This afternoon in the middle of my run, I noticed I was slowing down and was taking longer steps. I reduced the length of my steps and automatically took more steps/minute, and I cut 30-45 seconds off my recovery pace, with no noticeable increase in my output of energy. I've mentioned in previous posts that I've been practicing during the past 5 months running at a faster LSD pace. Basically, I've been practicing taking shorter steps more often. After 5 months of practice, the shorter, faster steps have become my "normal". Thus, when I reduced my stride today, I automatically went up to my normal rate of about 180 steps/minute.
Some people will say 5 months is a long time to practice taking smaller steps. My response is, that's ok. I'm trading time for less stress and thus less risk of injury. I have a whole lifetime of time, and I don't want a lifetime of injury.