You may have heard the term 'strides' before and wondered what they are. Many professional athletes and teams will certainly include these into their training, from short distance track athletes to ultra-runners.
Although the benefits are huge once again its another training tool that a lot of recreational runners won't use, much like warm-up and warm downs.
Firstly, what are strides?
Well, strides are an acceleration or pick up in speed, generally 15-30 seconds at around 95% of your top speed depending on your ability. You should be looking at adding 4-6 strides into your running, and taking anywhere between a 60-90 second recovery, that can either be standing or walking recovery. Strides aren't an aerobic workout, you not going to help improve your endurance, so take the full recovery so you can fully benefit from them.
As mentioned, strides arent a quality session, its a chance for you to focus on improving your running economy. Running faster over a shorter distance, staying relaxed, a good arm and knee drive.
When are strides done?
So for me, you have two key times to do them.
Include them into your warm-up especially if your about to do a quality session or a race. It helps prepare you for running fast.
Completing strides after an easy run with just help relieve any stiffness, tension after running repeatedly over at the same slower place. Helps just increase range of motion, and running economy.
The benefits of strides!
There are many benefits from doing strides its crazy that so many runners don't do them. Here are just a few to start with.
they really don't take much time to do
help just loosen off after an easy run
they help improve running economy
help prepare you for a faster quality session
helps prepare new runners into running faster for some quality session later down the line.
So, give it ago, add some stride into your training and see how you get on. If it's good enough for the elite athletes it's good enough for you.