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Quiz The Coach - Why Is My Friend Faster?

Quiz The Coach - Why Is My Friend Faster? - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Quiz the Kidzworld Coach for sports and fitness advice, free coaching tips, drills, as well as help with cross country runnning and other sports and activites.

So ya dig sports but need some help with your game? Don't understand some of the rules of football, basketball or hockey? Got a gripe about P.E. class, skateboarders, cheerleading, coaches, or anything? Why not ?

1Hey Coach,
I am a cross country runner. At the beginning of the cross country season, my friend was trying hard but he was always walking because he couldn't keep up with me. Now it's over four weeks later and I have improved my time by over a minute but my friend has beat my time by over a minute. Every day I run two miles more than him and he still beats me in his time. I am skinnier than him but he is about three inches taller. How can he be beating me when he was working so hard and was still so slow before?

Hey ccsupreme

There are several reasons why your friend is now passing you by during your cross country runs. The most important factors in your running time is your stride length and stride rate. Stride length is the distance you travel with each step, while stride rate measures how fast you take each step. Your friend's extra height gives him a slight advantage in stride length (since he has longer legs) and he may also have a more efficient stride rate than you do. You may have been beating him at the beginning of the cross country running season because you were simply in better shape - but once your friend improved his conditioning, he was able to pass you because he had a better stride length, a better stride rate or perhaps both.

Most elite runners have a stride rate of around 180 strides per minute. Next time you go running, count how many strides you take in a minute and aim to reach 180. You can improve the length of your stride by doing regular sprint and strength training. Sprint training usually means doing sprints of between 30 to 40 meters around twice a week - but talk to your coach at school to find out what will work best for you. Good luck and keep running.

Do you need tips or advice on sports, fitness or health? to the Kidzworld Coach. Keep in mind peeps, the Kidzworld Coach isn't a doctor or a professional athlete or anything like that. He's just a dude who digs sports, plays 'em and knows a lot about 'em. You should always talk to your 'rents, a doctor or your school gym teacher before starting a new sport or a new exercise.

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