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4272 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2012 7:42 PM by RunBetter
ydiez Pro 161 posts since
Nov 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 16, 2011 12:03 AM

Strides, not quite getting it...

Ok, I have been training for my first half for about 6 weeks now, things are going well and, unless lesions prevent it I will be runnning my first in February 2 well within my 1:45 goal.


The thing is that, being a newbie to training plan, I am having some problems with terminology, maybe someone can help:


STRIDES (S) Over 100 meters, gradually accelerate to 90 percent effort, hold for five seconds, then decelerate. Walk to recover


and a typical training exercice can be:


4x100 S


So I get I have to accelerate, hold, decelerate and walk.


The question (probably stupid, sorry) is wheter:


- I should do the whole thing over 100 meters (and be ready to do the next repetition by the end of them).

- I should accelerate, hold decelerate over 100 meters, walk for as long as I need to get my heart rate back to "normal". Then do the next repetition.

- I should accelerate, hold decelerate over 100 meters, repeat it all as many times as needed and then, after all repetitions, walk to recover.


I realize I am not really understanding the type of exercise I am doing (or what it is good for, for that matter), so I think it would probably be good to start by understanding it.




Current PB:

5k: 19:53 (December 31st 2014)

10k : 42:30 (March 9th 2014)

Half Marathon: 1:32:40 (February 1st 2015)

Marathon: 3:33:31 (March 15th 2015)

Completed my first marathon! Feeling like getting some more!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 16, 2011 5:42 AM (in response to ydiez)
    Strides, not quite getting it...

    Strides are great they help you with leg turn over (running faster) especially after a long slower run.


    You should start your stride and build to the 90% hold it for the amount of time then slowly decelerate and after the 100 walk until you have recover to about 100%.  Try to focus on proper form doing your strides, then do it again for the number of times on your plan.  Hope this helps, Good luck

  • schizoidman Amateur 11 posts since
    Oct 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 11, 2012 7:11 AM (in response to ydiez)
    Strides, not quite getting it...

    The main point about striders is to get a little speed work into your training. The description in your post leaves a lot open for interpretation. When I do strides, I maintain the top speed for the full 100 meters. I jog between strides, not walk. When I am on the street, I count my steps to get approximate distance (50 right foot strikes). Gradual acceleration  for me means to not sprint off a starting line, but get up to speed smoothly, about 10 steps. Of course if you are going from a walk to you target speed, it might take a few more than 10. My recovery stretch is approximately the same distance as the stride, 100 meters. The makes it easy if you on a track, fast on the straights and recover on the curves.

    Good luck in your race. I hope you make your goal.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 11, 2012 9:27 AM (in response to ydiez)
    Strides, not quite getting it...

    Try not to over-analyze this.  Like schizoidman said, "accelerate gradually" keeps you from going from slow to fast in one step - 8 or 10 steps is good. Then run at 90% (or whatever) for 100 steps (counting both feet), then slow to an easy jog or even a walk. I usually find a straight, flat section of trail or road, do the stride in one direction, then turn around and go easy back to the start, then turn around and do the next stride.  Speed of the fast part should be "comfortably fast", not an all-out sprint. Work on foot/leg turnover and form.  They don't have to be 100s either.  I've done 50s and 75s when 100s just felt like a bit too much.  And I've seen runners who do 200s.




  • jmsab23 Legend 243 posts since
    Aug 19, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 13, 2012 5:14 PM (in response to ydiez)
    Strides, not quite getting it...

    Ydiez, I understand your confusion. Strides (or striders), pickups, fartleks, whatever you call them, are all training ideas that involve bursts of speed.

    Strides, as I understand them, are ??quick, but rather short bursts of between 50 and 100 meters, while working on running form. As opposed to pickups and/or fartleks, where change of pace is done during the training runs, strides are usually run by themselves, like sprints, followed by walking or a slow, active recovery (Again, if I understand the idea correctly). They can also be used before a race to build heart rate and as a way to focus again on proper running form. They are supposed to help you build your speed while helping you become a more efficient runner via improved form/technique.

    It may be worth your while to Google a list of running terms.

    Good luck.


    Capital City Veterans' Day 5k, 11/12/2011            20:52 (PB)

    30th Annual Great Osprey 10k, 11/5/2011            46:22 (first 10k)

    1/2 M training run on treadmill    1/5/2012          1:36:48 (first 1/2)

  • RunBetter Amateur 31 posts since
    Jan 7, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 17, 2012 7:42 PM (in response to ydiez)
    Strides, not quite getting it...

    Strides are typicaly the last part of a warm-up, and they consist of short bursts of speed. This is to allows your longer mucles to warm up their entire range of motion. This helps with the ache feeling you get while running speed work as with only a slow speed jogging warmup the far back and far front ends of your gate will not be warmed up. Strides are a favorite of track and XC teams and I always make a point to get 3-4 strides in on the line before I start a race, it really helps me start out strong.

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