Strides are a cost-effective way to improve speed. In this piece, we cover why strides should be attempted and what are the benefits of strides for runners and when should they be incorporated in our weekly training plan.
What is a Stride?
In order to understand the benefits of strides for runners, let’s know what actually is a stride here.
- They are short bouts of fast runs usually undertaken to train our muscles to run faster.
- Usually done in 50m-100m.
- Not to be attempted as an all-out effort, can go up to 90% – 95% of effort.
- To be done slowly and gradually build it up with faster leg turnover.
- Always recover after the stride. For eg: If you are doing a 50m x 5 strides, 50m should be run and the next 50m jog back and then start the second stride of 50m.
- Good to include strides twice or thrice a week.
When are Strides done?
- The day you have a hard workout, you would usually start with a few easy kms or miles and before you transition into a hard workout, doing strides will help you prepare for the hard run.
- You have an easy day with a few easy kms at a constant pace, you want to end the run with a few strides to help you loosen up a bit, activating your faster leg turnover.
- You have a half marathon or a marathon. After your easy warm-up miles, you can do a few strides so one can easily flow into a targeted running pace.
- Strides should be attempted after an easy 4-5 km run as part of the plan to loosen up after an easy day run.
Why should strides be part of every runner’s training plan?
Improves speed and leg turnover: Strides are a great way to introduce speed and add a little bit of spice in our overall running routine. Making one comfortable to run fast. Done in short stretches of 50m to 100m, typically lasting for 20 – 40 seconds. Serves as an excellent base for fast or hard runs.
Improves running form and cadence: Steps per minute taken make running efficient. Make sure to stay upright, landing nice and comfortable on our mid-foot and not on the heels. Start slowly and ease into the peak of the speed and then slow down for the recovery phase.
Helps one smoothly transition from slow to fast by metabolically preparing to run fast before a race or any hard workout. It’s like training the mind or sending early signals to your brain that a hard workout or a faster pace is about to begin.
Helps loosen up after an easy run by improving the running range of motion. The best part is that it can be done anywhere.
Always good to choose a very flat smooth surface for doing strides like a park with a even surface.
Strides should not make one tired, it is not an interval run, you are only preparing or teaching your muscles to run fast
Strides are excellent for building muscle memory or even retaining muscle memory.
Strides are fun to do and one can quickly get done with it.
Start slow with 4-5 reps and one can go up to 12-15 reps.
Great for all types of runners. Excellent for beginners to work on improving pace, running form, cadence.
Can experience quick wins if done consistently over weeks and months.
Strides are a building block for improving speed, agility, and a great dynamic warm-up for faster run workouts.
Watch to Know the Benefits of Strides for Runners
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