Tips to improve your running stride from an Ultra Marathon runner

For most blokes, running a marathon is a pretty big deal, but for Kieron Douglass, it’s a warm up. In the last three years, this machine has completed a 200km run from the Gold Coast to Brisbane. He’s run for 30 hours and 40 hours straight around Brisbane, and he’s completed a 12 hour run on a treadmill, all to raise money for Juiced TV and the Children’s Hospital Foundation. We think this makes him the ideal man to offer advice on how to hone your skills as a runner.

Whether you’re a pro or just starting out; here’s Kieron’s tips for mastering your stride – one of the most important skills of any runner.

The distance between your toes on one foot to your toes on your other foot, your stride is a tricky beast to master and really depends on the type of runner you are, but here are a few tips that will put you in good stead:

  1. Maintain a short stride - Don’t try to lengthen your stride by reaching forward with your foot. This is classed as overstriding, which will in time cause injury.
  2. Keep your knees in line - Make sure your foot strikes under your knee and not in front of it, which can cause injury. This is especially important when running downhill.
  3. Watch your elbows - Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees or less.
  4. Relax your hands - Keep hands loose and below your chest. Make sure your hands don’t cross your midline. Relax your hands as much as possible as you will find yourself using unnecessary energy clenching your fists. Pay attention to this when you’re carrying something like an iPod or taking your dog for a run holding the leash. Make sure you switch hands from time to time.
  5. Work your core - When going for regular runs it’s important to put some effort into your core strength, particularly your glutes and abdominal muscles. A strong core makes it easier to stay upright even when you’re tired. Avoid leaning too far forward from your hip. It’s all about preventing an injury and getting you running longer and faster.

Put these tips into practice next time to hit the pavement and let us know if you notice a difference! Happy Running!