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My First Strides

by Meghann on September 16, 2009

Day 2 of Marathon Training brought my first set of strides.

Here’s what I have in my cheat notes in regards to strides:

Strides (S): Gradual, smooth accelerations over 100 meters (Straightway on a track), running fast and controlled over the middle third –but NEVER SPRINTING–then just gradually decelerating. Walk to full recovery after each.

And here is what I officially  had on my plan:

  • 3 miles
  • 4 x 100 S

Sounds easy enough, right?

Honestly, I was a tad confused on what exactly a stride was and whether I was suppose to incorporate it in the 3 miles or run the 3 miles and then do the strides. I decided to go with the latter.

I ran 3 miles around my block and then came back to the parking lot where I had already mapped out a 100 meter distance to run the strides on. I did as my cheat notes suggested and built up my speed to about a 7:00 min/mile pace around the 50 meter mark and then gradually went back to normal. I walked the 100 meters back to the beginning to cool down and repeated the process until I had 4 times under my built.

It seemed easy enough and went by quickly. I just hope that I was doing it right. Can anyone out there attest to this? Or please let me know what I should have done differently. Thanks!

Last night I happily polished off a jar of Barney Butter while making my Montana Whoppers last night. I took advantage of the empty jar and prepped some Overnight Oats in a Jar that were waiting for me in the fridge this morning.


I added 1/2 cup of Oats, Dried Berries, Plain Oikos, Soymilk, & a pinch of Dark Chocolate Chips to the jar last night and then this morning topped it with 1/2 a Peach, Raspberries and a spoonful of Meg’s Crunchy Granola Mix.


I tried to shake it up the best I can, but I ended up eating the fruit off top and then digging into the oats on the bottom. The only downside to eating out of the jar is my inability to get everything on one spoonful.

However, none of that stopped me from scraping the jar clean. 🙂


I hate to admit it, but I really do not care for Hot Oatmeal. I can’t eat banana and I hear that is the key to really good oatmeal. On the flip side I LOVE cold over night oats, muesli, and breakfast cookies. For me cold oats are where it’s at.

My sister and Caitlin are completely opposite from me. The love their oats hot and don’t care for their cold counterparts.

Everyone is different. 

Which do you prefer Hot Oatmeal or Cold Oatmeal?!?!

1 runeatrepeat September 16, 2009 at 9:14 am

That’s how I do strides. It’s been a while, but I used to do them after the run too.

I actually prefer cold oats right now, since it’s still warm out. I will probably switch my preference with MD weather. If I lived in FL it would be cold all the way!

2 Jamie in Arkansas September 16, 2009 at 9:15 am

If it’s oatmeal, I love it – hot or cold! 🙂

I hope someone can tell you about the strides – I’m confused too.
Enlighten us! 🙂

3 Lee September 16, 2009 at 9:17 am

I am of no help. I can’t even read what you wrote about strides without getting confused!

I prefer cold oats too, mixed with yogurt. I like the hot ones okay but always end up burning my tongue.

4 Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 16, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’m a seasonal oatmeal person. If it’s hot out, I can’t do the hot. BUT once it gets cold, its hot pumpkin oats all the way!

5 Sarah R September 16, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’ll eat oatmeal either way! Depends more on the weather–this morning I had them cold, but as soon as it starts to get cooler I’ll be standing over the stove. You just can’t go wrong with oats.

6 Matt September 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

Hot oatmeal all the way! Banana really is the key. I can’t eat it without it!

7 jentrinque September 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

I love hot oatmeal. And hot oatbran. I like overnight oats with greek yogurt or pumpkin or something, too, but only when it’s hot out.

8 Marina September 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

Hot! I don’t like cold oats, tried them a few times, I barely managed to eat it. I like my mushy foods warm 😀

9 Matt September 16, 2009 at 9:29 am

Oh and it sounds like you did the strides right. You should be doing them AFTER the run. Incorporating them into the run would be more of an interval workout. A lot of people do strides to get ready for a race. Let me know if you have any questions.

10 Lindsay September 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

I do strides barefoot on my front lawn, just focusing on stretching my legs out far like I’m sprinting, but doing it at a easier pace. I do oats any way…but my favorite is cold, breakfast cookie in a bowl form!

11 Katie September 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

The only way I like cold oats is in no bake cookies 🙂

12 Emily September 16, 2009 at 9:40 am

I like both equally, but I will say that banana *makes* hot oatmeal.

13 foodcents September 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

In all truth, I do not enjoy oatmeal either way, but will eat it either way – the fact that is is healthy and affordable makes it palatable.

14 Sara September 16, 2009 at 9:54 am

That’s about right for the strides. My coach has our cross country team do them after long runs and day before meets. The point is to focus on lengthening your stride and having good form. It also helps shake some of the crud out of your legs after a long run.

15 Nicci@NiftyEats September 16, 2009 at 9:59 am

I’ve been enjoying my oats cold, but now I think I will go back to hot oats.

