Strides are short fast run intervals, designed to improve form and speed. They are pure speedwork, and should not be so long or hard and with so short recovery that they are aerobically straining.
Normally they are prescribes as something like 6×75 m with a fast leg turnover and perfect form, recover for 1 minute, or walk back to the start, which should be about the same.
Since the idea is to promote leg speed and good form, why not make it a game to do it better?
So my solution is to run strides as 60 steps, timed, preferably on a very slight downslope, then walk back to the start and do it again. This way speed is enforced, and the feedback is immediate, unlike running a set distance. That way I can see how well I’m doing for each lap just by checking the lap time, and it’s quite interesting to note how it changes from time to time.
When I run strides after a long run, my turnover is slower than when I do it after a faster run. When I do it as warm-up to an interval set, it’s somewhere in between. And if I’m completely busted it’s immediately visible because I can’t get under 18 seconds then, usually I get under 17.
I do 4-8×60 steps with walk back recoveries at least once per week, year round. Especially in the part of the year where most training is slow aerobic training just to keep moving, it really helps preserve some speed and strength.
Author M. G. Liebach
LastMod 2016-05-01 (9fc4632)