THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRIDE LENGTH AND INJURY IN TRAINED COLLEGIATE RUNNERS.
METHODS: Seven collegiate runners (three male, four female, age 19.71 +/- 1.11, wt. 141.86 +/-20.99) ran at a self-selected pace and were videotaped for two full strides, with a Canon ZR850 Mini-DV video camera capturing the stride from the side. Runners completed surveys to document current and past leg injuries. Data on years running, miles per week, age, height, and weight was also collected. Videotape was digitized using Kinematics Analysis Video software (Schleihauf, 2004).
RESULTS: A negative high correlation between stride length and injury was found in the runners. A Pearson correlation test resulted in a -.607 coefficient, signifying that a shorter stride length was associated with increased injury rate.
CONCLUSIONS: There are many other factors to consider when a runner sustains a running injury, including anatomical structure, training, and other biomechanical factors. Runners using their own self-selected stride length may have other issues contributing to their injury rate. Most runners should be encouraged to run with a form that feels the most natural to them.