Question: What should you do to increase your stride?Carl Lewis: Number one: make sure your hips stay forward! Lengthening the stride is a very sensitive subject. You should not try to lengthen it more than one or two inches. That may not seem like very much, but if I take 40 or 50 strides per 100 metres, if I lengthen my stride by one inch, that adds up to 50 inches. Fifty inches could be two tenths of a second. You have to work in very small quantities. One inch longer in a mile makes such a difference!
What you want to do is push off more, not reach out more. Strengthen the hamstrings through drills. That will help. Make your legs stronger and lengthen your stride from the push, not the pull. Leave the ground hard and go farther. Lift is over-emphasised. When a sprinter keeps his hips correct and lifts his knees, he is doing everything basically right. Most people have correct running mechanics when they are born. But as you grow older, just a little bit sticks with you. Basically, you're going faster because you're running faster across the ground. And that's because your hamstrings and quads are stronger. The stronger you get, the more you push off. With a longer stride, you move through the air farther in the same amount of time.
A lot of stretching afterwards is very important; you've got to warm down. After a hard workout, stretching is not as important as jogging two or three laps. Sprinters need to jog at least two laps to let the body warm down. I have a Jacuzzi after workouts. It helps me relax. Some people get rubdowns, but I don't. I just do normal things. I feel good because anybody can emulate everything I do.
In sprinting you need to explode while still maintaining your relaxation. I did 6:06 in the 60, a world record. But the first 60 of the 100 metres I probably do in 6:16. In the 200, it will be 6:36. In different events I change the cadence. You have to plan each race differently. I do 400s all the time in workouts. This year I have a goal to run under 45 seconds before I retire. I have run 46.3, but I haven't run a good 400 in a while.
I enjoy all sports. I play tennis, sometimes racquetball (Narada beats me), football and basketball. But mostly I watch other sports because my coach doesn't let me play. I was a little surprised when Nehemiah said he was quitting. He didn't feel there was another challenge. I can't challenge that decision. He was disappointed because he thought there was still more for him in track and field.