It’s 5k Season!

It’s spring time and that means the season of 5k runs is upon us. For a lot of us, that means lacing up the shoes and taking to the road to get in shape and hopefully crush our PR from last season.

Whether we’re trying to shake off the rust, or truly get into competitive running shape, we all would like to be faster runners…but how do we become faster runners? In this article you’ll learn how chiropractic care can help increase your stride angle, which can dramatically improve your speed and this year’s medal count.

Speed and Pace

A runner’s speed is determined by the length of his or her stride multiplied by the number of strides per minute. An ideal running pace is 180 strides per minute. Runners can practice finding their current pace and working up from where they currently are to 180 strides per minute.

Hips Don’t Lie

This leaves us to address the length of the runner’s stride. This length is a function of the runner’s stride angle. The stride angle is the maximum opening between the front and trailing leg, usually at toe-off.

Runner's Stride Angle

A small stride angle results in a small stride. This does three things: It makes the runner run slower, it makes them more bouncy so the runner is going up and down excessively through his stride, and it tires the runner out quicker due to running “vertical miles”.

Compare the following two stride angles. It’s no surprise that the guy with the wider stride angle beat the other runner in a 5k.

Runner's Stride Angle comparison

At its core, this is a range of motion issue. It’s very common for runners to have trouble picking up the knee or pushing off the back leg due to microfibers or mild scar tissue restricting the hips.

microfibers and mild scaring around the hips

A qualified chiropractor who specializes in treating athletes, gua sha, or myofascial release can break up the restricting microfibers and scar tissue. This allows for a more full range of motion, allowing for a wider stride angle and ultimately, a longer stride.

Just How Effective Is Treating Micro Scar Tissue in the Hips?

For every 1 degree improvement in a runner’s stride angle, they can expect to see their stride increase by 2%. Meaning, even a mild increase in the stride angle, by say, 5 degrees, will get you where you want to go 10% faster. Across a 5k, if you currently run a 10 minute mile, you’d finish over 3 minutes faster!

At King Chiropractic, we specialize in helping athletes achieve their goals. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or truly competitive in your sport, I can help you train better, and heal faster. Call me at (910) 777-7228 today to schedule your appointment.