The ultimate answer for us distance runners may be that we should be like Bekele and be able to run submaximally with one strategy and then be able to switch strategies when fatigued. We’ve probably all seen the long striders, really working to extend the distance they cover with one step essentially by bounding. Why do we pay so much attention to it? One study looked at the stride length and frequency of the top 3 finishers in the 10k at the 2007 world championships. Mathathi who had a small stride length tried to increase that during the final kilometer. “Fitter people have a little longer stride, but the rate stays the same,” said Jack Daniels, coach, exercise physiologist and author of the seminal book Daniels’ Running Formula, which first included analysis of stride rate. Stride Length Definition. Thanks.Nana. This is during the exact same 150m sprint. The point is though that we have three runners all employing different strategies to run the same speed. I discuss Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, and some of the best sprinters of all time. Hopefully this mini stride frequency versus length topic makes you think a little bit. To apply that formula to running speed, we get a likewise simple equation: Speed is stride length (distance covered) times stride rate (1 / the time it takes to cover the distance). If you read Jack’s book, Daniels’ Running Formula, the section title in Chapter 5 illustrates this point, “Stride Rate: A Step In The Right Direction”] January 28, 2018 / 6 Dr. Jack Daniels: Utilizing The Treadmill To Help Prepare For Boston If two runners run at the exact same speed, the runner that runs straigher will cross the finish line first. Next week, I’ll focus on stride length. Lastly, I deal with the competitive side of the sport. And Sihine who was in between both during the race in terms of rate and length, did a little bit of an increase in both. On the other hand, Mathathi had a small stride length and a very high frequency to run the same speed. (2008). This is entirely not the case. In the real world though, the answer is that it depends and that limiting yourself to only being able to change one or the other is a mistake. Steve, this is very useful and practical material. Based on the huge positive reception to Chi Running, massive amounts of emails/testimonials and passion behind it, I'd say we are off to a great start. If drift is "minimal" then why are track events held in counter clockwise rotation and not the other way around? The deviation from a straight line is minimal to non-existant in almost every good runner. In general, the shorter the distance, the longer the average stride … A lower ground contact time or less time spent in the air will lead to a faster stride rate as long as one doesn’t negatively affect the other. It gets even more interesting when we look at the last 1km when the pace changed dramatically. I'm using a click generator (metronome) on my mp3 player to keep a constant rate and Fitbit to check it. Rick- Thanks for the cycling info. If Rudisha was really running at 220 steps per minute, which I’m not fully certain of, he had the power to deliver an incredible force to the ground in an astoundingly rapid rate so he could take long steps while doing that. I mimicked frequency with a computer generated beeps with which athletes adjust their stride frequency by hearing. Hence, .6 x 11 = a 6.6 percent improvement in race times. If we add other factors that are components of these two factors, we can overemphasize one factor to the detriment of the other. So far, I don't have any conclusive results. But then on the last lap, he increased his speed dramatically with an increase in stride length. My strides are tiny for my height. If he's changed some, then I'm glad. I know that when I'm finishing a race and trying to sprint, I tend to focus on the fastest turnover I can – rather that a more forceful muscle contraction which will give you a longer SL. In essence, this is what Bekele did. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, Enomoto et al. Speed= Stride length X Stride frequency This simple equation is a staple in sprinting and biomechanics material. I've been trying to increase my walking speed and I'm experimenting to see if the stride rate affects my speed. This guy has both parts of the equation covered. Back in my cycle racing days the book I read by Eddie B [ ex national US coach]recommended a cadence of 86-92 revs per min for time trials, this I followed until I started doing road racing as well.Due to the changing pace and much faster speeds of road racing my cadence often reached 120 Rpm and more!The side effect of this was, I found that in Time trials my average cadence increased so i felt more natural at holding higher revs around 95-100 rpm.End result was faster 10 and 25 mile TT's.We often here that a turnover of 90 is best, but is it?Often new runners and cyclists will have a much slower turnover of 60-70 but with training can quickly improve into the 80-90 range, I guess my question is would training for even higher average cadence lead to greater performance.Arthur Lydiard used downhill strides with his runners, should we be adding this type of session to our workouts?Did arthurs runners have a higher leg turnover than the other runners of that time period? Excellent post, especially through reflecting upon the diverging running tactics of Bekele, Sihine and Mathathi. This is where stride rate comes into play. Excellent post. Does anybody else believe the same happens to them? Higher SF requires cross-bridges within the muscles to be built at high rates, and thus these need a high rate of neural activation. It's so much so that no one really measures it except for in the start of a sprint race where they are coming out of the blocks. Cutting 20 seconds of a 5K is easy when the biomechanic factors which induce drift are eliminated in track competition. What is also interesting is that Mathathi who is 1.67m tall and Sihine who is 1.71m tall both had considerably smaller stride lengths than Bekele who is