Strides, striders, stride-outs. You’ve heard of them right ? But what are they and why should you be incorporating them into your weekly routine ?
What: Strides are fast, but controlled accelerations of 100 to 150 meters, topping out at roughly 95% of you max effort before decelerating back to a jog. They can best be described as short and controlled bursts of speed.
Why: When done correctly, strides improve running form by developing both muscular recruitment and neuromuscular reaction time which leads to an increase in power, economy, and ultimately, speed. If done before a hard workout or race, strides also loosen your muscles and prepare the body and mind for the faster running speeds.
When: You can safely start incorporating strides by adding 1 set of 4 X 100m strides with 90 second jogs in between 2 times per week at the end of an easy run or by adding 1 set of 4 X 100m strides before your next speed session or race to get your muscles loose and legs turning over. Eventually 6 to 8 X 100m stride sets may be incorporated into your training 1 to 4 times per week (depending on mileage) following easy runs, as well as a few sets of 50 to 100m strides after a warm up, but before speed workouts to get your body and mind primed for the hard effort that lies ahead.
How: Starting at your easy pace, accelerate your speed fairly quickly until you’ve reached 90-95% of your max effort (roughly 1 mile race pace) hold this pace briefly before decelerating back down to a jog. You should maintain proper form and you should feel like you have a snappy stride, or as I like to say, pep in your step. The reps should be 100 to 150 meters each. If you aren’t at a track simply count 65 right foot falls for roughly 100 meters.
Strides aren’t a hard workout by any means, as a matter of fact they can be a really fun way to improve economy and move a lot faster than we normally would. Try adding them to your weekly routine and see if they make a difference for you!
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