What Are Running Strides?
What are running strides running stride, to put simply, is an acceleration for over a period of about 30 seconds. That can also be called Striders or stride outs.
I like to think of strides like being in a car; you might be running along, say in first or second gear. And then you decide for 30 seconds to slowly go into third gear and then into fourth. And as you come down to the end of that 30 seconds, then you’re going back down into third. And then into second again.
So the whole idea of strides is an acceleration over a short period of time, but not to be running at 100%. This is not a sprint that we will come to in a moment. Strides should not be confused with an endurance workout. This is to help you get used to running at higher speeds. And also, what it can also do is improve your form, as your body gets used to running faster, more often.
What Are The Benefits Of Running Strides
So what are the benefits of actually making strides?
Well, the benefits of a stride are quite subtle; they can really loosen up your body if you’ve been used to doing more steady and slow runs; it really opens your body up to moving more quickly.
However, because it’s over a shorter time, it’s not quite the same shock you might have to your body if you were doing long periods of high speed.
So it’s a great introduction to running faster with a lot less risk of picking up injuries than you might do with more prolonged training at a higher speed. Running strides are also great to do at the end of your steady runs.
Strides will help you increase running cadence, though, for beginners, I would not get too hung up on the whole 180 steps per minute thing; it really is more about letting your body adapt to moving more quickly.
And it just kind of help prepare your body in a way for your
Why Do Running Strides?
I think runners should try running strides because it’s such an easy thing to integrate into your running. So I’m a great fan of keeping running training, elementary. I think it’s so easy to overcomplicate things. I think running strides can be put into the middle of an easy run at the end of an easy run. They’re a tremendous introduction, as I’ve said to speed up your runs with less injury risk, so I think the reason why you should do them is one, it helps your body adjust the speed.
Plus, they help improve
But that’s so easily integrated into your running that it makes them a great flexible training tool to have in your running each week.
Are Strides The Same As Sprints?
Many people get confused with Sprint’s stride; they are not the same, and you shouldn’t feel the same.
Using the current car analogy, a sprint would be that you would be driving your car at its highest speed; a stride isn’t that you are working at perhaps 80% of your speed, but you’re in control, you’re not going all out.
And also, you’re building up through the gears, so you’re going from slow, so you’re going from gear, Say, two to three to four, and then back down again.
Over a 30 second period. So it’s a very controlled increase.
Where sprinting, you’re utilising much more power, and you’re right at the very top of your speed. Obviously, for many people, during full out sprint could cause a higher likelihood of injury. And this is why strides are a great place to begin building up your speed over something like sprints.
Will Strides Make You Faster?
I often get asked, will strides make you faster. Ultimately, yes, because your body is adjusting to moving faster, but strides will not be the only facter that will potentially make you faster, but like I’ve said, it’s something to really introduce into your running.
Ultimately, imagine it as a bridge between steady running or slower running if you want to get faster. And ultimately, perhaps, tempo running or intervals.
So it’s a great way for a beginner, for runners who want to get faster, however, want to do it safely and avoid injury. Strides is a great bridge between that steady running state, and perhaps the more advanced and longer, faster running that you might find in tempo runs or intervals.
So really, the bottom line is yes, strides do make you faster. However, it’s one part of an overall training plan if you want to run faster and longer.
Don’t Worry About Stride Length.
When people are first making strides, they get apprehensive about, are striding out enough. What is their stride length?
I would suggest that you don’t worry about that, because everyone is different. Your body mechanics, your age are all factors that influence your natural stride length.
No doubt, doing strides regularly will improve your stride length and improve your running mechanics; however, focusing too much on your stride length can sometimes make you overstride, which can create a braking impact on your running lead to injuries.
So you’re much better off actually focusing more on the acceleration, I’ve mentioned earlier, than how long your stride length is, let your body adjust to doing strides, and ultimately, your stride length and
But I think focusing on it too much can sometimes mean that you push too strong too long, which can sometimes increase the likelihood of injuries.
