What are Strides?

What are Strides?

Cat Fitzgerald PT, DPT, CSCS

What are strides? I hear this question so often! Maybe they’re written on a training plan you found online, or someone suggested you start doing them to ease into some speed work. Regardless, you still aren’t sure what you’re supposed to be doing. So here is a simple and straightforward answer!

Strides are simply running fast, but not an all-out sprint, over a short distance, focused on form. These aren’t really a workout, and they shouldn’t feel difficult – you should be relaxed while running and give yourself enough time to recover between them.

When you break this down, you’ll get a range of answers on how fast and how far to run these.

Focus on landing somewhere in 80-90% of your top speed, working up to this over the distance of each stride. Each stride should be about 20 – 30 seconds long. I’ll start most runners off with 4 strides after an easy run each week.

Here is a helpful video from Jason Fitzgerald’s Strength Running. In this video he is recommending running up to 95% of your max speed; I’ve said 80-90% instead because I want someone who’s new to strides and speedwork to ease into doing these.

Have fun incorporating these into your training!

By Cat Fitzgerald PT, DPT, CSCS

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