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|Author: ||Saul Goodman|
|Subject: ||RE: Bored X coach, willing to give unwanted advice|
why strides? wrote:
In a fast race it doesn't matter what A or B's 400 pr is since they won't be able to utilize that speed. So now it seems that your 'advice' about doing strides all the time is only useful for those expecting to do a slow race with a sprint at the end.
You're right, I'm just going for the local road race and not a meandering kicker's championship race. We're not all in college here.
Anyway, thanks for the insight. I'm going to bail on strides now as I've asked this question a dozen times and no one can really seem to grasp the concept of the specific endurance aspect and how it relates to actual races that are run hard. Since none of my races are slow tactical ones it's apparent that the speed aspect is pointless when the specific endurance limits the speed I can run at anyway.
Endurance is no doubt a more important factor for you. But there's no reason not to do something short and fast.
X.Coach suggests that a 30yr old 18:00 guy might not need strides - I agree with pretty much every piece of advice he's given here, but I'd say approaching top speed is important no matter what.
Running fast (I'll refrain from saying 'sprinting' since barely any distance runners ever 'sprint' in a race) is something your body has to learn. Doing something short (50-150m) with lots of rest ensures that you're not going to be fatigued and you can practice maintaining form and efficiency while running 'fast'. You do need to practice this to be good at it. Just like you need to practice maintaining form while tired - no one does it naturally without some form of coaching.
Another angle I look at 'fast' running from is that your top race speed and overall race speed are limited by your top speed. Say you're an 18:00 guy, your average 100m in that race is 21.6s. Let's also say your overall top 100m speed is 15.4s. This means you're capable of running about 71% of your top speed over 5km. If you can work your top speed down to 14.8s, you might not see an exact extrapolation on your 5k time (71% of 14.8 for 5km is about 17:18),but you're certain to see some improvement provided you're not sacrificing endurance-building work to work on your speed. Strides don't sacrifice anything.
I'm very limited on time when I train on my lunch break at work. I build strides into the last few miles of my runs 2-3 times a week. Basically fartlek for 10-20s, rest as long as I want, usually end up getting 6 or 8 in no problem. I look like a maniac on the public trail, but they help.
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