Strides

It’s yet another cold, windy February evening and I’ve just finished leading a group of 20 enthusiastic runners around the dark streets of Hastings.

After 10 minutes catching up with the latest gossip and waiting for the last stragglers to head off to their cars, it was time to get in my weekly Strides session.

I waited a few extra minutes to make sure I was now alone. I could hear the thoughts of my fellow runners had they seen me sprinting up and down the pavement.

“What a show off” and “Look at him sprinting like a nobhead, who does he think he is?”

But once I got started the little voice in my head became more positive. I was proud of the fact I was putting in extra effort whilst the rest of my club made their way home. #WinnersDoMore is one of my favourite sayings.

So what are Strides?

Well it’s a short session where you run at 90-95% effort for around 100 metres. The idea is to focus on your form. You can work on lifting your knees higher, increasing your stride length and getting more power from your arms.

If you are new to this then I would recommend starting with 4 reps of 100 metres. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle. I aim to do 8 reps of 100 metres at least once a week.

The idea is that slowly your form will start to improve, your stride length will naturally increase and as a result your race times will come down.

You can do Strides after one of your easy runs. It only takes about 10 minutes.

Plus if you do it when it’s dark you get the enjoyment of frightening random members of public, as from almost nowhere, you sprint past them.

This has more effect if you breathe deeply just on approach and get as close to brushing their shoulder as possible. Who said running wasn’t fun?

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