Are You Overstriding
Overstriding is a common among runners of all abilities. I’d like to give you a short insight into the common contributors of over-striding and why it reduces performance and increases the chances of injury.
It’s all in the hips. The hips and muscles around the hips take a lot of flack for knee running related injuries. From ITB to hamstring tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain, the hip musculature have a role to play.
During the running cycle, when we pick our trail leg off the ground and fold it under our hips (knee flexion – the hamstring are working to flex the knee, shortening the lever and reducing the amount of work the hip flexors have to do to bring the leg through into flexion). By picking up our heels more (increased knee and hip flexion), this allows the hip flexors to bring the leg through with a higher knee drive and increasing the flight phase(time you are off the ground) and stride length.
If you fail to bring the heel up adequately you don’t get the required amount of knee drive and hence you tend to flick the lower leg out in front of you to achieve your stride length. This is often described as landing your foot in front of your centre of mass. However landing under your centre of mass is very difficult and a more tolerable marker is to have your foot land under your knee.
Overstriding reduces your forward momentum as you are essentially braking as you land. This reduces running economy, so you have to work harder to move forward. It also increases the load on the knee as we understand is one of the major contributors to knee pain.
In following posts I will be discussing how to combat overstrinding and identifying some great drills to incorporate into your routine.