What Is The Average Stride Length In Competitive Running

Your efficiency in competitive running, especially for long distances, relies on your stride length and stride rate. However, a sad reality is that most runners do not have any idea how to measure the length of their steps. So, by using the average running stride length and the formula, you can have an estimate of your stride length.


Factors To Consider For Stride Length

#1 Strides Depend On Distance

average running stride length

Short distances call for long strides. In fact, during the 1984 Olympics, females shown off stride lengths averaging up to 4 feet and 10 inches during a marathon. Then, the longer stride duration of this women averaging up to 6 feet and 8 inches during the 800 meter-run.

Also, men had long strides during the short distances. It covers an average of at least 7 feet and 9 inches with every stride in the 800-meter run. Then, an average of 6 feet and 8 inches in the 10K-run.

#2 The Runner’s Height

average running stride length

Moreover, a lot of experts analyze the stride length in runners through their size. In fact, some coaches claimed in a 1970 research that the average stride length was equivalent to 1.14 to 1.17 times the sprinter’s height.

Another study performed tracked that stride length is equal to 1.35 times the runner’s height. In a research study published in 2011 proved that the taller the athletes were, the more naturally longer their strides were.

#3 Enough Energy For Longer Strides

average running stride length

For long strides, you need to use more energy. So, fitter sprinters may manage to have longer strides than non-fit individuals. Also, it relies on your flexibility and hip mobility.

If you are not able to acquire a full ROM of your hips, then you will not step forward. Another factor that counts in your stride length is the strength of your glute muscles. A firm butt will your leg muscles behind after you take a big leap forward.

#4 Stride Rate Also Counts

average running stride length

Runner’s stride rates vary from one another. However, they are usually within 20 to 30 steps each minute. Even though stride length plays an important role to enhance speed, you should also increase your stride rate. It will make your runs more efficient.

A lot of pro runners elicit increased stride rates between 180 to 200 steps every minute. It only means that their strides are short enough that they can land their feet on them.

According to some research studies, the average recreational runner can go up to at least 150 to 170 steps each minute. But this is not the standard stride rate. When a runner has a slow pace, his feet may hand ahead of him.

So, he has to use his muscles to pull forward and finish his runs. Longer but slower strides boost the risk of acquiring injuries. You spend most of your time in the air and can even land harder with every step.

#5 Taking Slower Pace And Longer Steps

average running stride length

While some sprinters attempt to enhance their running skills to lengthen their strides, longer strides may make a braking force. It increases your risk of injuries.

In fact, a lot of runners find increasing their stride lengths cause their stride rate more efficient. Also, you should have a slower pace to increase your overall speed.

#6 Measuring Your Average Stride Length

average running stride length

You can measure your stride length from heel to heel. It determines how far you can walk or run with every step. According to experts, on average, men’s stride length is 2.5 feet or 30 inches.

On the other hand, women’s stride length is about 2.2 feet or 26.4 inches. People with longer legs usually have increased stride lengths than those with shorter legs.

#7 Computing Your Average Stride Length

average running stride length

The fastest method to calculate your pace is to go to an athletic facility that has a 400-meter track. Then, make sure that it has precise markings that display the intermediary distances.

After your warm up, you may run a circuit at your usual pace over your average distance. You may start with 100, 200, or even 400 meters. Also, you must count each step.

The next thing to do is to divide the distance by the measures you have taken to find your meters per stride. It is a measure often utilized by exercise experts and researchers to figure out the average pace. You have to switch from meters to inches through multiplying the result by 39.3.


There are lots of factors to consider when increasing your stride length. For competitive running, what they need to remember is that the stride lengths vary from one runner to another.

You can live with a standard to decent results of stride length. However, when your stride rate is under 180 steps each minute, you need to work on applying a lighter and faster pace.

If you ever wonder why men are quite faster than the women at every sprint distance, it is not about their stride rates. But, what matters the most is the stride length.

For runners to have efficient runs, men should have the stride length of 2.5 feet or 30 inches. For women, their stride length should be 2.2 feet or 26.4 inches. Thus, an athlete’s stride length makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to running competitions.

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