I've seen the term "Strides" used in training plans, and just wanted to clarify what it meant? For example, I might have a run described as a "5 mile recovery run with some strides" or "with 200m of strides". The name suggests I should be taking long, lanky strides, like the BFG, but i'm not sure what benefit that would be. I thought the received wisdom was that shorter strides with faster leg turnover are better. Is this what "strides" means? Bit of a naive question, but thought I'd ask.


  • To me it's a few short bursts at 10k race pace. Interested to know what it is to others.
  • fast relaxed sprints

  • +1 for what Ste said
  • ok, thanks. Not sure I can manage a "relaxed" sprint. Seems a bit of an oxymoron, but perhaps I'm just not sprinting properly image


  • I was under the impression it meant running a short distance with exagerated long strides, so running faster would be more a side effect than the actual aim.  Usually do them as part of a warm up just to loosen the legs up.

  • That's pretty much my idea of them too. More about stretching the legs out than anthing else. Relaxed sprints is a good way of describing it. For me it's quite a bit faster than 10K race pace but that's just cause I don't run very fast over a 10K!

  • glad it's not just me who thought they were long, bounding strides, like a triple jumper.

  • AgentGinger wrote (see)

    glad it's not just me who thought they were long, bounding strides, like a triple jumper.

    image How would that benefit a runner?

  • Stevie G . wrote (see)
    AgentGinger wrote (see)

    glad it's not just me who thought they were long, bounding strides, like a triple jumper.

    image How would that benefit a runner?

    Useful for clearing puddles? image

  • Strides are those 60- to 100-meter "pickups" that runners typically do just before speedwork or races. In these instances, they generally warm up well, stretch, and then use strides as a finishing touch to ease into fast-running mode. The reasons for doing strides before a bout of fast running are multiple: muscles need to be flooded with blood, fast-twitch muscle fibers need to be recruited, and race pace must be briefly simulated to get the body and mind ready to run fast.
    But why do strides at the end of an easy run? One answer can be found at the finish line of almost any race: People like to run fast at the end of races. We all do it, both the first-place runner turning on his kick in the Olympic 10,000-meter final, or the 450th-place runner sprinting to out-lean the 451st at a local Haul Around the Mall 5-K. Easy-day strides will improve that finishing kick.
    Strides also improve your neuromuscular coordination, as the bursts of speed stimulate neural pathways. Just as a pianist's fingers fly over scales that have been practiced repeatedly, your coordination and form become more fluid from these short but frequent doses of speed tacked onto the ends of easy runs. Result: You become faster.

  • Strides as Speedwork
    Strides are also a great, non-threatening way to begin speedwork if you've never done it before, or if you're coming back from some time off. Consider these eight points when you start running strides:
    1. Finish your easy run at a smooth dirt trail, or a park with a flat, grassy area. A track or straight stretch of road also work well.
    2. When you start in, gradually accelerate to about 85 percent of your maximum speed for the first third of the stride, hold that pace for another third, and then gradually decelerate over the final third.
    3. Easy-day strides should not be timed, and the exact distance of each stride is not critical. About 60 to 100 meters is fine.
    4. The easiest way to get a feel for this distance is to do strides on a track or football field. Count each time your feet strike the ground as you stride over the 100 meters. Then when you're away from the track, you'll know how many footstrikes equal 100 meters at a similar pace. For me, 55 to 60 footstrikes equal 100 meters. Therefore, when I do strides I accelerate for 20 footstrikes, hold that speed for 20, and gradually decelerate for 20.
    5. A quick turnover is important for speed. Think "quick arms" and your legs will follow.
    6. After each stride, walk around and shake out your legs for 90 seconds.
    7. Then stride back in the opposite direction.
    8. Don't run too many strides at such a fast pace that your easy day becomes another hard day. German Silva did 8 to 10, but you can start with five or six.

  • That's from somewhere in the depths of the RW US site, I can't find it right now, sure there's more.

  • Talk about asking the time and being told how to make a watch!
  • image even I managed a concise version rather than my usual waffle

  • I've so been doing that wrong - thanks!

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