only 1.60m tall. Likewise, I once had a long discussion with a runner who wanted to improve his 800 meter time. Frequency and stride length seem to be inversely proportional. An average runner will have a cadence of about 150 to 170 steps per minute. Seriously, both are equally important. Required fields are marked *. References: Which method of increasing speed generates less impact force with the ground, and increase of stride rate or an increase of stride length? The stride can reduce the resolution of the output, for example reducing the height and width of the output to only \(1/n\) of the height and width of the input (\(n\) is an integer greater than \(1\)). Big enough to see if you can get your stride rate … Does this concept of hip angle/separation really mean proper hip extension? Let’s look at what the elites do. I searched dozens of posts to find any with actual numbers for the stride length. That does make us wonder why the given stride frequency for a given speed (or should we think intensity?) Do you actually believe what you are saying? From my own personal experience, increasing stride rate at the end of a race is easier for me than increasing my stride length. This included Bekele (1st) Sihine (2nd) and Mathathi (3rd). And you think it was minimal? You can draw a … Agreed. It was fostered by Weyend et al.’s early 2000’s study that showed sprint speed was partially determined by vertical Ground reaction forces. Sign up for our twice a month newsletters that are based on  real science, not bro science! In this post, I break down sprinting into Step Frequency and Stride Length in the context of the 100m, 200m, and 400m sprints. As for my comments on Chi or Pose or whatever. Short Swing would be equivalent to a shorter stride length with a high frequency, while long swing would be a long stride with a reduced frequency. This is the only post where you can see what other good runners actually get for stride rate and length – thanks. A very straightforward equation, the kind I like. Say I wanted to do start introducing sessions such as 20x200m or 10x300m in say January once a week at about 60s 400m pace to prepare for indoors (for a sub 14min 5k guy). The Salazar/Ritz piece was a good article. To me, the rate of force delivery and the onset of fatigue are the critical issues affecting speed. Not exactly efficient.If cadence is not height related, then range of motion is inversely related to height. He often says "don't take my word for it, go out and try it for yourself." Somewhere, he had heard that world record holder David Rudisha ran with a stride rate of 220 steps per minute so he thought that was optimal and tried to match that. I think Usain Bolt is a great example of how speed is derived from a combination of stride length and stride frequency. You are helping lots of runners. Padding and stride can be used to adjust the dimensionality of the data effectively. Enter your information below to receive your free training Video. If you want to train runners a certain way and you've had success with it, go for it. A good running stride rate is 85 to 95 single-leg strides per minute— 90 is ideal. It's using science to justify your beliefs instead of looking at the science, research, and practical and forming beliefs off of that. One's running gauge measurement reduces the body's ability to even run straight. The above examples showed that there are several different ways to maintain a steady pace and different ways to increase the pace. The way you run. The Average Inches Per Stride in Running. The problem is they slow their stride rates often by an amount that causes them to slow overall, even with the longer stride length. In his excellent article Understanding Stride Rate and Stride Length, coach Steve Magness considers a study done by Enomoto et al. In order to take any 2d angle measurement worth anything, you have to make sure the camera is exactly parallel to the runner and that the runner is as close to directly in front of the camera when measurements are taken. If this was the case, then running a sub 2 hour marathon wouldn't be that hard. Perhaps that’s what makes Bekele the man to beat on the kick? But what about during maximum speed? Great post Steve and I love the pictures you linked to. I always found it interesting that for decades (and some still do) insisted that cycling at a low RPM was more efficient than a high RPM. It does not take 20-40sec off your 5k. There may be other ways of running we cannot execute right now, but could be conditioned to master, and do better with.Also, Bekele might be more efficient in long stride when he's mainly aerobically. Additionally, there was a study done by a former competitor that shows stride lengths and frequencies of some top notch NCAA Kenyan runners as they went from a slow run to about marathon pace or a notch faster. I'd have more respect for Chi running if it didn't use pseudo-scientific explanations to justify it, and didn't try and bridge a method that seems to be for recreational runners, into the competitive side of the sport. With both Pose and Chi, the whole gravity thing is what I call pseudo-science. Consequently, it is proposed that the SF reliant athletes are required to concentrate on neural activation in their final preparations for the major races and have a nervous system ready such that they can produce the quick turnover of the legs. A study of step length and step frequency. Speed is a function of the frequency and the length of the stride.3-7 These parameters are interdependent and their optimal ratio allows for a maximum running speed.8The increase in speed can be achieved by increasing the length or frequency of the stride. That's ludicrous. Putting it all together To give you guys a visual, I took two screen shots of video I had of myself running. The conclusion, that we're all different and that we utilize different stride length / cadence strategies depending in part on our fatigue is consistent with Matt Fitzgerald's book "Run: The Mind-body Method of Running by Feel" which I recommend. "Tactics" was mentioned which hints that it's a concious decision. If I want to run faster, I need to either take longer steps or take them more quickly. What the current study shows us though is that for some athletes the limiter is not force production, but how quickly an athlete can contract and relax the muscles and ultimately turn the legs over faster. Driving this point home, the author’s stated that “Thus, it is possible to reach the absolute top level of sprinting in the world (run under 10.00 s) with widely varying pattern of SF and SL reliance.”. Over my next two Thursday posts, I’m going to cover what we can do to improve each part of the equation. The bottom line is that something has to change. What I can say with certainty is without the click generator, I tended to slow my rate going up mild hills and increase it going down the same hills. So he went from having the lowest stride rate to the highest by far, thus using an increase in stride rate to increase his speed, while maintaining stride length. Covering more distance while in the air increases your stride length as long as it doesn’t mean you’re covering less distance while on the ground. If you could become adept at using both strides, then you could run the majority of your race in your preferred stride style, but when fatigue started to happen, you’d switch to the other stride style. Stride rate is the number of steps you take on average per minute. Stride Length and Stride Rate are the results of increased speed not the causes of speed. While there are several physical suggestions, guidelines etc…the main point of Chi is to find a comfortable, efficient running stride that will help each individual runner meet there goals and objectives. He couldn’t understand why his repeats slowed when he ran at 220 steps per minute. For sprinters who are powerful athletes and can generate a large amount of force through their stride, they are more likely to cover more ground with each stride, thus being stride length dependent. There is an accompanying video with the article that shows a comparison btw Bekele and Ritz. This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original Blogs. If your stride and frequency push you further off a straight line course, then optimum speed measured in linear distance travelled will be negatively imacted. Championships in Athletics, New Studies in Athletics. You can move your legs at a faster rate, called stride rate or cadence, or you can take longer steps. This simple equation is a staple in sprinting and biomechanics material. The example of what the top runners do was a great help. But when I changed my running, I quickly bested PB's in a big way.Anyway, my frequency is often higher than even lightweight girls and women around me. Bekele had a low stride frequency with a long stride length for the first 9,000m. THe angles mean nothing. The last thing Danny wants is to become an expert on running that people listen to blindly without personal experimentation. Stride length, on the other hand, is the distance from the initial contact point of one foot to the next initial contact point of the same foot. according to this article a good rate would be around the 200 mark which seems pretty big to me and that stays the same if going fast or slow its the stride length that determines speed rather then stride rate. It's certainly beneficial to dissect and analyze different teaching methods. It simply means that to see a change in speed you’ve either got to increase the ground you cover (stride length) or increase your turnover (stride … That being said, I'm not even sure why it is necessary to bring Chi Running into your blog posts. His high-frequency finish may not just be what he uses when the "preferred" technique fatigues away, he may simply not be able to reach such speeds at a relatively low frequency.His relatively low cruising frequency might not point to raw strength after all. Speed, if we’re going to look at the pure mechanics of it, is simply based on two factors: stride length and stride rate. He called them short swing and long swing strides. If it isn't measured, then the original formula can't be right. It's an article though written by someone who has no running background most likely, so it's hard to tell what the exact changes are and such. When I run workouts barefoot on the grass, it seems that my stride frequency naturally increases. Lastly, you have to have a marker to insure that you measure the angles from the same spot in the two comparisons. Great, honest post and very interesting. What this tells me is that he was suffering from the most fatigue and to compensate for the drop in stride rate, he tried to increase his stride length. Obviously when we sprint all out we are trying to maximally optimize the rate/length combination. In a marathon race, one runner is moving at 5.0 m/s passes a second runner moving at 4.5. Hopefully, this clears up some of the ideas you have about what and how we teach. On the other hand, Sihine showed an interesting pattern. It also applies to street running when corners are in opposite to a runner's natural drift tendencies as technique has to change since increasing speed during the curves of any race is impossible to do. Stride rate increased 3.2%, speed increased by about 40%, and stride length increased by 35%. Stride and frequency are determined by skeletal efficiency and how easily the entire body moves. The question is should we individualize based on our preferred method of running? Increasing your stride rate by 10%, say, from 160 to 176 strides per minute is much easier than lengthening your stride by 10%. This is part of the reason why he named his book "Chi Running" as opposed to "The Danny Dreyer Formula". We are working to find principles that work for about 80% of people. The following exercise explains how you can calculate the stride length and stride frequency of a runner on a treadmill. (2010) Elite Sprinting: Are Athletes Individually Step Frequency or Step Length Reliant? It simply means that to see a change in speed you’ve either got to