As you’re all tired of reading from me this summer, my runs have not been going well. I had made such progress, felt stronger, and then my wedding and this summer kicked my butt.
A result of all this is reevaluating my running, trying to see how I can best improve my strength, endurance and time. Practically everything I’ve read seems to say that shorter strides are better. That taking too long of a stride exerts more energy, puts more wear and tear on your muscles, can cause injuries, etc.
My trainer on the other hand, every time he gets me on a treadmill as part of our program yells at me (ok, he doesn’t yell, he comments) that I should take longer strides. I am 5’9″ and most of that is leg. I naturally have a long step when I walk, but when I run, I shorten up it, whether its a natural thing or because it was drilled into my brain that shorter is better. My trainer tells me the exact opposite of what I’ve read. That by using a shorter stride, I’m exerting more energy because I have to use more steps to cover the same distance. I have long legs and I should use them.
Obviously, I would never use a long stride for a hill because I can see how that would be dangerous and I could injure myself in the process. But, on my flat runs, should I be trying to take longer strides? I can see how both strides exert “more energy.” Short strides force me to take more steps, long strides force me to carry my legs out farther.
My trainer, as good as he is at overall fitness, he’s not a running coach. OK, he can go out and run a “quick and easy 10 miles” but that doesn’t make him more knowledgeable in terms of the best way to run. Maybe I’m misunderstanding him, maybe he just means that my strides are too short and I should be taking longer strides as opposed to just long strides.
I don’t know. I’m so confused. Anyone have an opinion or any experience on this? :/