What Are Strides?
Strides are 20 to 35 second sprints at your km race pace, or roughly 85 to 95% effort. They are assigned to a running schedule after an easy recovery run or before a big workout.
Strides are also used as part of the warm-up process to help get the blood flowing to our legs and our heart rate elevated.
Recommendations To Do Strides
Step 1: Complete your scheduled run on your schedule at an easy pace. Strides are completed after your run, not during.
Step 2: After your run, you should stretch lightly for 3-5 minutes. Focus on anything that was tight during your run, or a problem area for you.
Step 3: Begin your stride by easing into a fast pace over the first 5 seconds. It is important to ease into the pace, and not explode out of the gait to prevent injury.
Step 4: After 5 seconds, you should have reached full speed. Begin to focus on staying relaxed and letting your body do the work. Keep a relaxed face, make sure your arms aren’t swinging wildly, and work on landing on your midfoot (closer to your toes), not your heel. Continue to stay relaxed at your top end speed and gradually, over the last 5 seconds a slower speed to a stop.
Step 5: Take a full recovery between each stride, which should be about 1-2 minutes. You can stop to catch your breath, walk, or slowly jog in place. The purpose of strides is not to get in a hard workout or to have you breathing hard. Strides are designed to work on speed, fast twitch muscles and mechanics, so starting your next stride winded or before you are fully recovered is harmful to the training adaptations.
Running Strides Plan
Running strides is pretty simple, so if you’re learning how to run strides, it won’t take long. As with all workouts, the key is to build up slowly, so don’t go out and run 20 strides if you’re a beginning runner. Here’s how to run strides and incorporate them into your training:
Find a flat place to run about 100 meters. This can be at a track, park, trail, or road.
Begin running your stride by taking exaggerated steps (or strides), and pumping your arms up and down as if you are running fast. As you speed up, your leg turnover will get quicker.
Start out running at an easy, relaxed pace, and build up your speed as you run.
You should be running at about 95 percent effort level by the end of your stride. Your stride should only take 20-30 seconds so you may get winded at the end but will recover quickly.
Do 4 strides for your first strides workout and build up to doing 6 or 8 strides.
Benefits Of Strides
1. Strides have many benefits and after we perform our strides once we finish, we feel much stronger with higher energy levels and our brain is more activated. Strides help us work on our mechanics in short increments. It’s easy to focus on form when we’re only running for 20 to 30 seconds and we’re not overly tired. Not only does it help us create mental cues to stay on our toes and feel relaxed, but it makes the process more natural for the body during a race.
2. As distance runners, we spend most of our time running at slower speeds to build our aerobic systems or work on our threshold. Strides provide a great way to inject some speed work into our training plan without having to sacrifice a whole day of training. Just a few strides a couple of days a week will inject some “get down speed” into your legs.
3. Strides are a great pre-curser to faster, more rigorous training. For many of beginner runners, before they start doing any workouts, to add some strides will increase and improve their pace and running form. Because they may not be used to going fast or doing speed work, strides are a gentle introduction for the body and help us get used to the feeling of running faster.
4. Finally, strides can serve as a great way to stretch out the legs after an easy session. Often times, especially in long-distance or marathon training, the legs can get stale with the kilometres and tempo runs. Strides help break up the boredom and add a little spice to the training and our legs. A few stride sessions are usually enough to get our long-distance or marathon tight and sore legs feeling fresh again.
How To Perform Strides
1. Strides are 100m accelerations where you accelerate gradually over 25m.
2. You start at a jog then increase to about 95% of your max speed and then gradually slow to a stop.
3. One stride should take about 20-30 secs.
4. Take a 45-60 seconds break between each stride, either jog slowly or walk.
5. Perform strides on a flat terrain, and to avoid injuries make sure you increase your speed gradually.
Perform Some Good Running Strides, Improve Your Running Pace, Running Form And Fitness, Enjoy Some Longer-Distance Runs!