how to improve your stride rate
Credit: Remy Whiting
Training > Run

Off-season run technique session: work on your stride rate

The off-season is the perfect time to work on your stride rate, says run coach Scott Findlay

I hear what you’re saying. ‘Cadence work? But we did that last year!’  That’s right, but personally I’ll be doing it for years and years to come. Working on your stride rate to make sure you’re running in the optimal range (175-185 strides per minute) is a great way to improve your performance.

What you’ll tend to find, when you change your running style, is that it will temporarily get harder. This is because you’re making your body run in a way it’s not used to. But this is the perfect time of year to be making a change.
By the time the season comes around, you’ll be familiar with this more efficient cadence.

During the set, when trying to increase your cadence, just add 2-3 strides per minute. As you complete this run and others like it, you should be getting closer to that ideal cadence range. But don’t overthink it and don’t rush it. It will take time – which is why we’re starting this far out from race season

3 top tips for the session

WATCH YOUR STEP

One of the benefits of having a cadence in this optimal range is that it allows you to quickly adapt to changing
terrain and racing conditions.

HAPPY LANDING

It’s important that you speed up your cadence through good technique. Try to make sure your feet land underneath your body rather than focusing on forefoot or heel striking.

CHECK YOUR SPEED

Try to control your pace during this session. When running at a set effort level, don’t allow your pace to increase as you increase your cadence!

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR STRIDE RATE

WARM-UP

10mins building from easy to moderate 

Become more aware of your natural cadence as you increase effort

MAIN SET

5mins easy 

Natural cadence

5mins easy 

Slightly faster cadence

10mins moderate

Natural cadence

10mins moderate

Slightly faster cadence

2:30mins vigorous

Natural cadence

2:30mins vigorous 

Slightly faster cadence

COOL-DOWN

5mins easy

Try to replicate your slightly faster cadence from the main set

  

Adapt for beginners

Feel free to reduce the time by halving each rep in the main set. This will give a much shorter run and also less time at those unusual, higher cadences. 

Adapt for Ironman

Add in more volume by doubling each rep in the main set. If you still want more, add in a 30min moderate run at the end where you try to maintain a steady cadence. 


 
 

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