Stride width varies so much from runner to runner, and is one of the subtleties of running form that is difficult to re-train by simply trying to ‘run differently’… most people over-correct!
Rather, I usually see the best stride width improvements in athletes who focus on gluteal strengthening and lateral movement drills.
— James Dunne (@KineticRev) February 28, 2014
As mentioned in the video above, there is a growing, although currently modest body of evidence to back-up the biologically/biomechanically plausible principals suggesting that a slight increase in stride width may be beneficial in some runners suffering from specific injuries such as ITB Syndrome and Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints).
Rather than repost the same information, here’s an article I wrote about ITB Syndrome and Stride Width: Read Now
Meardon & Derrick’s 2014 research read abstract here looked at the effect of step width manipulation on tibial stress during running. This was focused more on the stress experienced by the tibial itself during different stride widths, rather than the soft tissue loading I discussed in the video.
The authors conclude their abstract in saying: Wider step widths were generally associated with reduced loading of the tibia and may benefit runners at risk of or experiencing stress injury at the tibia, especially if they present with a crossover running style.
Food for thought. A combination of interesting research, anecdote and theory! All I’ll say is that stride width is something I’ve taken into account with running rehab clients more-and-more over the last 12 months, with positive results…