What Are Strides in Running?

Strides – also known as accelerations – are running drills. This type of interval training is useful to up your pace and gradually build up your stamina to be able to run further and faster. They also help loosen those muscles so they can be done at the beginning or end of your run. We recommend doing them straight after your warmup or before your cooldown and stretches. 

Strides are short easy sprints that should be around 85-95% of your maximum effort. They do not take very long and can improve your running form, so it’s surprising that more runners do not do them. 

How Do You Run Strides? 

Strides are really simple to do! Start off with a slower pace, run to about 95% maximum effort for about 90m and then gradually slow down back until you come to a stop. They can be incorporated into a time where you know you’re about to have a break for refueling or a rest break during your longer runs. 

Running strides should not be too hard, you should not feel like you are struggling or straining. These are more relaxed interval drills. 

You can run these anywhere, in the park, on an athletics track, on the pavement, even on a treadmill (some treadmills have specific programs for strides). You just need somewhere that is around 100m long so you can get a good clear run. 

Benefits of Running Strides 

There are plenty of reasons why you should do running strides as part of your training. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an advanced marathoner. They’ll help everyone. 

  • They’ll loosen up your muscles
  • Strides help you with your pace – they are perfect for beginner’s in that respect
  • They’ll help you with running form and efficiency 
  • They don’t take long
  • Strides can help you before a race or more intense workout – they’ll help prepare you for the longer runs. 

Using strides with other running drills and interval training will also help. You can mix them up or use your strides just at the beginning and end of your workout, using different drills in the middle. 

What other drills can I do, I hear you cry? Scroll down, and you’ll find out! 

Different Types of Drills and Accelerations

Base run

This will make up around 85% of your runs. It shouldn’t be too hard, fast or slow. It should be at a natural pace, and where you feel comfortable. There should never be any straining with your base runs. 

Hill repeats

That dreaded phrase that marathoners pale at. Hill repeats are great at working on your calves and hamstrings. Start at the bottom of a hill and pick a point up the hill – if it’s a really long hill, try and pick a lamp post or marker about a quarter of the way up. Sprint to that point, before jogging back down. Repeat as needed, with the possibility of increasing to the next marker on the hill. Hill repeats help with stamina and fatigue, so perfect for those in training for longer distances. 

Intervals

Intervals are very similar to strides, except they are at maximum effort. They alternate between short bursts of high-intensity sprints and longer low-intensity jogging or walking. Really push yourself on the sprint, it’ll make the slower sections all the more worthwhile. Usually, intervals are 30-second sprints, 60-second walking/jogging. You can increase and decrease the times as you train to enable you to sprint for longer.

Tempo runs

Usually, a harder run at a pace that you would be able to maintain throughout a race like a half-marathon or a marathon. It helps to build up the muscles in your legs so you won’t get as fatigued. These runs are beneficial for those training for longer distances. 

Running different types of drills will help in overall training, running strides will help with your form, efficiency, and general stamina as well as helping with loosening muscles and getting your pace up.

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