Help understanding some training instructions (beginner)


I’ve just signed up for the first time and I’m having issues with lack of detail for some instructions.

I have one day with a scheduled “Long interval HIIT” which calls for:

PREP 7′ strides & accelerations

I can’t see any details on what specifically to do even when I click to edit it. How many strides and for what duration within the 7 minutes? How does an acceleration differ from a stride? There is no distance or number of reps in the instruction. Do I effectively throw in some random fartlek with recoveries for the 7 minute duration or am I supposed to just keep on going faster until the next step of 400m intervals?

I have another day with a 5k time trial and it calls for the following:

WU 15′ easy
PREP 8 x 50m
50m strides (then stretch lightly)
jog back 30″

What does jog back 30" mean? Jog back where? Is there an assumption I’m doing this all in the same area and I’m supposed to jog back 30 minutes to where I started? It doesn’t say anything about doing it on a track but perhaps that’s assumed?

Thanks for any guidance.

Hi @GingrRage,

Welcome to the platform and thanks for your questions.

Truly just common sense should guide your decisions here. The purpose is to prepare you for your main set (4 x 400m) . Indeed, fartlek style would be my recommendation also. Strides are about 20 seconds or so of fast running. It is not an all-out, chased-by-a-tiger effort, but rather 85 to 90% effort. If you want to attach a race-pace effort, it’s about your mile race pace. The purpose of these is to engage your larger fast twitch muscles before you do your 400m repeats. Give lots of rest in between and go again when you feel ready.

Yes - its assuming you’re at a track or similar, but you can do these anywhere. In this case, you’d do the strides for 50 m and jog for 30s after each. Again, the purpose is warming up and engaging your larger motor units preparing them for the 5k effort.

Hope that helps.

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Welcome @GingrRage ! All very good questions!

A stride is like a sprint, minus the top end max speed. Using about 50 meters, you accelerate to a fast pace that is “easy” and hold the speed until the 50 meter mark and slow down to a stop. Then you turn around a jog easy back to you starting point.

An acceleration is similar, but rather than holding onto the speed, you slow down after hitting your “easy” fast pace.

7 minutes worth of accelerations and strides means 7 total intervals (perhaps 3 accelerations and 4 strides) of <30 seconds each, with 30 seconds recovery. Like you have written at the bottom:

PREP 8x50 meters:
Accelerate or stride for 50m out,
Jog easy back ~30 seconds to starting point
Repeat 7 or 8 times.

Keep the questions coming!

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Thanks Paul. That answers my questions perfectly. I have a tendency to overthink things.

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Thanks for the clarification Jesse. I’m sure I will have more questions soon!

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