How much difference do you think leg length makes?

I'm 5'2" but might have short legs even for someone of my height, my mum is the same height as me but whereas 27" trousers fit me well they look like crops on her! I am also over weight, no longer obese but I'm still easily in the overweight category for BMI. I'm in graduation week and I am covering 5K in the 40 mins (so with the 2 walks too). I wondering if my height is a limiting factor or if my pace will improve in line with my fitness.

There must be some really short fit people out there who run quickly, mustn't there?


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9 Replies

  • I'm only 5'4", with a 27 inside leg. I managed to run 5K in 29m42s, W9R3, so it's possible. BTW i'm 49 years old. I don't feel that I'm fast, but a lot of people get to the end of week 9 and are not yet getting to 5K in 30 mins.

    I suppose I've spent years trying to keep up with tall long legged people so my little legs are used to going faster than average.

  • Yeah Jenny Meadows is only 5' 1" and she can run a bit :-)

  • I'm 5'3" and NOW after a year of running I have done 5k in 27.12 as a PB but it's very hard work. I can only do it when I have interval podcasts of 200bpm running back to back! I have a 29" inside leg. When I graduated from the C25K I was doing it in about 29-30 mins. You are still in grad week and building up stamina and endurance comes well before speed.

    When you are ready, you could try some interval work and/or hill training. Running to Audiofuel's C25K+ workouts with a fast bpm will help get your pace up a bit.


  • I'm in no hurry to speed up, so to speak :) I was just pondering life after graduation and realistic longer term aims.

  • I'm a smidge under six foot, BMI 26, 33" inside leg. I carry my weight on my legs ..I may have a long stride, but inertia means that its quite an effort to get them moving fast (above 110 steps per minute). Long legs do NOT make me faster

  • In the interest of research, I put your theory into action last night during my run! I was running my usual stretch when a chap ran past me. I'm 5'5" and I would estimate that he was over 6'. I matched him step for step quite easily but still found that he was pulling away from me. I've noticed this before when I have run with my 6'1" husband.

    I suppose the positive thing is that we don't have as much body mass to shift as they do!

    I am getting quicker though, so whilst it is a pain, it's not a limiting factor - not unless Rio 2016 is a goal of yours :) And I'm still not under 30 mins for a 5k (although I am getting there).

  • Excellent experimenting, my husband it 6' tall but I try not to walk down the street with him never mind run with him ;) No, no plans for Rio :)

  • I suffer from ducks desease but to be honest it doesn't bother me because all things are relevent. Just keep up the running, once you graduate then you can concentrate on your speed and indeed if you fancy extending your distance to 5K then onwards to 10K. Don't get hung up on someone else's speed being faster than yours because they have longer legs cos there is one thing certain in this life you can't do anything about it. Just remember all good things come in little parcels. You can improve on your speed though by working to build up your stamina and strength. The new Podcasts will help with that. So for now just enjoy your running and all the very best for you graduation.

  • I'm 5'1" and in the 40 mins I cover about 4.5k. I have a friend who runs a lot and is 5'2". She covers 5k in 30 mins

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