To become faster you have to train your body to be faster.
Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner, describes strides as…
…gradual accelerations over 60 to 80 meters. By running four to six strides several times a week, you help your legs and the rest of your body remember what it’s like to run fast. Without strides or some type of speed-form drill, it’s easy to get sloppy in your running and do only slow running with bad form. You can find yourself slipping into a pattern where you’re training to run slowly and inefficiently rather than faster and more economically.
Strides should be done after your body is already warmed-up, you should run for at least 10 minutes before doing these. It is best to already have some level of conditioning but you can add more strides each week. Focus on your form, staying smooth, you shouldn’t be straining your body.
- Pick a starting and ending point (about 100 meters),
- Begin at a slow jog
- Increasing your speed to 80-90% within the first 30 meters
- Maintaining that pace throughout the distance.
- Recover for about 100 meters or 2 minutes and repeat.
Build up to doing between 4 or 5 strides.
In the Complete Book of Running Coach Roy Benson says
Do short sprints (strides) with a fast, but easy, effort. Think legs, not lungs. The idea is to use as big a range of motion and as rapid a turnover as possible but for a short enough distance so that you never huff and puff.
A full list of running drills can be found at Running Planet.