Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Ever wondered just what it takes to run a marathon? Well, in addition to months of training, laser-focused discipline, and countless hours that you’re willing to dedicate to training… you have to have a great stride.
If you investigate the question, “How many steps do you take in a marathon?” you’ll get a wide range of answers from about 33,000 to 55,000. Whatever end of the spectrum you land on, the truth of the matter is the same: that’s a lot of steps. And having a stride that’s even just a little bit off can result in serious pain or injury when compounded tens of thousands of times.
It’s no wonder that marathon runners – and runners in general – focus so much on their stride. After all, perfecting your stride during the training process can have a huge impact on your performance and well-being come race day!
How to Maximize Your Stride
A new infographic from the Mayo Clinic helps marathon runners understand how they can correct their running stride for maximum results. We’ve reposted the full infographic below. Here are the highlights:
- It’s important to look forward when running. Obviously, this helps you see where you’re going, but it’s also a key way to stay in balance.
- Lift your chest up and out. This creates more room for lung expansion, allowing you to breathe more deeply.
- Keep your head and shoulders in alignment to minimize torso rotation. Rotation wastes energy – and you need all of it when running a marathon!
- Keep your hands at waist level. Move comfortably, and focus on propelling forward. Avoid side-to-side movement. Again, this kind of movement wastes energy and leads to early exhaustion.
- Strike with your midfoot. A proper strike begins with the knees. Avoid striking on the forefoot or heel, which can increase risk of injury.
- Bend your knee slightly. Your foot should be directly below your knee. Focus on driving your knees forward, not up. Too much upward motion expends unnecessary energy.
Need help putting these tips into practice? Talk to a running coach or your Houston sports medicine doctor to learn more!
Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
For more information about healthy running habits, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.