and increase your cadence.
Posted 6:17 PM