Question: How Can I Improve My Stride Turnover?
"I've heard that improving my stride turnover can make me a faster runner. What exactly is stride turnover and how can I improve it?"
Answer: Your stride turnover, or stride frequency, is how many steps you take during a minute of running. For most runners, stride turnover stays the same at various paces and speed changes are accomplished by altering their stride length.
The most efficient runners have a high stride turnover -- about 180 steps per minute. Running with quick, short steps uses less energy than long strides, decreases the stress on the muscles, and minimizes the impact on your joints. So, yes, improving your stride turnover is beneficial and can help you become a more efficient, faster runner.
Here's a drill to help improve your stride turnover: Start by running at about your 5K pace for 30 seconds and counting every time your right foot hits the ground. Then jog for a minute to recover and run for 30 seconds again, this time trying to increase the count by one. Repeat this several times, and try to add another step each time.
As you're trying to increase your turnover rate, focus on taking quick, light steps. Pick your feet up as soon they hit the ground, as if you're stepping on hot coals. Your feet should be landing under your hips, not in front of you.
Also see: Running Songs at 180 BPM