Here we go again.
Running is meant to be simple. Just put one foot in front of the other.
It all boils down to stride rate and stride frequency. Optimize the 2 forces, horizontal and vertical, and cover ground as fast as possible. Simple.
In the distance world, I recall former WR holder in the marathon Derek Clayton of Australia used a “shuffle” style of running as it produced a better running economy.
In sprinting, we saw Michael Johnson and his awkward upright style with a fast cadence. 4 years later, we saw twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison used a similar style of running.
For MJ, this style was best for him to avoid injuries (though you wouldn’t say that based on his 1997 appearance at the Skydome)
It’s all about adapting to your body type.
Is increasing stride rate better to decrease injuries?
This study think so.
From Effects of Step Rate Manipulation on Joint Mechanics during Running (Heiderscheit, Bryan C.; Chumanov, Elizabeth S.; Michalski, Max P.; Wille, Christa M.; Ryan, Michael B.)
Purpose: The objective of this study was to characterize the biomechanical effects of step rate modification during running on the hip, knee and ankle joints, so as to evaluate a potential strategy to reduce lower extremity loading and risk for injury.
Methods: Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were recorded from 45 healthy recreational runners during treadmill running at constant speed under various step rate conditions (preferred, +/- 5% and +/- 10%). We tested our primary hypothesis that a reduction in energy absorption by the lower extremity joints during the loading response would occur, primarily at the knee, when step rate was increased.
Results: Less mechanical energy was absorbed at the knee (p<0.01) during the +5% and +10% step rate conditions, while the hip (p<0.01) absorbed less energy during the +10% condition only. All joints displayed substantially (p<0.01) more energy absorption when preferred step rate was reduced by 10. Step length (p<0.01), center of mass vertical excursion (p<0.01), breaking impulse (p<0.01) and peak knee flexion angle (p<0.01) were observed to decrease with increasing step rate. When step rate was increased 10% above preferred, peak hip adduction angle (p<0.01), as well as peak hip adduction (p<0.01) and internal rotation (p<0.01) moments, were found to decrease.
Conclusion: We conclude that subtle increases in step rate can substantially reduce the loading to the hip and knee joints during running and may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of common running-related injuries.
(C) 2010The American College of Sports Medicine