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Improving Your Speed

Whether this is your first race or you are a veteran marathon runner, it’s likely you want to get faster. There are many different types of training to help you improve your speed. One of the simplest methods is speed training or “strides.”

Strides are a series of repetitive runs that cover 100-250 meters and should last anywhere from 20-40 seconds. You first accelerate to a very fast pace for a brief time and then decelerate to a jog to recover.

By practicing strides:

  • Your body learns to run efficiently at a fast pace.
  • You can practice good running form and improve your running mechanics.
  • You are forced to change your stride length. (You naturally will have a longer stride as you cover more ground, but stride frequency will remain the same.)

Strides are simple to do and do not require a track or a measure course. Best of all, they can help liven up your legs after a slower run. To get started, incorporate four to eight strides into two of your weekly runs.

Keep in mind, the purpose of strides is to help you run fast with good form, so take enough time to recover so that you are able to run smoothly during the next stride. Do not worry if you feel sluggish on the first or second stride, especially if you have been running awhile. Your body simply needs time to adjust to the new pace.

Hopefully, by incorporating a few sessions of strides into your weekly training, you will notice your running pace is faster.

This tip is presented by Craig Souders and Jesse Schimmer, physical therapists at Lehigh Valley Health Network

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This is a non-profit organization. Please consider donating to help heal, comfort and care.

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