March 16, 2021
Commonly called strides, pickups or striders, accelerations are a fantastic warm-up exercise and form of speedwork early in a training cycle.
I don’t know how many accelerations I have done in my lifetime, but it’s a lot.
Commonly called strides, pickups or striders, accelerations are one of my favourite warm-up exercises because they help the transition between an easy warm-up jog and a high-intensity set.
Accelerations also provide a great form of speedwork early in a training cycle when you don’t want to push too hard.
In this article, I’ll explain how to do accelerations and what the benefits are.
Accelerations are 20 to 30-second efforts building from an easy jog to a relaxed hard effort. They’re followed by a full recovery and are typically run at the end of easier runs or before an intense session or race.
One of the great things about accelerations is that you can run them anywhere. I’ve run them on roads, footpaths, beaches, bush tracks, parks, running tracks and probably a number of other places.
Before speed sessions, I’d often do them barefoot on the grass inside the track to help develop foot and lower leg strength.
Accelerations have several benefits, and we use them in different ways in our training plans, depending on what we’re trying to accomplish with the session.