How to train body and mind for a greater stride

To maximise propulsion in your running stride and fly further with each step, you need good ankle and hip extension, and a stable base (you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe, as the saying goes). But it isn’t just a matter of working on your glute and calf strength, according to leading physiotherapist Alison Rose; timing also matters.

‘Building strength has limited value if you can’t then apply it within your running gait,’ she explains. ‘Training your brain to link the two actions together improves stride efficiency by reducing the amount of energy lost on each foot strike and cutting ground contact time, allowing you to make the most of ground reaction forces.’

The drill below helps your brain couple hip and ankle extension in a running-specific way. ‘It’s perfect to do pre-run,’ says Rose.

Stand with your right foot slightly in front of your left. Drive the left knee up to hip height, simultaneously rising up on to the toes of the right foot. Pause to balance before repeating. Aim for 3 sets of 10 each side.