What are Accelerators?
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Many of you have seen these in your Training Peaks, and occasionally I forget that only my local clients are fortunate enough to hear me yell this ad nauseum at the track!
An accelerator is NOT A SPRINT. It is a controlled acceleration from a jog to 5k pace which is held for 3-5 seconds, followed by an immediate, controlled deceleration back down to a jog. Start to finish, an accelerator should take no more than 30 seconds and shouldn't cover more than 100 meters. The key to this workout is 'control', you are waking up the fast-twitch fibers without fatiguing them. Strides are awesome and you may do them every day, 4-6 after your workout.
Most of you will see them in your Training Peaks at one point or another, just wanted to be clear we are all on the same page about what this is. You may hear other coaches use the terms 'strides' and 'accelerators' interchageably; I do not. As far as I'm concerned, strides are different. They are thrown into the middle of a workout when you've been working for awhile and are geared towards increasing your aerobic efficiency on your next run (which is why you may see Stride Sandwiches the day before your long run). Strides are usually a bit shorter, around 20 seconds, and though I want you to feel controlled, you likely won't.
For more information and a short video, click the link below https://strengthrunning.com/2012/10/what-are-strides/
Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $29 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her most popular training plan, Tenacious AF!