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Stride Fre-quen-cy: The number of strides over time and distance
By increasing stride frequency, you cover a greater distance and decrease time between steps, which ultimately makes you faster.

According to Chris Stewart, associate strength and conditioning coach for the University of Tennessee, to increase stride frequency, it's necessary to reduce the time your foot is in contact with the ground. "You want to strike the ground with the ball of the foot underneath the hip, with your toes up so you'll have a quicker cycle to get it up," says Stewart, who primarily works with men's T&F. "If your foot strikes in front of your hip, you'll shorten your stride frequency and increase your chance of a hamstring injury."

Below, STACK hits up top speed experts for a stretching exercise and two drills to improve stride frequency.

Chris Stewart: Associate strength and conditioning coach, University of Tennessee
Matt Martin: Sprints and hurdles coach, University of Nebraska
David Abernathy: Strength coach, Clemson University

Stewart's Partner Shin Raise
• Sit on bench with feet off end
• Slowly point toes forward
• Pull toes back toward body

Sets/Reps/Rest: 3x15, 30-60 seconds
Coaching Points: Keep back flat and head in a neutral position // Raise chest while sitting // Partner should provide enough resistance so exercise is a struggle

Martin's In and Outs
• Place cones at starting line, at 30m mark, at 50m mark, at 60m mark and at 80m mark
• Accelerate from starting line to 30m mark
• Sprint at top speed from 30m to 50m mark
• Stride from 50m to 60m mark
• Sprint at top speed from 60m to 80m mark
• Use walk back to start as rest

Sets/Reps: 1x5
Coaching Points: Sprint at top speed during 20-meter sections // Focus on arm swing and full range of motion 

Abernathy's Resistive Sprints
• Attach weight sled to body harness
• Sprint 30 yards pulling against sled
• Use 10-15 percent of body weight on sled

Sets/Reps: 1x2
Coaching Points: Avoid swinging arms across body // Drive arms front to back // Keep entire body loose // Don't overstrain face or abs


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock