Improving running speed and time are the most neglected parts of running training. However, there does not seem to be a clear consensus, and studies seem to be split on which one is more important at an ELITE level. However, they are usually within 20 to 30 steps each minute. This can be done by running with short and quick strides. Most training out there is geared towards training for stride frequency. You can move your legs at a faster rate, called stride rate or cadence, or you can take longer steps. Stride rate describes how fast strides are taken and the units are strides per time. I sent Alex a paper (Weyand et al., 2000) I had just read on the topic, and he posted a graph (see above right) from that paper showing that initial increases in speed seem to occur more-so by manipulating stride length, whereas achieving top speed seems to involve increases in stride rate once stride length … “Stride rate is the number of strides taken in a given amount of time or distance,  while stride length is the distance covered in one stride, during running. Though, I have done very little experimenting. They compared men and women. There are different viewpoints regarding the importance of stride length and stride frequency when acquiring maximum speed, as well as maintaining it. Velocity – The left column is velocity measured in meters per second. Ok, explaining stride length is easy. Stride length. A person’s stride length can vary depending on their height, hip mobility, and general fitness. 75-Mann, R. The Mechanics of Sprinting. if at all possible and as with any sort of speed work, always be sure and do a good warm-up first. An elite runner counts about 180 steps per minute. Stride Length Definition. Just like in the Weyand study I shared with you at the very beginning of the article. I discuss Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, and some of the best sprinters of all time. Shorter, faster strides allow you to run more efficiently with less impact on your joints. Whether it be that some  possess greater stride length through phenomenal hip and overall strength and  power, or others have incredible muscle recruitment speed which enables a  superior stride rate, the permanent suggestion at this level is inconclusive at this  point. The most efficient stride length is the innate one – the one you feel most at ease with. The final section is for slowly easing back down to either a walk or slow jog. Perhaps because it is a relatively easy fix compared to stepping up your stride length. 24-Contreras B, Beardsley C. The Optimal Athlete: Sprinting. They reported that male sprinters rely more on stride length, while females rely on greater stride rate. Researchers came to the conclusion that some of the runners relied upon greater stride length compensation while other relied on stride rate. It is approximately 2.1 to 2.5 times leg length. Too few strides/min (less than 180ish) may result in a longer stride or heel striking position. 37-Weyand PG, Sternlight DB, Bellizzi MJ, and Wright S. Journal of Applied Physiology 89:1991‐1999, 2000. Now that we have all of the science out of the way you can clearly see that for anyone who isn’t an “elite” sprinter and that would be the less than one percent in the world, everyone else is going to need to hone both products of acceleration and speed to be most successful. The difference that makes the difference for the elite is their stride length. In Medicine & Science in  Sports & Exercise, 2011, Salo, Bezodis, Batterham, and Kerwin analyzed 11 elite male  100  meter runners from Olympic, World, and European Championships. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 43: 1055‐1062, 2011. For anything less, you want a solid combination of both elements. Basically, strides can be done anywhere you find room to safely do about 15 seconds of faster paced running. There is an abundance of advice on how to improve your stride rate. The longer the stride, the faster they run. Most training out there is geared towards training for stride frequency. In this case you just need to build awareness and cue them of a faster response to get the limbs moving the way that they need to be. So to go faster, we want to eventually increase our stride length as well. Causes of speed: Determinants of performance in high‐level male and female athletes but an ideal stride! 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