Ask A Coach: Should I Reduce My Stride Length?

Question: Jack Daniels has done some studies on premier runners and found their stride rate to be 180+ strides a minute. Is this for a particular distance race such as half and full marathons or is this for all distances from 5K and up?

I am training for a half marathon and my stride rate is at 160 strides a minute.  Should I try to reduce my stride length to achieve a higher stride rate or should I stay where I am and try something different?

Alex Gardner Sets New Half Marathon PR

Longtime Run SMART client, Alex Gardner, set a huge PR this past weekend at the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in Kansas City, MO. She finished 3rd out of 171 females in the 40-44 age group. Her official time was 1:41:21 (full results), which gives her an automatic qualifying time for the New York City Marathon!

Ask A Coach: What Is Your Opinion On Stretching Before Runs?


I was wondering as accomplished coaches and runners what your opinion is on stretching before you run?  I know that there is a major difference to dynamic and static stretching, but does either in your mind have value, especially to younger runners?

Everett Hill Sets His 11th PR With Run SMART

The PR ticker keeps ticking away for 51-year old Everett Hill. Since joining Run SMART Everett has now set 11 new personal bests! This past weekend at the Silver Comet 10k in Altlanta, GA he dropped another 1:24 off of his PR. Everett finished 21st overall in the 50-55 age group in 49:10 (7:56 per mile, full results). This marks the first time he’s ever averaged sub-8 minute miles for 10K!

Tom Klimek Sets New 10k PR

Run SMART client Tom Klimek set a new personal best for 10k at the Shiver by the River Winter Series in Reading. He finished 12th place overall in 39:05 (6:17 per mile)!

Tom has now set PRs for 5k, which he did during an 8k race last year, 10k and the marathon. We’re very proud to announce that the pace he averaged in this 10k was actually faster than the pace he was averaging for 5k when he first signed up for private coaching.

Tom works with Run SMART coach Vince Sherry.

Michelle LaSala Wins Age Group

Run SMART client Michelle LaSala, pictured above in black, broke some hearts in the final stretch of the 2011 Valentine Run in Sacramento, CA. She went on to pass both men shortly after this picture was taken. Michelle placed first in her age group and finished the 4-mile course in 26:03 (6:31 per mile).

Congrats to Michelle and her coach Vince Sherry for the age group victory!

Claude DeGrace Finishes Strong In Melbourne

Run SMART client Claude DeGrace, pictured (right) with marathon legend Bill Rodgers (left),  after the Melbourne Half Marathon. The 56 year old from Moncton, New Brunswick Canada, ran an impressive time finishing 5th overall in his age group in 1:28:42 (10 minutes ahead of Bill Rodgers)! Full results.

Claude works with Run SMART coach Vince Sherry.

Winter Running Footwear Tips

By Vince Sherry

I wince every time I see more than a couple inches of snow in the forecast. It’s ironic, considering one of my favorite Bill Bowerman quotes is “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only soft people.”

This is a relatively new qualm of mine. I grew up in Rochester, NY. Since Rochester rarely sees the sun in the winter (and the winter is very long), the snow sticks around much longer. But I never missed a day of running due to snow in Rochester, and the fresh white powder made the otherwise dismal winter landscape a little more pleasing to the eye. I actually enjoyed running on snowy days. So what happened?

Running Advice Articles From Run SMART Coaches

For the past eight weeks Run SMART coaches have been contributing original content to our blog on all sorts of running-related topics. Our goal is to share a new article from one of our esteemed coaches on a different running topic each week. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the sport from the insightful viewpoints of our elite coaching staff.

So far we’ve posted Learning How To Concentrate and the Three Most Important Tips For Beginners by Mike Smith. Dr. Jack Daniels, via Flotrack and Saucony, shared his thoughts on cross training for runners. Blake Boldon wrote about what he believes to be the Three Fundamental Principles of Running. Vince Sherry covered When to Get New Running Shoes. Brian Rosetti brought us Learning How To Recover Properly.

Tom Klimek Sets 5k PR During 8k Race

Run SMART client Tom Klimek finished the Rothman Institute 8k in 30:52 (6:12 per mile). His coach, Vince Sherry, was excited to report that Tom set a new 5k PR in route! Tom’s 5k PR was 19:30 (6:16 per mile). We’re excited to see how fast Tom can run now in an actual 5k.

In the same race, Run SMART coach Rod Koborsi finished 4th overall in an impressive time of 23:48 (4:47 per mile, results). We’re happy to see Rod back racing this year after a long layoff.