If you want to run faster, finish races stronger, and hold consistent paces, you need to work on run form!
Most runners have a run form that limits their ability to run faster. As a Physical Therapist and running coach, I identify it as a “closed stride,” but most runners know it as shuffling.
So why is it slower?
A closed stride is like a rubbing brake on a bike. With each revolution of your leg, power is lost, and you need to work harder to maintain speed.
As each mile passes, a rubbing brake wears on you. Speed drops and your fatigue spikes.
The same is true when you run with a closed and shuffling stride. Each stride is limited on how far you can “travel” (your rubbing brake). Quite literally, you’re putting your foot down before you had a chance to move down the road.
I use this example with my runners:
Imagine adding just one inch of “travel” to your stride — meaning you went one inch further on every step.
Think about how that would translate across a 5K, half marathon, and beyond.
With every step, you spend more time accelerating and moving forward, have less interaction with the ground (fewer injuries), and you’ll take FEWER STEPS to travel the same distance.
Most runners fail to break away from a closed and shuffling stride.
It gets worse. The problem magnifies when you start to get tired. A 2021 study found that their ground contact time increased by 4.0% as runners fatigue, and their flight time decreased by 3.2%.
What does that mean? Runners fail to “travel” when tired; the stride “closes.” With each pacing mile, the pace slows.
Luckily, learning to open your stride can be used to tap into newfound speed and paces.
This post from April after her half marathon is a perfect example of what opening your stride can do for your running:
April cut 10 minutes off her half marathon by learning to open her stride with a knee drive.
Learning knee drive opens your stride and allows you run faster with better control of your pace — even as you fatigue!
The best part?
An open stride gets you better and more consistent results without training harder or running more miles.
However, there’s a downside to learning this new running style: it doesn’t come naturally.
It requires you to break some bad habits and fix muscle imbalances that slow you down.
But just like a golfer can improve their swing or a swimmer can improve their stroke– runners can improve their stride.
Starting Sunday, August 1st, I’ll be teaching all the secrets to run faster through run form in Kneed for Speed, a four-week run form bootcamp.
Kneed for Speed teaches runners how to improve their run form, open their stride, and run faster.
The bootcamp starts on August 1st and is only available once per year!
Here’s what’s included in Kneed for Speed:
- Lifetime access to training, drills, exercises, and audio runs to go at your own pace or revisit in the future
- Four weekly video training sessions that teach you the exact system I use to improve your running form for increasing speed and pace control
- Learn “Figure-4” running that allows you to NATURALLY to open your stride and break away from shuffling
- Find how to “Dial On Your Speed” for complete control of your pace — even when you’re tired
- Print the Step-by-Step PDF guide to accompany videos to keep you organized and on track
- Support from me and my team with live weekly Q&A sessions to get your questions answered
- Get stronger and more flexible to support your new form with weekly drills and exercises.
- A community of other runners to train with and learn from who are also improving their run form
To also help you, a few bonuses are available for runners that sign up before August 1st:
- Foam Rolling Seminar: ($99 Value) Dust off your foam roller and learn how to get maximum results from your foam roll and target key areas for runners
- FINISH STRONG: eBook & Seminar: ($116 value)- Get my actual ebook and coaching seminar on your favorite device and learn other run form changes you can use on race day to finish races strong and change your mindset — this is a great compliment to Kneed for Speed
The Kneed for Speed bootcamp is designed to fit easily into any training or running plan without adding a lot of time.
The total cost of the Kneed for Speed Bootcamp and bonuses is only $197 for all four weeks, including the $215 of bonuses for free.
Use this green button to learn more and sign up:
If you want to run faster – without having to risk injury by training harder — this 4-week run form Bootcamp is perfect for you.
I hope to see you on August 1st with the rest of the group!
Steve Gonser PT DPT