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Strides: What, When, How, Why

Strides are a great tool to use during almost any run. They can spice up a recovery or easy run, add a bit of challenge to a long run, or help you warm up for a 5k. Below we'll talk about the very basics of strides.

What:
Strides are short accelerations in pace ranging anywhere from 20-60 seconds.
These are controlled efforts, not all out sprints. After you reach peak speed, slowly decrease your pace. You should not require a recovery after these accelerations.

When:
There are multiple methods and durations of strides. Post workout, you can perform a 30 second stride and walk back to the start. During a run you can perform one every 5-10 minutes or on a 2 minute interval during the last quarter of a run.
They can also be added in during a consistently paced easy run. Every 5 minutes or so, do a short acceleration across a city block.
These can also be performed during a warm up. If you warm up for two miles before a 5k race, performing a short acceleration every few minutes can help slowly prepare your body for race pace.

How:
Post workout, simply stride out for 100 meters and walk back to your starting position.
If a stride is about 30 seconds long, take 10 seconds to reach peak speed, spend 10 seconds there, and slowly reduce your pace for 10 seconds.

Why?
Strides have multiple purposes. The primary one is to include some neurmuscular training into your easier workouts. Strides are short enough that they do not induce any fatigue but still give the body stimulation for growth and adaptation.

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