So let’s get back to analyzing my run form. I’ve already looked at forward lean and foot strike, so today I will try and cover the rest of what’s going on with my legs. The next post will look at my hips and shoulder’s while I run.
Leg extension is measured by how far behind the body your leg extends during the recovery phase of your running stride. A good angle is somewhere between 18 and 30 degrees (from vertical), with closer to 30 being optimal. The further you extend the leg behind the body, the closer your heal comes to hitting your butt. This high-recovery leads to a faster recovery and more than likely a faster cadence.
|My leg extension is 30 degrees
It’s also important to look at the angle of your leg striding forward. Stride angle is mainly a function of leg and hip flexibility. For every degree you increase your stride angle, you increase stride length by two percent. The key to faster running is higher cadence and longer strides. My stride angle is horrible. Poor flexibility is what keeps me from increasing this angle. Tight hamstrings, quads and hips are to blame.
|My stride angle is only 73 degrees
|World-class marathoner Ryan Hall has a 90 degree stride angle
Another key factor regarding stride is the over-stride angle. It’s the angle of your front leg when your foot first touches the ground. As I mentioned in a previous post, landing under your hips is critical to efficient running. A positive angle is bad, slightly negative is good. I’m at +16 degrees…ouch!
|+16 degrees from vertical…not good.
|A much more ideal landing angle
So while there are several more things that I could break down about my stride, I think I’ve covered enough. There are some good things and some bad things about my running form. The goal is to work on one thing at a time. I won’t be able to (nor should I try) to change everything. But the goal is to become more efficient and faster, so achieving this goal will require me making the effort to improve!
Be sure and visit all of my sponsor’s websites. I sought out these companies because the provide great products and services. I’ll have some posts coming up soon discussing what each company has to offer runners/triathletes…you may be surprised!