Am I overstriding and is it hurting my speed and health?

Overstriding is a common running form flaw that can cause pain and increase the risk of injuries. It occurs when the foot lands too far in front of the runner’s body. Often this is accompanied by a severe heel strike, which can cause issues like knee or hip pain.

While elite runners typically land about 33 cm in front of their body’s center of mass (often close to the navel), many runners feet hit the ground far ahead of this point, causing them to overstride. So how can you improve your running form to prevent overstriding?

Fix overstriding with these running form tips

Increasing cadence is one of the most effective methods to reduce overstriding. Listening to music with a faster beat can help increase your running cadence. Research suggests an ideal (racing or tempo run) cadence is around 180 steps per minute, though many elite runners possess cadences of up to 200 steps per minute. However, it is important to increase your cadence no more than 5-10% at a time to avoid injury.

Another way to reduce overstriding is to incorporate running drills into your training. These drills can help you improve your coordination and get a feel for a proper stride.

Training on an incline can also help build muscle memory and naturally place your feet closer to your body. It is nearly impossible to overstrike while running uphill. Hill repeats, e.g. 5-10 sets of 1-2 min’s of uphill running while jogging down as a recovery are a great exercise. They will not just improve your running form and strength but also train your endurance at the same time.

Lastly, reducing the amount of cushioning in your sneakers can discourage overstriding. Extensive cushioning tends to encourage the heel strike associated with overstriding.

If you feel like you have been overstriding, Movaia’s running form analysis can diagnose many elements of your running form including whether you sweep your feet back far enough, your cadence and how your foot lands. The Movaia running form analysis also incorporates corrective exercises and strengthening techniques to help you become faster and more injury resistant. Upload your videos today!