Monday, October 27, 2008

Five Plus Strides

Ran an easy five with my friend and fellow teacher, Tom, after school today. Run felt fine, and afterwards I did some strides.

I've seen these before in training schedules, but always dismissed them and didn't really see the point. I became a bit more convinced, however, after reading up on them more. To paraphrase Pfitzinger and Douglas in their book Advanced Mararthoning, the purpose of strides is improve running form and control at fast speeds. With adequate rest between each interval, it's easier to concentrate on efficiency because lactate levels remain low.

I gave them a whirl, and while I imagine the benefits won't be reaped in the short term, I enjoyed doing them and could see the point. I focused on remaining loose and relaxed while accelerating and then holding the speed up. Kept track of how many I did by drawing a slash for each rep in the dirt caked on the back of my car.

Rest day tomorrow, which is planned and good timing since it's parent-teacher conference night and a cold rain and possibly snow is supposed to fall. I'm itching to get my mileage back up, but I must be patient.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:39/mile pace, followed by 10 X 100M strides.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Shorts, sleeveless shirt.


Pathfinder said...

My son's track team practiced striders all the time and they swore by the positive effects...I think for sure they will do you good in short races (5k-10k)but in marathon running I'm not so sure.

Blaine Moore said...

The best part about strides isn't the long term benefits you listed, but the very real and very short term benefits of just letting go and having fun at the end of your runs. A long & slow slog is all well and to the good, but follow it up with some strides (especially barefoot strides) and you'll be much looser and recover faster after stretching the legs a little with some faster running.

It's like doing speedwork, except without the damage to your legs.