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Overstriding in Running: How to Correct and Prevent It

Welcome to our physical therapy blog! Today, we'll be discussing a common issue that many runners face: overstriding. Overstriding occurs when a runner extends their stride too far ahead of their body's center of gravity, leading to a range of problems including increased risk of injury and decreased running efficiency. Fortunately, with proper techniques and exercises, overstriding can be corrected and prevented. In this article, we'll delve into the causes, consequences, and practical tips to help you improve your running form and optimize your performance.

Understanding Overstriding:

Overstriding refers to the act of landing with your foot far ahead of your body while running. This often results in a forceful heel strike and excessive braking, leading to a host of issues. When you overstride, your joints endure increased impact, putting you at a higher risk of developing injuries such as shin splints, knee pain, and stress fractures. Moreover, the inefficiency of overstriding leads to wasted energy and slower running speeds, hindering your overall performance.

Correcting Overstriding:

1. Focus on Stride Length: Train your body to adopt a shorter, quicker stride. Aim for a cadence of around 170-180 steps per minute. This adjustment helps ensure that your feet land underneath your body's center of gravity, promoting a more efficient running form and reducing the likelihood of overstriding.

2. Midfoot/Forefoot Landing: Instead of landing with a forceful heel strike, strive to land with a midfoot or forefoot strike. This shift in foot placement can reduce the braking force and impact on your joints, enhancing your overall running experience.

3. Strengthen Lower Body Muscles: Engaging in exercises that target your hips, glutes, and core can significantly contribute to correcting overstriding. Strengthening these muscle groups improves your stability and control while running, enabling you to maintain proper form and prevent overstriding.

4. Seek Professional Guidance: Consider consulting a physical therapist or running coach who can provide expert guidance and assess your running form. They can offer personalized exercises and feedback to help you correct overstriding more effectively.

Preventing Overstriding:

Prevention is key when it comes to overstriding. By following these simple tips, you can minimize the risk of falling back into old habits:

- Gradually increase running mileage and intensity to allow your body to adapt and strengthen.

- Listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Overtraining can lead to poor form and increased chances of overstriding.

- Incorporate cross-training activities such as cycling or swimming to improve overall fitness and reduce running-related imbalances.

Overstriding can hinder your running performance and increase the risk of injuries. By focusing on stride length, foot placement, muscle strength, and seeking professional guidance, you can correct overstriding and prevent it from resurfacing. Remember, running is a lifelong journey, and practicing proper running form is crucial for long-term success. Embrace these techniques, be patient with your progress, and enjoy the benefits of efficient running and injury prevention. Lace up those running shoes and embark on your journey towards better form and improved performance!

Are you still unsure if you are running with proper mechanics? Or do you need help correcting known issues with you running form? If the answer is yes, click the butting below to contact us so that we can help you get back to running pain free.


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