For most runners, it’s only natural to want to get faster and improve your performance over time. And while there are a lot of ways to do this, in this article we are going to be looking at one of the most tried and true methods of increasing performance. Providing you with the complete guide on running strides for beginners. Proven to improve your form, strength, and overall running economy. I’ll give you everything you need to know to start adding these into your programing today. So let’s get striding
Running Strides for Beginners – A Complete Guide
What are Strides?
Running strides are short bursts of running done at your ideal running form and speed. Picture the perfect knee drive and kick, almost effortless while incredibly explosive and efficient. These are not sprints. Sprints are meant to be hard. Strides are meant to feel easy yet un sustainable. And are typically done in intervals based on time, distance, or count (number of steps).
What is the purpose of running strides?
Running strides have a primary focus on improving your running form by allowing you to practice and learn the movement patterns over a short maintainable period. Then repeating to print that proper form into your muscle memory. Strides improve speed by building proper mechanics and strengthening the muscles through the full length of movement. While also increasing flexibility through full extension (high knee drive and full kick). And by combining the two you improve your overall running economy. One of the main factors in running fasters.
Who should be doing strides?
I’d recommend running strides for anyone that is capable of running a sub 12 minute mile, with no soreness the next day. If you can run under 12, then you are going to really benefit from the form work and starting build speed. And your legs should be ready to handle a higher impact exercise. On the other hand, if you’re not able to run a sub 12 mile. Then you should just continue focusing on building your endurance. Running strides could cause unneeded stress on the legs and joints too quickly. And risk leading to un-necessary injuries nning
How to add running strides to your training?
Below I’ll go over the most traditional ways running strides are incorporated in workouts. And how to progress them for any level.
Step 1. Find a flat, straight section of field, road, or parking lot safe from traffic.
Strides are best performed on flat, straight, non technical terrain (not trails) that allow you to give 100% focus on your form.
Step 2. Warm up or do your normal running workout.
You never want to go into strides cold. You should either do a nice 10 minute warm up, or do your typical workout and do their running strides as a finisher after the workout. Which I prefer as well.
Step 3. Running Strides for beginners.
When running strides there are a few ways to measure your progress. By time, total distance, or number of strides (per leg). I prefer going by the number of strides for two reasons. It allows you to stay consistent with the amount done on each leg. And it’s easy to progress or regress as needed. Just make sure you are doing even numbers!
Do each workout twice a week, for two weeks. Then progress to the next level!
- Week 1 & 2 – 4 sets of 10 strides (5 each leg) – 2x Per Week
- Week 3 & 4 – 4 sets of 12 strides (6 each leg) – 2x Per Week
- Week 5 & 6 – 4 sets of 14 strides (7 each leg) – 2x Per Week
- Week 7 & 8 – 4 sets of 16 strides (8 each leg) – 2x Per Week
- Week 10 & 11 – 4 sets of 18 strides (9 each leg) – 2x Per Week
- Week 12 & 13 – 4 sets of 20 strides (10 each leg) – 2x Per Week
Step 4. Cool down with a job or walk for 5 – 10 minutes. After running your strides it’s important to take a couple minutes to cool down. This can be a jog or walk.
Important: Anytime you are training, if anything doesn’t feel right, stop. Always listen to your body.
Conclusion – Running Strides for Beginners
One of the reasons I wanted to write this guide on running strides for beginners is because of how effective they are. They are one of the most bang for your buck running drills you can do to improve form and running economy. Just make sure that you are placing a focus on form over speed. They are safe to do 1-2 times a week. And building up safely over a few weeks is a good way to prevent any injury from what can be a higher impact movement compared to typical running.
Has running strides improved your performance? Let me know about your experience in the comments below.