Strides, also known as stride-outs or accelerations, are not only enjoyable but also significantly beneficial for improving your running form and speed. They are an essential part of training, preparing your body for faster paces in upcoming hard workouts.

5 Benefits of Running Strides:

  1. Muscle Preparation for Speed: Strides are an excellent way to activate and train your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Adding a few strides each week to your training can substantially enhance your muscles’ ability to perform at higher speeds.
  2. Enhanced Form and Balance: Running strides contribute to improving your form and balance. This is crucial for injury prevention and enhancing overall body mechanics, making you a more efficient runner.
  3. Aid in Muscle Recovery: Post-workout, strides can be particularly beneficial. They help in loosening up the muscles, promoting recovery and reducing the feeling of stiffness.
  4. Boosting Velocity at VO2 Max: Strides with short rest intervals can significantly improve your velocity at VO2 max, which is a key component of your aerobic capacity and endurance.
  5. Overall Mileage Contribution: Every bit of running counts. Strides add to the total mileage of your workout, contributing to your overall endurance and stamina.

Understanding Strides:

  • Short Running Bursts: Strides are typically 20-30 seconds of running, where the focus is on maintaining proper technique.
  • Neuromuscular Training: They are a form of neuromuscular training, aimed at enhancing both your speed and running efficiency.
  • Gradual Introduction: If you’re new to strides, start with 3 to 4 repetitions to allow your body to adapt.
  • Frequency: Aim to include strides in your training at least three times a week for optimal benefits.
  • Coaching Guidance: If you’re struggling to incorporate strides effectively or wish to achieve new personal records, consider hiring a coach for personalized guidance.

Incorporating strides into your training plan, as I do for my athletes (and as my coach does for me), is a testament to the value they bring to any runner’s regimen. Remember, every good coach has a coach, and as an athlete and coach, leading by example is key.

For additional resources on running drills that complement strides, stay tuned to my website. Remember, strides are a small but powerful tool in your running arsenal. Happy running!