16 lilveggiepatch September 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

Great job on your strides! I’ve always been confused on what they are, and what speedwork is (other than going faster).

For some reason hot oatmeal always makes me feel a little bloated, but I feel just fine when I have the same amount of cold! Hot is more comforting to me, but I enjoy them both.

17 Caitlin September 16, 2009 at 10:10 am

It depends on the weather for me. There is nothing better than a warm bowl of oats on a snowy morning.

Though, right now I am eating a cold breakfast cookie bc it is nice and sunny out!

18 Courtney September 16, 2009 at 10:11 am

I’ve never tried my oatmeal cold…mainly because I consider oatmeal my “winter breakfast.” Love how it is hot and filling on a cold winter day!
Adventures in Tri-ing

19 dee (the apple hill adventurer) September 16, 2009 at 10:24 am

i much prefer hot oats, but that jar or deliciousness just might convert me over.

20 ohsnapitsMegan September 16, 2009 at 10:27 am

I love both, especially when a nut butter or nutella get involved. I don’t like berries though… but I can confirm the banana thing, makes any oat dish the bomb-diggity!

21 Meg September 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

Hot oatmeal for sure. I don’t really enjoy hot oats in the summer though – for obvious reasons. Actually, I’m not even sure I’ve ever had cold oatmeal. Maybe I should try it!

22 insideiamdancing September 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

I don’t eat hot oatmeal ever! I cook it though and leave it in the fridge overnight, usually after stirring in yogurt…so kind of a cross between regular oats and overnight oats. The consistency is like rice pudding and it’s delish 😀

Did the Barney Butter not turn rock solid in the fridge overnight?

23 Sarah September 16, 2009 at 10:34 am

i think i would go with hot.
i dont get a lot of running training stuff, i guess probably because i havent figured out distances in meters yet!

24 Kate September 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

I LOVE hot oats. I love it the most with bananas, so I can understand your less-than-stellar review if you can’t eat bananas. I also love cold oats, but I find it hard to get JUST the right consistency of yogurt to oats. I like them to be mushy, but not soupy. What’s your secret?

25 Laurie September 16, 2009 at 10:58 am

I LOVE hot oatmeal and eat it year-round, though I like it cold too. I would argue that CINNAMON is actually the key to really great oatmeal — I put it in there just by itself, with milk, raisins, fruit, anything!

I also love to experiment with fruit flavors (and colors!) by tossing sliced strawberries or 1/2 a peach (chopped) or a small handful of fresh cranberries into the water to start melting before the oats go in.

My trick to toning down fruity tartness is to add 1/4 – 1/2 cup milk depending on how gooey you like your oatmeal. It adds a few extra minutes to cooking, but it’s worth it!

26 Leah September 16, 2009 at 11:05 am

I prefer hot but I have yet to experience a breakfast cookie!!

27 Morgan September 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

I prefer hot oats! I have never tried them cold, or a breakfast cookie.
Good luck with your training.

28 Steph September 16, 2009 at 11:11 am

I love them both! When I have to work I always take cold overnight oats. On the days that I eat breakfast at home I have hot. If I had to pick I’d definitely choose hot oats though!

29 Mellissa September 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

I have to eat my oatmeal very hot, if it cools off to much I can’t even choke it down. I think its a texture thing for me.

30 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) September 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

I’m not a huge fan of hot oatmeal but I’ve never tried cold oats in my life. I’ll have to see if I like them!

31 brandi September 16, 2009 at 11:17 am

I love hot AND cold oats, just depends on the day.

I will say that bananas are not needed for awesome oats, though. Try warming up/cooking an apple or pear in your oats with some spices before topping it off with some nuts/nut butter/dried fruit. yum, and perfect for fall.

32 Gloria September 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

It’ll be mid-July, 90 degrees, and I still crave my steaming hot banana oatmeal. I do like cold oats on occasion (always with blueberries & blackberries) .. especially after a hot run.

33 Leianna September 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

I with you all the way, cold oats for me!

34 kristen September 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

I always kind of tolerated hot oatmeal because I knew it was healthy and because it is a cheap breakfast. Last week I decided to try cold “overnight” oatmeal and I LOVE it. I can’t wait to try as many combinations as I can think of (and read about)

35 Whit September 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

I love the bfast cookie, but for a bowl of oats, I want them hot, hot, hot.

36 Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

I could do either way, but I usually don’t do it for breakfast. Oatmeal is usually my afternoon or evening snack. I’m more of an english muffin, waffle, toast girl for breakfast.

37 Katherine September 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

I love both! I am an oat…well i should be! haha

38 JHunt September 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

I am not a fan of hot oatmeal unless it has a banana in it! I have never tried the cold overnight oats, that is on my to-do list. 🙂 -Jessica

39 Meghan September 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

Hey Meghann,

Definitely do the strides at the end of your run. I ran in college and we would do them on the football field barefoot. Any chance to get out of our trainers was great! Just remember to be smooth–you almost want to be gliding but going at a quick pace. Try to lengthen your strides (steps) as a means to stretch out and loosen the tightness in your legs. Strides are so fun…they make you feel like you’re a gazelle or something!

