How Running Strides Will Help You
Running strides will help you. It’s a relatively low-risk way to make you faster. Run as hard as you can for 20 seconds after a run. Do it a few times a week, and it can add up to running as hard as you can for 100 miles a year. Wow.
What are running strides?
Running strides, also known as striders, are short bursts of speed. They are used across all levels of runners, including new runners, high school, college, and even professional. No matter your age or ability, running strides can help you get faster.
Running strides is just runner lingo for accelerations. If you want to build speed, you want to start including strides into your runs.
You want to build into a burst of speed you can only maintain for roughly 100 meters at most.1 of a mile). You can also do them by time and want between 20-30 seconds. This is your “all-out” as fast as you can go. Like you are running for your life and could not go any faster.
But how will running strides help you?
If you’re looking to improve your running, strides are the easiest way to start adding speedwork. Strides, also known as running striders, are shorts bursts of speed work. They can set you up for more formal speedwork later or provide low-risk speed work to get some leg turnover.
What are the benefits of running strides?
- Improve running economy.
- Focus on your form. Running strides provide an opportunity with no distractions to focus and make sure your form is ideal.
- Teach your body to run hard: Running striders at the end of a run helps your body run as hard as it can at the end. Want to outkick someone at the finish line of a race? By practicing a running stride, your body will adapt and learn to do that.
- Get started with speedwork: If you’ve been injured or are new to speedwork, running strides is a great way to get started. It’s “only” 20-30 seconds of hard work. You can do anything for that amount of time. It will build both confidence and endurance to start running longer workouts.
- Stretch out your legs: Do you feel stiff from traveling, sitting, or whatever? Running striders can help you stretch out your legs if they’ve felt tired lately.
- Improve Speed: Running strides are probably the easiest and least demanding from your body and training to improve your speed.
- Open up the legs: You’ll see many runners do them before a race to help prep their legs for fast running.
How do I begin adding Running Striders?
The easiest way is to begin adding running strides a few times a week towards the end of your run. While running easy, start to build into an all-out sprint. Hold the sprint (your running stride) for 20-30 seconds and slowly decelerate. It shouldn’t be painful, and it shouldn’t feel like a struggle.
You just want to push yourself to your fastest speed for 20-30 seconds. The goal is to work as hard as you can with good form for 20 seconds.
Where should I add my running strides to my running schedule?
The nice thing about running striders is you can do them anywhere and don’t need a specific spot. The best places are flat areas that are at least 100 meters long. Do anywhere from 5-10. Take at least one minute of rest between. You can run or walk.
Another way to do it is at the end of an easy or moderate run. Find an area at the end of your run that is 50-100 meters long.
Make sure you are running in a clear and level area. Running on uneven sidewalks or terrain will really slow you down. The focus will become “not fall” versus run as hard as you can.
Running Strides Conclusion:
It doesn’t matter your running age or ability; striders are an easy way to get speed work in. Anyone can benefit from new runners to seasoned runners. It’s one of the few types of speedwork you may see everyone doing! It might seem silly to do a few of these after runs, but it can add up over the course of a year. You might look back and see you’ve done over 100 miles of extremely fast running!
If you want to learn more about adding speedwork and avoiding injury, this is another post.
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Questions for you:
Do you do running strides?
What is your favorite speed work?