Frecuency and stride length sessions

I have a friend who highly advocates sessions of this type, where for example one does 3x100 at the highest possible frecuency followed by 3x100 at the longest possible stride length. He attributes this style of session as one of the main components that took him to 10.51.

What mechanisms are at work here? I assume the idea of this type of session is to engrain neural/motor patterns for each component separately.

Is this effective? Does anyone have any experience about this type of session? Opinions?

“I assume the idea of this type of session is to engrain neural/motor patterns for each component separately.”

your assumption is correct… however it is engraining bad motor neural patterns as you should not train each quality (stride length/stirde frequently) seperatley. It just makes no sense to me.

These types of drills have been used by a few respected coaches and universites.
Remi Korchemny(kelly white/dwain’s coach) advocated them at one point. Here is a sample set-up from him:
1)development of surplus in stride length.
From a 5-10 meter aproach,16-18 sticks with gradually increasing distances are place up to a 3% surplus over the target maximal stride length. The distance of the last 2-4 sticks can be of the same length. The first interval between the sticks can be 70% of the target stride length. The following distances can be increased by 2-3% (5-8cm)
example: 1.maximal stride length is 250 cm =100%
2.starting distance is 30% less =175cm
3.2.5% increase (6cm) gives a 2nd stride of 181cm, a 3rd stride of 187 cm and so on up to the 14-15th stride of253-259cm. The following 2-4 strides(16-18) should be of the same length.

whats the point in treating SL vs SF seperatley when both go naturally hand in hand.both will happen when proper running mechanics are in place which leads to relaxation.

my advice to to run naturally with natural SL and SF.don’t push just run

Interesting, Carlo Vittori, Pietro Minnea’s coach and Pasqual Danotti used this sort of training, I think it is best to follow their methods, will post on this site their methods when I get some time.

As long as you do some ‘normal’ running to integrate the separate components, I’m not sure there will be a problem. Using a part-whole method to teach technique (i.e. treating components of the movement separately and learning them as such and then integrating it into the full movment) is rather common in sport. I don’t see why that wouldn’t be workable here.


yes but the way Aln mentioned his friends training session does not seem workable. Maybee the frequency drills but not the stide length drills. To me that would be bounding which is fine but a whole other drill for a whole other training effect. And a part whole method of teaching technique would be common for jumpers and hurdlers and in other sports for a complex task but running is more of a natural simple task (for lack of better words).
Open and closed skills may be the words i am looking for. Im not so sure.

It could be used as a method to avoid plateaus. Thoughts?

Yes or to control training. Vittori found that with increased volume of track work, frequency would increase whilst length suffered. This he worked out was due to fatigue, yet Minnea was completing multiple 60m in 6.5-6.6 secs (AWESOME) with 2.5-3.5mins recovery between runs and 4.5 mins between sprint sets (4x4x60m). They set about working out how they could use changes in frequency and length to calculate what the training was affecting. They worked out that for a given leg length an athlete will run a certain time over a set distance with more or less the same SF and SL. They could then work out an athletes optimum frequency and length and predict what they will run in competition at a given time in training or just before a meet.

This is the interesting part, FREQUENCY was a better predictor of sprint times. Increased frequency allowed you to be much CLOSER to you fastest times than increased length.

They then re-classifyed sprint technique drills calling them associated sprint work. In that group there were drills dedicated to SF and SL. They were not chosen out of the air. They were compiled with the help of other biomechanists and by utilising the work of Verkhoshansky.

They then systematically trained SF and SL through these specified drills. It all sounds very complicated but when I get the chance will post the info.

I was thinking, if frequency is the major factor then would it not make sense for 400m guys to increase frequency in the last 50m?

Check out Jess Jarver’s T &F book on The Sprints with Gail Devers on the front cover white book with purple graphic trim. There is an article on SL and SF by Belloti or Donati can’t remember exactly, but they all worked With Pavoni and Minnea.

“I was thinking, if frequency is the major factor then would it not make sense for 400m guys to increase frequency in the last 50m?”

Correct!! That is exactly what our coach cues us to do the last 50 meters of the 400 as we are breaking down. Increase frequency since if stride length is increased we would just be sort or floating in place. thoughts?

Great stuff Martn, thanks for posting that info. I’ve heard a lot of interesting stuff about Mennea and his training, that man was an animal.

I tend to agree with those that say “why not just run naturally”, but as the one said, this is a tool, and like all tools when used at the right time it’s a useful tool … and to use it at the right time one has to understand it, that’s why I posted this topic.

My friend said his best on frecuency was 10.7 with 56-57 strides, normal was 51-52 strides and on stride length 10.8 with 47-48 strides … I don’t think that’s bounding. I think he was focusing on each component but in a measured way, not out of control bounding or frecuency, but just stretching the limits on each side a little and hopefully then getting an improvement when combining both.

Lyle also made a good point in that in most other sports movements are worked on individually, why can’t that work in sprinting?

“Lyle also made a good point in that in most other sports movements are worked on individually, why can’t that work in sprinting?[/QUOTE]”

Id say because most other sport movements are open skills whereas sprinting is a closed skill.

Certainly, you can separate stride length and stride frequency drills, though they don’t necessarily have to be in the same session or over regulation distances.

well well hold on a minute…i guess tht the modern definition of stride length is the distance covered by ur center of mass right?? then doesnt tht makes the frequency and the stride length one unit??? i mean this gives us one clue of increasing stride lenght which is strength

There is a difference between sprinting for maximum performance (speed) and doing a drill, which can impact overall performance later. ie bounding for distance and frequency drills with a relaxed but greatly shortened stride length.

So, you’d advocate going farther then my friend, and turn the stride length “sprints” into bounding or stick drills and frecuency “sprints” into quick feet drills?

Would that be more effective then doing “drills” over a distance like 100m. (which sounded a little long when he initially told me)?

I never liked drills that encourage tightness, like stick drills. I kept frequency drills fairly short. In fact only as far as the athlete can maintain complete relaxation and coordination at the high frequency- any change and bail out till the next drill.

I´m wondered how i increased my lenght stride just performing some triple extension exercises then translating this exercises to the track, i guess my average lenght strides in a 100m race are about 3cm longer without commit my frequency.

According to Carlo Vittori

Classification of drills that affect stride rate

  1. STRENGTH exercises for the feet.

  2. PACING exercises with and without overloads for the feet.

  3. Vertical TWO-LEGGED BOUNDS over obstacles with different heights.

  4. FAST SKIP exercises with low knees over 60-100m (calculating the rate).

  5. KICK-BACK RUNS with 50 or 100 contacts, recording time and distance.

  6. SKIP exercises with weighted belt, 50 and 100 contacts, recording time.

  7. SPRINT runs over 30m with RESISTANCE.

  8. SPRINT runs with weighted belt over 60-80-100m, performed also with a TOWING SYSTEM.

  9. FAST CIRCLE RUNS over 100m, recording time and number of strides.

Exercises affecting stride length

  1. STRENGTH exercises with overloas for explosive elastic strength

  2. STRENGTH exercises with light overloads for the thigh and leg flexor muscles.

  3. BOUNDED runs over 100m, recording time and no’ of bounds.

  4. SKIP exercises with and without ankle weights, with 200 or more contacts.

  5. 30-60m RUNS with ankle weights.

  6. 100m RUNS with longer than normal strides, recording time and number of strides.

There are some drills in the list above that are debateable in terms of effectiveness and need.

Interesting. Note the generally shorter distances for frequency.
I would avoid no 8 part one and no 5 part two. No 9 part one is prob fast CYCLE drills.