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Lengthen your stride when running? Maybe not, BYU study says

Lengthen your stride when running? Maybe not, BYU study says (Photo: Pixbaby / MGN)

(KUTV) You may have heard the phrase, lengthen your stride.

A new study from Brigham Young University shows when it comes to running, that may not be such a good idea.

That study, authored by BYU professors Iain Hunter and Jared Ward, suggests the best thing to do is simply stop thinking about how you look when you run.

“It seems like runners -- even inexperienced runners -- do a really good job at naturally finding that stride that's most efficient,” said Ward, a former BYU standout runner who recently placed sixth in the marathon at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Ward still runs about 100 miles a week. Hunter is also an active runner, planning to compete soon in the Track and Field World Championships in London.

The duo’s study said trying to unnaturally lengthen or shorten a stride can lead to less-than-desirable results for runners.

“In terms of just going out and someone wanting to know what their stride should look like,” said Ward, “it probably should look like what it does.”

Ward hopes his stride will eventually lead to an Olympic medal. But he says ever runner –- world class or not –- can benefit from just leaving their stride alone.

“Just let it happen,” Ward said.

If you want to read more about the study, click here.

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