I know I have been harping on everyone to do his or her strides as of late. It is only because I care and want you to be faster. By setting a weekly strides goal, you will be shocked at how much distance you can cover in a given week at your top end speed.
I mention strides in every article when relevant. For example:
I had someone ask me if it’s a good idea to spend some time during the year just running. He was referring to a time when he was not performing any specific workouts and running a tad faster than recovery pace. I am a fan of beginning your base phase with 2-6 weeks of just running. I am often reminded of the scene from Without Limits, where Bowerman tells Pre he just wants him to run for the time being.
Related Reading: Base Phase is like Hibernation
This also reminds me of the words of another renowned coach, Mark Wetmore. “Distance does not kill speed, not doing speed kills speed”.
With those words of wisdom, I encourage you to finish your runs with a minimum of six 100 meter strides. If it’s okay with you, I am going to use myself as an example. My coach typically outlines weekly mileage goals. I usually complete my weekly mileage in 10 runs, which means I double 3 times a week.
My weekly stride goal is more often than not 60. This means I will run upwards of 6K faster than 1500 meter pace in any given week just by doing my strides. While you might not be running 10 times a week, you can still cover lots of ground at top speed if you do your strides after every run.
4 Runs/Week: 2.4K worth of speed work (24 Strides)
6 Runs/Week: 3.6K worth of speed work (36 Strides)
I should also mention that strides are not meant to be all-out sprints. I like to ease into my strides. For example:
Strides 1&2: I like to refer to these strides as floating. Running fast but very relaxed. The goal is to find a rhythm.
Strides 3&4: Start at floating pace and excel throughout the stride reaching close to top end speed
Strides 5&6: Run fast throughout
Lastly, when performing strides, it is typically a good idea to jog into the stride as opposed to starting from a standstill.
Get Fit and Run Fast!
About the Author: Brandon Laan is a runner, coach, and entrepreneur. He spent his undergraduate days at The University of Western Ontario where he captained the Cross Country Team before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He is a Level II Certified USATF coach and holds personal bests of 1:06 and 2:21 in the Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. He also enjoys running to eat, not eating to run…and always will.