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Tip: Everyone needs to run strides, but how fast? - NikeRunning.com

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NikeTF.com - Nike High School Track and Field   Apr 16th 2012, 5:04pm

Everyone needs to run strides, but how fast?


Every runner, from the adult marathoner down to the freshman in high school running the 4 x 800m relay, needs to do strides — both in training and prior to a race. In essence, you need to "wake-up" the nervous system and send a signal to your legs that they're about to run a certain pace during the race. But rather than running all of your strides at the pace you're going to run, it's good to run a couple of strides faster than your race pace. This will make the race pace feel slower and more realistic.  So, for instance, if you're running a local 10k, then you should do some of your pre-race strides at 5k pace. They don't have to be long, even 20 seconds of running at that pace is enough. For high school runners who run the 800m, it gets a bit more complicated. Ideally you would run 400m pace, yet you don't want to run 100m at that pace. So for high school athletes I recommend a 150m in-n-out where you build up for 50m, run 400m pace for 50m, then decelerate for 50m. A couple of those before the 800m and you're ready to go (though you don't want to do these immediately prior to your 800m race — roughly 4-5 minutes before the gun goes off for your race). The bottom line is that not only are strides important before races and workouts, but doing a few strides faster than race pace will get your legs ready for the task at hand. 


*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.

Interested in Coach Jay's General Strength Videos and other training tips? Check out the NikeRunning.com Training blog.

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And don't forget, if you have a training question for Coach Jay, email him here:coachjay@nike.com.

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