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Strides: How do you do them? (Read 506 times)

    Okay, so I know this probably sounds dumb but I don't think I really know how to do strides properly. I did a quick search through the forum archives but I can't find exactly what I'm looking for. Elsewhere on the internet I'm getting conflicting info, so I thought I'd ask here and see if any experienced runners want to chime in with their thoughts. I want to start adding them into my routine, and it seems like I should do them 2-3x/week from what I've read. But how fast are they supposed to be? 5k pace? Mile pace? Or is it misguided to attach a specific pace to them in the first place? I gather that they're more like a form drill than a workout, but I am not even sure if my form is right when I'm doing them. Am I supposed to be all-out sprinting? Like, up on my toes? And how long do they last (in seconds I guess)? How many should I do? Finally, when you do them, do you finish your easy run, walk around for a minute, and then start? Or do you just incorporate them into the end of the run? Sorry if I sound crazy, I may be overthinking this.

      One of the better primers on running strides.

       

      Don't over-think it. It is mostly a form drill. Yeah, you should get up on your toes a little. Run tall. I'll typically add anywhere from 6 to 10 strides during the last  mile or 2 of an easy run or recovery jog 2-3x per week at most. Something like 30 seconds on, 60-120 seconds at easy jog. For each stride I accelerate to speed for 5-10 seconds, then float at that speed for 10-20 seconds, then decelerate for 5-10 seconds down to a jog for 90 seconds, then do it again. Don't worry about pace. It's not an all out sprint but it's fast, yet relaxed running. Some people will do them after a run on a nice flat surface and rest completely between sets. 

       

      One suggestion Pfitzinger has is to focus on one aspect of form each time you do them. One time you might just focus on relaxing your shoulders during each set of strides. One time you may focus on getting good hip extension. Or focus on running tall. The idea is to run fast, yet relaxed. Strides help you learn to do that. Start with a set of 3-5 and slowly add another set until you can do 8-10 strides at the end of an easy run. 

       

        Some people will do them after a run on a nice flat surface and rest completely between sets.

        I do mine this way -- it lets me be sure I'm totally recovering between strides and not turning them into an anaerobic workout.

        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


        I'm back!

          I do them spread out over a few miles in the middle of my workout, maybe a 1/4 mile between sets.

            I do them spread out over a few miles in the middle of my workout, maybe a 1/4 mile between sets.

             I've found this the easiest way to ensure I do them. When I get back to my driveway, it's tempting to go inside and be done, rather than do a handful of strides in front of the neighbors, and be "interupted" or tempted to stop by their kids that want to play.

              Thanks for the replies everyone. I think I'm overthinking it (fairly typical for me). I'll experiment with doing them during a run and after with full recovery and see what works better for me. I really like the suggestion to focus on one aspect of form every time I do them.