Rebel running and a Strides drill

Rebel trainer Grant (runner extraordinaire) talks to us about Strides – what they are, how they benefit your running and how to incorporate them into a training schedule! 

“With summer running coming to an end and the Great Aberdeen Run just behind us, you are hopefully relatively happy with any progress you have made this year?! However there are always ways of tweaking your training to get that little bit more out of it… I’m going to give you an incredibly quick and easy drill to incorporate into your routine to get faster, as well as improving your form and efficiency. The name of this drill is Strides.

But what are Strides?

Strides are a running drill that has you mimicking “perfect” sprinting form and these are normally performed over a short distance (roughly 50m). By mimicking this sprinting form a Strides drill will help with form, running efficiency and speed.

These are massively beneficial to runners of all abilities as they help build fast twitch muscle memory (which helps with speed). By improving your form they aid with injury prevention; and better form also results in making maintaining that steady pace feel way more more comfortable.

When should I do my Stride drills?

The next question is, “When should I perform these strides?”. There are three main times I would implement a Strides drill into a running training routine:

  1. At the end of a longer, possibly slower-paced run. The main benefit of this is that it trains your body to become comfortable running quickly on tired and heavy legs. Again, it also reinforces correct form and posture while running, even when exhausted.
  2. I would recommend spending 10-20 minutes on a rest day to perform a few sets of strides along with some other form drills. As they are performed in short bursts this should not affect recovery, however be sure to listen to your body so as not to risk injury and prolonged fatigue.
  3. Finally, as part of a pre-race warm-up. The main benefit of this is that it gets your muscles in your legs firing properly and ready to perform at your best! #toptip do not peak too early – it’s a fine line between firing up your leg muscles and getting injured before a race…

So how do I do a Strides drill?

  1. Find a flat, straight and even surfaced area with at least 50m length
  2. Start at jogging speed and quickly build pace to roughly 90% of your max speed over the 50m
  3. Try to emulate “proper” sprinting form. Tall posture, hips underneath shoulders, forefoot striking, bringing heels to bum and fast cadence/turnover
  4. Rest for 2-3 mins (I’d recommend walking while resting)
  5. Repeat 4-6 times
  6. Reap benefits #Rebelwinningatlife

Hopefully incorporating some of these drills into your training programme will help you gain that extra advantage in your running! If there is anything you’re still not sure about or have any questions or comments, let me know and I will be happy to help. #RunRebelRun #RebelLife