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. March 12, 2014 / 9:44 am

    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 🙂

    • March 14, 2014 / 12:30 am

      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
    March 12, 2014 / 9:49 am

    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!

  3. March 12, 2014 / 10:08 am

    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.

    • March 14, 2014 / 12:23 am

      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. March 12, 2014 / 11:47 am

    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.

  5. March 12, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    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.

    • March 14, 2014 / 12:26 am

      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. March 13, 2014 / 9:59 pm

    How often a week do you see your coach?

    • March 14, 2014 / 12:28 am

      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.