Strides. Also known as striders, stride-outs, accelerations…or even turbos. Maybe you know them all too well. But for those new to strides – here’s what you need to know when someone tells you to “do strides”.

Strides are typically about 100 meters (or 15-30 seconds) of acceleration where you start at an easy pace and build to about 95% of your max speed. It’s going to feel like a sprint and just when it gets really hard, it’s over.

The goal of strides is not to “get a good workout in”. The goal is to focus on form – keep your knees up, pump your arms, focus on a quick turnover, and be comfortable building to a high speed. While it’s not meant as a workout, strides are a great transition from easy running to workouts. It’ll help your body learn to switch gears for when workouts are scheduled.

Strides are also a great way to prepare for a workout. Just after your warm up, and before your workout begins – you may want to do a few strides to get your body loosened up and ready to run fast!

You may be wondering how to start incorporating them into training…

If you haven’t don’t strides before, the best way to build them into your schedule is to start with hill strides. Hill strides help your body naturally keep up with better form. Running fast up a hill forces you to pump your arms and lift your knees. After a few weeks of hill strides, you’ll be ready for flat strides!

And when should you do them?

We recommend strides to be done:

1.)  After an easy/base run

  • If you are in a consistent easy run or base building phase of training, we recommend doing 4-5 strides 2-3 times per week after easy running.

2.)  Before a workout or race

  • Before a race or workout, it’s helpful to get your body prepared by doing 2-3 strides

3.)  Whenever your coach tells you to do them

  • Always make sure to follow your coaches training plan

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