Host: Dr. Matt Minard

Episode Summary

Dr. Matt Minard, the owner of Learn 2 Run, is a Physical Therapist who enjoys both the physical and mental benefits of running. He is passionate about helping others run safely.

In this episode, Dr. Minard discusses overstriding, with emphasis on understanding and identifying it. The aim is to offer runners application strategies for executing efficient mechanics for a better run.

Overstriding is slowing down your runs and hurting you

Top Takeaways

  • “Did you know the time you are least likely to overstride is at 12:30?”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “The problem with shortening up your stride is it becomes extremely inefficient”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “It’s okay to land on your heel, but I don’t want you to load through your heel”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]

Episode Highlights

  • [00:22] Intro
  • [01:36] This week’s topic is overstriding
  • [02:45] What is overstriding?
  • [05:06] What is a stride?
  • [10:23] How to identify when a runner is overstriding. 
  • [19:04] What do we do about overstriding?

Episode Notes

The purpose of this podcast is to share valuable information to help you run safer and more often. Listeners get to decide every two weeks, which topic will be discussed on the podcast. Voting occurs on Dr. Minard’s Instagram. The topic for this week is “overstriding.” One of the major takeaways of this episode is for listeners to learn how to lengthen their stride. Applying this knowledge in your mechanics is so important.

What is overstriding?

While there is no agreed definition or measurement for overstriding, most people agree that it is bad. Overstriding is often defined as landing too far in front of your center of mass thus slowing you down. However, this raises questions about the center of mass itself or what is defined as “too far from the center of mass.” Nonetheless, there is a belief that you should shorten your stride. Dr. Minard defines overstriding as loading or leaning in such a way that slows the runner down. Another word Dr. Minard would use for overstriding is braking, as in slowing down.

What happens when we overstride?


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Braking or overstriding slows us down decreasing your potential speed.

A stride is simply a measurement of the distance between steps. The problem with shortening your stride is that it becomes very inefficient. The faster you go, the greater the step length hence if you’re shortening your stride you have to do more work by taking more steps; traveling the same distance in fewer steps is just more efficient.

Overstriding can also result in knee pain or shin splints because anytime that you are slowing yourself down, you are putting a tremendous amount of stress and load on your body.

How can I tell if I’m overstriding?


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To see if someone is overstriding, record a side-view video of them running and locate the “initial contact.” Initial contact is described as the exact moment at which the foot first makes contact with the ground, right after both feet were mid-air. To be more specific, the aim is to find out when the body weight is loaded through the foot to the ground. This point is called Initial Foot Flat or IFF. If this occurs in front of the body, that will slow the runner down and they are overstriding.

Another way to assess for overstriding is to check if the tibia bone and torso are parallel. If they are not, or if they are backward then the runner is being slowed down.

Based on the posture of a person when running, it is possible to tell when they are overstriding. A runner who is not leaning appropriately would be landing in such a way that slows them down. As such, simply learning the proper posture increases the chances of success.

How to run without overstriding

Male runner sprinting on a track

In episode 2 of this podcast, Dr. Minard discusses posture in detail, with emphasis on the “hankle.” Which is to say, hinging at the ankle, not the hips. Picture this, you are standing straight up with your head aligned with a clock at 12:00. In this position, you are not leaning forward, so if you were to take a step your weight isn’t forward and you are forced to land in front of your body, which is overstriding.

The first thing to work on in overstriding is teaching the right posture which starts with leaning forward and hinging at the ankle. Leaning too far forward may lead to changing the position of the head from 12:00 to 1:00 which would require hinging at the hips. Leaning forward with the weight at the hips also pushes the center of mass backward which still forces you to land in front. It is commonly seen when people land on their heels and load from it too. Instead, the aim is to achieve a 12:30 position by hinging at the ankle.

Another simple way to confirm you’re using the appropriate posture is to try running with a short shirt tucked in. If the back of the shirt gets untucked while running, that’s a sign that you are hinging at the hips. You want the shirt to stay tucked in while running.

It is also possible to hear when we are overstriding by using earplugs when running. You will hear a noise your landing makes while running. This noise is much louder when you’re overstriding or braking. The reason it sounds so loud is that the sound is conducted from the feet through the bone upwards to the head. What you want to do is minimize this noise as much as possible.

“Running is all about moving forward and if we want to move forward, we need to be leaning from the ankles,” says Dr. Minard.


Find | Dr. Matt Minard’s LEARN 2 RUN