Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Strides.. sorting out my issues

I admit I have been seeing this thing called running strides for quite awhile now and thinking "maybe I should be running strides".  I have been planning to add in strides at the end of runs for well over a year now.  Confession: I have not been running strides. Until Kiley wrote them into the plan.

I had a vague idea of what they were.  Some sort of fast running in short intervals.  They are described in my plan as "short burst of fast running 80-150m" to be done during warm up or cool down. Alrighty, I got it, I thought.

Until I was out running and doing them.  I couldn't help but wonder..
  • how far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • was I running them fast enough?
  • was I running them too fast?
  • what are the benefits of strides?
My questions answered 
  1. How far is 80-150 meters when converted into miles like my Garmin reads?
  • 80 meters is .0497 miles so about .5 miles
  • 100 meters is about .06
  • 150 meters is .093 miles
So I want to run them between .05 and .09 miles to get in the correct distance roughly.

     2.  Am I running them fast enough or too fast?  I was running them hard at about 90%
  • One website said to build them up to  95% and then gradually slow down
  • Another said to go at 5k pace
  • and finally the third site I looked at said build to 85% and gradually slow down,
So basically there is a bit of a range there,but the takeaway was build up to a fast speed and then gradually slow to a stop,
What are strides?
I was just going all out for the whole thing and then stopping into a slow jog, so clearly there was some room for improvement there.

So from what I can tell about a third of the distance should be used to ease into the fast pace, one third for the fast pace and then one third of the distance to slow down. Recovery should be a slow jog or even a walk.

and finally what we all really want to know...

What are the benefits of running strides?
  • They make you faster!
  • They can help loosen up tight leg muscles after a longer easy run.
  • They can improve running economy
  • Done before a race or speed session they get the heart pumping and the muscles warmed up.
Are you doing strides?  Cola and I are.


  1. Hey, sorry I didn't give more instruction with that one. I just assumed you are a seasoned runner so you probably had an idea...but of course I assumed ;) Great post about strides though!!

  2. I must confess that I've also heard a lot about strides, but also never do them. And that I also didn't fully understand what they were until I read your post - thanks for the info!

  3. Great! Thanks for posting this. When I think about strides, I think about running at a speed of about 80% of max effort and, well, striding out, or taking a longer stride. So maybe I've been thinking about these wrong! It has nothing to do with your actual stride length, but instead it's more like an acceleration/deceleration near-sprint. Thanks for the clarification! :)

  4. Ahh yes, I have learned about strides from my coach and they are so good for you. This is a fantastic informational post!


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