Incorporating Strides (aka Pickups) Into the Middle of a Run

Wednesday, it is good to see you because I can see Friday right behind you : )

Yesterday I did my first of two speed work sessions this week. Doing too much speedwork can be very bad, but my coach doesn’t have me doing anything to hard.

Last night I did what she calls strides (aka pickups). I think a lot of people do a couple of short strides or pickups at the end of a run, but my coach had me add 8 of them in the middle of a 4-miler.

So I did a one mile warmup, two miles with 60 second strides every couple of minutes and then a one mile cool down. My coach recommended only doing 30 second strides, but 60 seconds felt a lot more natural. This probably means I wasn’t doing the strides as fast as she would have liked…

I really enjoyed doing the strides because it reminded me that my recovery “gear” doesn’t have to be walking. I can slow down to a jog if I need to regulate my heart rate and breathing, or rest my legs, and that works pretty much just as well as walking…. but with the added bonus of a faster overall pace.

Other than that, this morning I made my last ever drop off at the post office for my candle shop because I learned I can schedule a pickup for FREE!

Still sleeeepy on my way to the post office with candle orders

This makes me so happy because I have to get up extra early to deliver boxes to the post office before I go to work. I don’t mind it too much, but the idea of additional sleep is nice! : )

Speaking of which, I was pretty tired today so at lunch I decided to go for a walk. It was a beautiful day out and I figured the fresh, warm air would do me good.

Along Biscayne Blvd. in Miami

I wish I could go running on my lunch break but it’s too hot and my office doesn’t have a place to shower/change. I’m jealous of everyone who gets to take running lunches!

And finally a picture of Cecil just because:


Are you able to run / workout during your lunch? 

Do you ever incorporate strides into your runs? How long do you do them for? 30 seconds? 60 seconds?


  1. Emmeline@RunForThePizza

    I do fartlek runs like that, very unstructured. Pick up the pace for 1-3 minutes, run easy for 1-3 minutes then do it again, anywhere from 6-15 times depending on the length of the pickup 🙂
    Emmeline@RunForThePizza recently posted…Something I’m good atMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Loosely structured runs are my favorite. It’s great to just go by what feels right, while still pushing to get a good workout in! Love it! 🙂

  2. cheryl

    I am extremely jealous of your weather…Snow starts here this afternoon and through tomorrow. I am going to be on the treadmill.

    I haven’t done strides in a while…need to start!

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      I am so jealous of your snow! 🙂

  3. The Running Schlub

    For now I am able to run on lunch. But it has been in the 80’s here recently and I’m starting to lose the ability to cool down enough before I return to work. May have to stop shortly and find another means of exercise on lunch.

    Except for the past few weeks, I was doing 2 speed workouts a week. 4×400 runs with a 400 recovery in between. I may have to start using strides because the track doesnt help my running at all.

    BTW I found that rent a dog you were looking to add to your runs.
    The Running Schlub recently posted…Can It Get Any Better??My Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      I love doing 400s, they’re probably my favorite speed workout… I still haven’t tried 800s! Too scary!

      That dog is hilarious! HAH! So awesome!

  4. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    I could walk during my lunch if I wanted but then I wouldn’t get to talk to any adults. I NEED to talk to adults after 4 hours of children 10 years old and younger.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Those two times Christmas bit me…My Profile

  5. Kim

    I rarely run during lunch time but that is just because I prefer doing my whole workout first thing in the morning!
    I hope the post office pick-up works out well – I keep seeing advertisements for that but haven’t ever tried it.
    Kim recently posted…THINKMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      That’s awesome. I LOVE the idea of getting a workout completed in the morning, but I am just not a morning person at all. I sleep until the last possible second… and then I still hit the snooze button at least once 🙂

  6. Linda

    How often a week do you see your coach?
    Linda recently posted…Mash Up Conditioning Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      I actually don’t see her in person every week. With my work schedule/commute I leave my house at 8:30am and usually don’t get home until around 7pm. We talk via email/texts during the week, and also through an interactive calendar that I have to post to every day. She only lives 30 mins away from me, so I am able to meet in person when I need to and she has come to my local races.

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    […] I started out with a 20-minute warmup on the stationary bike, and then I did two miles on the treadmill — including fast strides. […]

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