Running Strides – Can They Make You Faster?

fit runner standing on racetrack in athletics arena

A very common goal that many runners have is the desire to run faster. As a Running Coach, one of my favorite ways to help my athletes improve their speed and running form is to add strides to their workouts! If you’re new to running, you may be wondering: What does it mean to run strides, and how can they make me faster?

What are Strides?

Strides are running drills that help to improve your speed, mechanics, and form. Strides are short bursts of swift running for 15-30 seconds, while also focusing on maintaining a smooth and efficient running form. They are meant to be added into conversation pace runs. You can also do them as a standalone running drill if you’d like. You can choose to run strides anywhere, but it’s generally best to run strides on flat surfaces. The thing I really love about strides is that they are a really great technique to increase speed for a lot of different types of runners.

How Do They Work?

Strides improve your running economy. This means that adding strides to your workouts will help to reduce the amount of energy it takes for you to run fast. It also makes it so that your body becomes comfortable running at a faster pace.

If you add strides to your runs consistently, you will begin to notice that your conversation pace gradually begins to be a bit faster. What once was a difficult pace for you will become more comfortable. Many runners are able to notice this difference after about 4 weeks of adding strides to their running routines.

How Do You Run Strides?

Start your run at conversation pace (easy, comfortable, conversational pace), increase speed and intensity for a short amount of time (usually around 15-30 seconds), and then decelerate back to conversation pace. Strides are meant to be very short and there is no additional benefit to running them for longer.

It is important to focus on maintaining a smooth running form during the stride. You should not feel strained or overly-taxed since they only last a few seconds. After you finish the stride, you should either stand or do a light jog until your heart rate decreases and your breathing returns back to the level it was at the conversation pace.

You can choose to add strides at the end of your run or in the middle of your run. I typically will recommend doing 6-8 strides, depending on your experience and goals.

Who Should Run Strides?

Anyone! The great thing about strides is they aren’t just for experienced, elite runners. Anyone can safely add strides to their running routine and reap the benefits. They are especially helpful for new runners and those who are just starting out and would like to run faster! Strides are an easy and efficient way to increase your speed over time and improve your running form and technique! That sounds like a win-win!

Have you ever tried running strides?

You May Also Be Interested In:

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How Important Are Negative Splits?

The Surprising Benefits of Running Hills

Running Strides – Can They Make You Faster?

I have some exciting news to share! I am so happy to share that Running for Wellness has been added to Amanda Brooks’ list of Top Running Blogs for 2021! Amanda is the creator of Run to the Finish, which is an amazing and inspiring running blog. Amanda is definitely one of the leaders in this space, and I am honored to be featured in her list of Top Running Blogs!

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12 Comments

  1. Lorie Jamison-Phillips

    Great job on the blog entry about strides! I enjoyed reading the information and found it very informative.

    Thank you and keep up the wonderful content!

  2. I like doing strides but don’t always remember to add them to my run. Thanks for the reminder!
    Congratulations on making the list!

  3. Congratulations on being in Amanda’s list!

    I should remember to add strides to my runs at the end again. I lost a lot of speed while training for an ultra, so now is the time to get it back!

  4. I have to admit that I don’t do these intentionally but they kind of happen on my runs. If I want to make it across a street before a light changes for example. I should be more aware and add them in sometimes. Thanks for the reminder

  5. Yes,, I try to do strides once a week. Like you said, over time they will make you faster! They don’t tire you out, plus they’re fun- it feels good to run fast.

  6. I love strides and also give them to athletes! I have been better about doing them myself lately too. They are so beneficial!

  7. I always forget about strides! They are really such a great addition to any workout.

  8. I live about halfway up a hill, and most of my runs start with the incline…which means those same runs end on the decline. I do strides for the last stretch, before reaching my driveway, on most of my runs.

  9. I’ve been doing strides on a weekly basis and I like to think that they are helping improve my running!

  10. I love doing strides at the end of my run! It’s usually as I enter the final stretch into my neighbourhood and I always feel like such a hero!

  11. Congrats on making Amanda’s list!

    I love doing strides. I can run “fast” in short bursts. I also do them on a slight incline, often (my house is on a hill), which may be cheating slightly. 🙂

  12. Congrats on making Amanda’s list! I do strides and often prescribe to my athletes – they work and they are fun!

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