The final running drill in the series, Strides, is a great drill to include either as part of your warm up as we've done here or at the end of a long run for a cool down. Strides force proper biomechanics and overload your central nervous system so you recruit all of the muscles involved in running. These are very fast but relaxed seven to 10 second efforts. As you go through each stride, you should be focused on each of the key elements of running: propulsion, hamstring engagement, fast turnover.
The key to performing strides well is not to view them as sprints. Adopt an easy speed; you should almost feel as though you're floating as you run. Maintain a relaxed posture throughout the drill.
A progression on strides is to perform them on a hill (not shown), which diminishes your ability to turn your legs quickly, thereby increasing propulsion. Choose a grade of three to five percent. As you start the stride, you should bound up the hill, using your shoulders and arms to help drive your legs forward.
For more on Matt Dixon, visit purplepatch fitness (purplepatchfitness.com) or check him out in Outside magazine. TRX has partnered with Dixon to offer you a variety of interactive training plans available on TrainingPeaks.com. For a FREE demo, click here.