There are many discussions and research on foot placement and stride length and cadence of runners; however, your body is an expert of adapting to your present limitations, so the purpose, in my opinion, is to use strides to bridge your present adaptations/ability to what you want to move towards while limiting the risk of injury to yourself.
Strides After Easy Run
One of my favourite uses of strides is making my easy runs more interesting.
Now, I won’t go into easy runs in length, but an easy run is something where you are running as it suggests an easy place, a pace that you could talk, and you are very in control of your running.
You Might Find This Post On Running Longer Distances Useful
A great way to make those runs a little bit more interesting sometimes is an end of an easy run. Just introduce some strides, say strides of 30 seconds initially with 90 seconds rest. When I say rest, you go back to your easy running, and that was a great way to make that run a little bit more interesting to give your body, and you’re running some variety without really messing up your easy run by taking it beyond an easy run status.
Because, if you start running, say, at tempo on an easy run, then it ceases to be an easy run, whereas strides can be very easily integrated into an easy run at the end, you get the benefits of the easy run. However, you give your body a little adaptation at the end of the run by doing some strides.
Should Beginner Runners Do Strides?
I think strides are perfect for beginner runners.
They are a tremendous introduction to running at speed. And what I mean by speed is whatever the acceleration is for you, and this is what I’m saying.
You don’t need to compare yourself with anybody else. As a beginner, when you’re doing strides.
As I’ve said many times in this article. Think of it like a car. If you’re running in gear, one, two, all you need to do is go through to get three or four, whatever that speed is for you, and then you’re holding that for 30 seconds. And then, you’re the reducing speed back down from four, three to two again and then say, just recovering for another 90 seconds, and then you go to the strides again and go through the gears again.
But you’re only keeping your running is very much within your control. And I think this is where it’s tremendous for beginners that haven’t been used to running faster and haven’t been used to, accelerating, it’s a very safe way to begin to get used to that.
So running strides can lead to more sustained levels of speed in training, such as tempo running and interval running.
So running strides are a tremendous starting point for the beginner runner.
How Often Should You Do Running Strides?
How often you do strides is really up to you.
I would say that if you’re, say, new to running, then perhaps just one to two rounds a week, and keep them fairly well separated so for example, if you did round one, on a Tuesday, you might want to do round two, on a Friday, so it just gives your body, some
However, as your body adapts, you can increase strides more into your running routine. You might want to try them four or five times a week, but I think definitely at the beginning, ease yourself in. Try them one or two times a week and see how you feel and how your body adapt to that.
How To Integrate Strides Into Your Training
First of all, I would suggest integrating strides into an easy run.
- When you are getting about halfway through, begin your strides.
- Begin to accelerate. However, ease through the gears from easy to about 80/85% of your ability. Remember, this is not a sprint.
- Do this for 30 seconds.
- Begin to slow down.
- Recover with more easy running for 90 Seconds.
- Repeat for beginners 3 to 4 times or more for more experienced runners.
- Remember, this is not an aerobic workout. If getting very tired, lengthen out
recoverytime or reduce repeats.
- Continue run or cool down.
Keep Things Simple When Doing Strides In Your Running Training
Finally, I like to say, keep things simple, When doing strides in your running training. They are a handy tool to have in your arsenal for training, and the only real downside of doing strides is going too fast and doing too many, too soon.
So start introducing them if you’re a beginner runner into your running every week. And don’t worry about if you’re overstriding or under striding. Just let your body tell you what you’re comfortable with.
Just get used to the acceleration, say over 30 seconds, and then having a rest time of about 90 seconds. And the number of repeats you do, keep it say to two or three.
When you first start and see how you go but keep it really simple, and let the benefits of strides come to you, over time, Don’t turn strides into a sprint if you feel like you’re really pushing or you’re getting little niggles and strains, then you know that you’re probably going too fast.
If you like stats and research. here is a research paper on strides and stride length and the impact it has on running