Marathon Training 2019 Day 33: What To Focus on When Performing Strides

“Focus on the things you can change and let go fo the things you can’t.”

Yesterday’s run was ~35 minutes and during this run I performed 4 x 20-second strides with ~90 second slow jog recovery. I performed these strides after running at an easy pace for ~20 minutes. After I finished this strides I completed my run at an easy pace. While performing these strides I focused on different aspects of running form, which is the subject of today’s Tip of the Day. For my first stride I focused on running tall, for the second arm swing, for the third keeping hips open, and for the fourth increasing cadence.

Immediately after my run, I performed the following exercises:

  • Leg swings forward and back with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with straight leg and bent leg (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg stands (~45 seconds)
  • Clamshells (20 repetitions on each side)
  • Prone planks (~40 seconds)
  • Side planks (~30 seconds)
  • Supine planks (~20 seconds)
  • Glute bridge hip lifts (10 repetitions)
  • Quadrupeds (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Toe yoga (10 cycles)
  • Fire hydrants (10 repetitions on each side)
  • Knee circles forward (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Knee circles backward (10 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg balances (~30 seconds)

After these exercises I performed foam rolling for ~10 minutes.

Recommendation: For intermediate and advanced runners, I recommend incorporating strides in your training if you have completed at least 2-4 weeks of easy-paced running. For beginners and those who have taken a significant amount of time off from running (three months or more) you might want to wait until at least 8 weeks of easy-paced running before including strides.

Again, if you have not done so, you can receive a complementary fitness training program, which includes strides, by opting in on the Welcome page of Denver Running Coach. You will be given recommendations on when to incorporate them in your training, how many to perform, as well as duration of strides, and recovery interval.

Tip of the Day: To get the most benefit out of performing strides it is helpful to focus on different aspects of running form. You can focus on such things as “running tall” (http://www.denverrunningcoach.com/marathon-training-2019-day-8-run-tall-to-help-improve-running-form/), swinging hands from “hip-to-nip” (http://www.denverrunningcoach.com/marathon-training-2019-day-9-arm-swing-hip-to-nip-to-help-improve-running-performance/), keeping hips open by imaging knees as headlights you shine straight ahead (http://www.denverrunningcoach.com/marathon-training-2019-day-23-keep-hips-open-when-running-to-help-avoid-injury/), rhythmic nasal breathing (http://www.denverrunningcoach.com/marathon-training-2019-day-12-importance-of-nasal-and-rhythmic-breathing/), cadence (http://www.denverrunningcoach.com/marathon-training-2019-days-21-22-running-cadence-important-for-your-running-performance-and-for-avoiding-injury/), knee lift, looking ahead ~30-35 feet, and so on. For some strides you might want to focus on incorporating more than one of these. Over time these will automatically become part of your regularly running form when you are doing easy-pace running, and so on. As a result you will become a more efficient and faster runner, and reduce your risk of injury.

If you experience pain, especially in any joints while performing strides, stop immediately and seek help from a qualified healthcare professional. Strides should not cause pain.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help in any way.

Enjoy strides!

Your friend and coach,

Brian

Marathon Training 2019 Day 8: “Run Tall” To Help Improve Running Form

August 4 2018 Statue of Runners in Olympic Statue Park“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

After my dynamic warm-up, I ran for ~32 minutes at an easy pace. It was a chilly, dark, and icy run, but I’m glad I got it in! In addition to being aware of ice, at various times during my run, I focused on different aspects of proper running form. One important aspect is running with a smooth, fluid motion, and not choppy motion, as I occasionally see other runners do. Another important aspect is running posture. As I am writing this post, I remember the Statue of Runners in Olympic Statue Park Seattle that is pictured above. You may have heard of the term “running tall”. Basically, it means actively engaging your core and glute muscles, so that you’re pelvis is stable and you are upright when you run. This includes having your upper and lower body in one plane of motion. Today’s tip of the day will help you with this.

After I ran, I immediately performed the following exercises (see yesterday’s post for a video demonstration):

  • Leg swings forward and back with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Single-leg stand (~30 seconds for each leg))
  • Prone planks (~30 seconds)
  • Side planks (~20 seconds)
  • Supine planks (~15 seconds)
  • Clamshells (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Double leg hip bridges (10 repetitions)
  • Quadrupeds (10 repetitions on each side)
  • Toe yoga (10 repetitions times for each foot)
  • Fire hydrants (5 repetitions on each side)
  • Knee circles forward (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Knee circles backward (5 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg balance (~30 seconds for each leg)

Then, I performed 10 minutes of foam rolling and eccentric lengthening exercises.

Recommendations:

  • Beginners:
    • I recommend 20-30 minute run at an easy pace, in a flat area
    • Perform the strengthening exercises above
    • Then perform either active isolated stretching, foam rolling, static stretching, or yoga poses for a cool-down
  • Intermediate/advanced:
    • I recommend 30-45 minute run at an easy pace, in a flat area
    • Perform the strengthening exercises above
    • Then perform either active isolated stretching, foam rolling, static stretching, or yoga poses for a cool-down

Tip for Today: One of the best cues that I have heard as far as running form is the following: “Imagine someone grabbing you by your shirt and lifting you up at the chest.” This can help you stay lifted as you engage your core and glute muscles, as well as promoting forward lean, which can help you utilize gravity to help propel you forward while prevent overstriding.

Stay tuned for future posts on more tips to help you improve your running performance and help you prevent your body and health from breaking down as you reach your goals

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way.

Be your best self today.

Your friend and coach,

Brian