increase the ground you cover (stride length) or increase your turnover (stride frequency) or some combination of the two. Stride rate seems to be the most important element (Upjohn et al., 2008) Three-Dimensional Kinematics of the Lower Limb during forward ice hockey skating. A sprinters velocity is determined by stride length and stride frequency. In the second edition of his Running Formula, legendary coach Jack Daniels explains, "Almost all elite distance runners (both men and women) … 2020 in review (and a quick 2021 preview). For reference they went from hitting around 2:42-2:45 for each km to final km of 2:30, 2:33, and 2:36 respectively, and had last laps of 55.51, 58.66, and 62.16 so the pace picked up considerably. If you are a Chi Running proponent, your answer will be stride length, as Danny Dreyer says to keep the frequency constant while only changing length. I’m sorry and it pains me to say this about some people who I greatly respect but they are wrong. I have a stride rate of about 165 steps per minute this goes up or down buy a few if i speed up or slow down. It seems like I rest the neural component for most of the race because in most races I can turn it over quickly in the last 600-800m. What's your opinion on the recently Salazar/Ritz article discussing his form changes? Possibly without even realizing, we often see people focus on one to the detriment of the other. Or, with a more balanced stride during his prime, could he have run even faster than 9.58 seconds at 100 meters and 19.19 seconds at 200 meters? Thanks for a great article. skating stride … I wonder if there is a way to "feel" whether your body prefers a longer SL or a faster SF? It can be, but it has to measured correctly, which is where the SOMAX people go wrong. Step length is the distance from the initial contact point of one foot to the initial contact point of your other foot. Running Stride Rate. His stride frequency is about equal to his competitors, but his stride is so much longer thanks to those long legs of his. I do think you could improve in your approach as you seem to be more emotional about Chi than scientific. In the study, they found that individual athletes differed in their reliance on stride length. It’s even more simple. Great food for thought, thanks for sharing.Preference may be more a product of what one is accustomed to doing rather than best built for. The difference between the top runners and the others was that the best runners took longer strides. There seems to be a lot of connections that you can make with cycling. Calculating the Distance of 10 Steps Pick a starting place and mark it with an item. Sport Jester- Sorry, no mean spirit intended, but you sound like those SOMAX guys who think bounce, crossover are what is keeping americans from running sub 2hr marathon. The result is a rate (fraction) of feet per second. whenfrequency of stride increases the length gets shortened. Flow- An increase in stride length seems to cause more impact. Watching myself jog in the shop windows' reflection is looks silly and weak. Danny has helped me and many others to break away from a lot of the dogma in the running community and explore other options outside of the conventional discourse. I understand that too much anaerobic work can alter the blood ph; esp if one was to do that kind of work for a long amount of time. Lastly, Mathathi, who had the shortest stride length, increased his stride length on the 3rd to last lap to increase his speed. The following week, I’ll focus on stride rate. What you get is a "stride angle" of 71deg and 111deg on the same run, going the same speed, depending on the camera angle…So you see how it's easy for them to manipulate angles to prove their point? Your email address will not be published. If optimum running form isn't measured or described, then optimum speed will never be achieved. Getting there slowly . Right handed runners (and the majority) as athletes drift to the left because of side dominance in strength, so that drift is taken advantage of to maximize times. Speed=stride lengthX frequency/running gauge measurementsXdrift rate. You need to enter a valid Mailchimp API key. Is the hip angle/separation legit, I see you mentioned SOMAX in your above post and they describe a similiar hip angle comparison btw Sammy W. and Hall & Ritz, SOMAX also has another article describing hip angle with various UK runners showing that Coe and Cram had the 100+ degree as oppose to their recent runners that were in the 85-90 range. More study necessary , If an athlete's height is no factor to stride frequency, perhaps calf length or girth is?I am 6ft4 and have switched from 145spm to much higher, while getting rid of heel strike which ruined my body and had me given up by a sports doc. Do they do this explicitly ie are they conciously aware and thinking "now I'll increase my stride length/ frequency" Or are they less conciously aware of the mechanics and just aiming to run faster and doing that in naturally different ways? STRIDE LENGTH VS. Thus, my range of motion is tiny. There's a reason that it's not in the research literature at all, because it's not a big factor .Mark- Thanks for the comment, I'm reading that book right now. But what is it that changes when we go faster? It has nothing to do with stride length or frequency. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold! So if you run in the 100 to 400 meters, you may want to measure your stride length and compare it to typical averages. Igloi believed that runners had a natural stride they preferred, but then should use their “unnatural” stride during heavy fatigue. What is really interesting is that on the last two laps, Mathathi’s stride frequency, which was the highest during the race, decreased slightly, while he increased his stride length significantly on the last lap. Your drift rate cost you a chance for National competition…. There is improvement but there is also a risk of body injury (such as the groin)with higher stride length. Which is huge. 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