Strides are a form of running drill that involves short bursts of controlled, faster-paced running.
They are typically performed before or after runs or races as a way to enhance running form, neuromuscular coordination, and speed.
The primary purpose of strides is to prepare the body and mind for the demands of race pace or faster running.
When done before a race, strides help warm up the legs, increase blood flow, and mentally acclimate the runner to the intensity and rhythm of the upcoming race. By practicing running at a faster pace in short bursts, runners can familiarize themselves with race-specific mechanics and improve their overall performance.
Strides contribute to the development of neuromuscular efficiency. These short bursts of faster running engage the neuromuscular system, improving the communication between the muscles and nerves.
How to perform a Stride
During a stride, start with a few relaxed jogging steps and gradually increase the pace to around 80-90% of your maximum speed.
The goal is to reach this pace within 15 to 25 foot strikes and maintain it for another 10 to 20 foot strikes before gradually slowing down.
It's essential to maintain good form throughout the stride, including controlled deceleration, to reinforce proper mechanical patterns.