My New Favorite Running Drill…
I’ve only been doing them for a few weeks, but my new favorite running drill is… strides! There is something about starting off at an easy jog then transitioning to a comfortable sprint, then slowing back down after 100 meters that feels really good to me. Maybe it’s because I’m really focused on good running form or the fact that they are so short, but I’m mad at myself for not incorporating them into my training any earlier. I always heard about them but I wasn’t quite sure how to properly execute them. Now every time I’m at the track, I want to do warm up and cool down strides 🙂
Strides is a general term for a widely varied set of workouts intended to improve some aspect of your running form or speed. The basic idea of this conditioning method is to push yourself to, or beyond, normal race speed for a short distance. Strides should always be run in flat, grassy fields or on cushioned track surfaces to lessen the impact on your body and prevent injury. You should also give yourself a minute or two to recover between stride sets because fatigue can worsen the very technique you’re trying to improve.
Here are some of the benefits of strides:
1) Before a race, they initiate fast-twitch muscle fibers which can help running feel more natural at the beginning of a race
2) After an easy run, strides can help your body learn how to pick up the pace towards the end of a race
3) Strides can correct running form inefficiencies such as excessive arm swing or overstriding
(Source: How Strides Work)
When I do my strides, my coach has me running along the straightaway on the track. I jog for about 10 meters, then start to pick up the pace until I’m at the halfway point. At that point, I should be at my comfortable sprinting pace. Then as I approach the last 10 meters, I start slowing back down to a jog. I probably rest for 45 seconds then do it again. Like I said earlier, I really do love these things!
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: I was suppose to run 7 miles today but I want to go a little farther. I had a lot on my mind and the streets were unusually quiet today. Probably because all of the college students have gone home for break. I felt really good and had a great run. 🙂 Stats are here.