There are two ways to run faster: you can mover your legs faster or you can take longer strides. A video of a New York City Marathon showed that the top 150 runners had the same cadence, taking 92 to 94 steps a minute.
That tells you that the fastest runners take the longest strides, but trying to extend your stride will make you a slower runner. Your most efficient stride length is determined by what feels most comfortable. Your heel hits the ground with great force. The tendons in your legs absorb some of the energy and then contract forcibly, so you regain about 60 to 75 percent of that stored energy when you step off to the other foot. When you try to take a stride that is longer than what feels natural to you, you lose stored energy and tire earlier in a race. If you want to run faster in races, strengthen your leg muscles by running very fast twice a week and running up hills.
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