Quick and Dirty Primer on Strides
are conscientious about putting in miles or running quality speed
but these same runners often neglect an important aspect of the
package: Strides. The following article gives you the basics on
important, yet oft neglected training technique.
Strides (or striders or strideouts) are short, fast runs of between 50
and 200 metres. They are run at a "comfortable sprint" pace (i.e.
as fast as you can go without tying up and losing good form.) A
Strides Session might be 10 x 100m following a 30 minute easy run.
WHO SHOULD DO STRIDES?
distance racers, from milers to marathoners, should incorporate Strides
into their training program on a year round basis. However, as a
general rule, they are more important for shorter distance
WHY DO I NEED TO DO
help you in at least three ways:
WHEN SHOULD I DO
You should do a full Strides Session at least once a week, preferably
a medium intensity or recovery run. In addition, a few strides (e.g. 6
x 50m) can be done as part of a warm up before a race or track workout.
Because good form is important when doing Strides, you should avoid
them after an intense speed workout or very long run; you don't want to
be fatigued when you are doing them.
- Improved leg speed - to run fast, you gotta
- Improved flexibility and coordination -
running puts your
legs through a more complete range of motion; quicker leg turnover
you to coordinate your movements to prevent tripping or stumbling
- Improved running economy - training your
muscles to run fast and
relaxed over a short distance should translate into faster, relaxed
at longer distances.
WHERE SHOULD I
A soft, yet smooth and consistent surface is the best venue for
A well maintained football field or soccer pitch is an excellent
Alternatively, a relatively flat beach during low tide is another good
option. Running Strides in bare feet can help you develop flexibility
strength in your feet, ankles, and lower legs.
HOW SHOULD I DO
STRIDES? The key to running good Strides is to think
and Relaxed. You should be concentrating on quick leg
and a tall posture. In addition, don't over stride. Take a
full recovery between each repetition; you shouldn't be out of breath
you start a Stride. If you find yourself tying up before the end
of each Stride, either slow down, take more rest between reps, or
the distance of the repetition.
comprehensive help for all
areas of your running, check out a Run