Stride Rate

By Dr. Jack Daniels

When I am teaching a new group of runners the first thing I have them do is count their stride frequencies while running around the track. I can’t remember ever having one of these beginners who turned over as fast as 180 steps per minute. However, when my wife and I sacrificed some enjoyable race-watching moments at the 1984 Olympics to time and count stride rates among male and female runners in their important Olympic events, we found only one of about 47 athletes whom we observed, who took less than 180 steps per minute. Some of these “subjects” we were able to study on several days because they were involved in preliminary and final rounds in their event, so the observations involved more than just 47 incidents.