40 Angharad (Eating for England) September 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

I have so never heard of doing strides before! I am such an amateur…excited to read all of your marathon training posts!
I like cold overnight oats but hot oats will always always win my heart!

41 Meg C. September 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

hot hot hot. Love hot oatmeal.

Also i’m Impressed you were able to figure out the “strides”. Even reading your description I’m still thinking “… what??” I think if I were marathon training I’d need someone to show me what to do every day with things like that haha.

42 anne September 16, 2009 at 11:52 am

Both! But it depend on the season.

43 Samantha September 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

I have never tried over night oats before…they sound interesting. You just put 1/2 c oats and 1/2 c soymilk in the jar and they are good to go??? I have always eaten it hot and have not been brave enough to try the breakfast cookie.

44 rd2b September 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

Hot banana whipped oatmeal is wonderful. But definitely better on a colder day, which you probably don’t get too many of being in sunny florida!

45 Tobi September 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

I don’t care for oatmeal at all, but those Montana Whoppers look amazing! I do like Oatmeal cookies too!!

46 Lauren September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Strides confuse the hell out of me. I’m sorry I can’t be of any help =/

I love hot oatmeal, and I agree–incorporating a banana really does make a huge difference, as far as taste and consistency. I actually have never made overnight oats before, but want to give it a try. I am not a ‘cold’ breakfast person (do not like cereal, yogurt, etc.), so things like hot oatmeal, omelets, or toast with almond butter work for me.

47 Heather September 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm

My oat choice depends on the season. In the winter, I prefer hot oats to warm me up, in the summer, cold oats.

I agree – bananas make a world of difference to hot oats!

48 Ali September 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I love both. In the summer, I like cold cereal, in the winter… hot oats! if I lived in FL, I would want cold cereal too, just like you.

49 Julie September 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I’ve tried to like overnight oats, but every time I make them I just dont like them. Maybe if I try a flavored yogurt? I love love LOVE hot oats though. They are the best for Boston fall/winter/sometimes spring.

50 Lauren September 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I Love my oats HOT! I can’t wait till I’m done my almond butter to do this with the oats. Looks awesome!

51 Jess September 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Have you tried hot oatmeal without banana made with water and/or soymilk/almond milk with just a sprinkle of brown sugar and toppings? I grew up eating my oats without banana and I think its delicious both ways but the brown sugar definitely needs to compensate for the missing sweetness of the banana 🙂

52 Mia September 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I either like my oats made on the stove with part milk part water or overnight with yogurt but not cold alone. I honestly am not a fan of banana IN my oats, although I will put them on top. My favorite consistency is 1/2 c. oats 3/4 c water and 1/4 c skim milk with a pinch of salt on the stove. Yum!

53 Kristine September 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I mix cereal in with my oats and it is delicious! I usually add a handful of Puffins Cinamon in with 1/2 cup of oats made with water or milk and it gives the oats an extra crunch!! Maybe you’d like it this way?!

54 Kristine September 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Oh and in terms of strides, we used to do them when I did track in high school as a “cool-down.” It isn’t supposed to be difficult or strenuous! Like it says in your notes, it’s not a sprint!

55 angieinatlanta September 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I’m a cold oat girl in warm weather, hot oat girl in cold weather…same with my coffeee!

56 Kristin September 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I like them both ways! Cold in the summer, hot in the winter!

Good luck with training!


57 Niki September 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I haven’t ventured out to try cold oatmeal yet! I do love some hot oatmeal though! Sounds like you did your strides right:)

58 Dawn (HealthySDLiving) September 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I love EVERYTHING cold!
I enjoy a hot bowl of oats every one in a while but I’m more of a cold fan!

59 Evan Thomas September 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Hot oatmeal entirely, I can’t stand cold oats really

60 Paige September 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I love both hot and cold cereals. I can’t pick one or the other, because I am hopelessly addicted to both! 🙂

61 April September 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your marathon training plan! A full marathon is my goal for next year and this gives me some ideas for when I come up with my own plan.

62 Lizzy September 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

oats in a jar. a must try! yours looks amazing! 🙂

63 Rosey Rebecca September 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I only like cold oatmeal if it’s in breakfast cookie form. Otherwise, I can eat hot oatmeal everyday of the year. Yum!

64 Susan September 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I disagree, I think oats are still awesome without banana! Sometimes better! 🙂 But I’m the opposite as you, I much prefer hot oats. I can’t do cold breakfasts, they make me feel cold inside and just make me want to go back to bed 😛

65 Jenna September 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

aww i am so sad you don’t like bananas! i love them.
i like hot oats when it is really cold out and in the winter and cold oats are perfect for the summer hot days!

66 Valerie September 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I think I definitely prefer hot oatmeal, but I love to change it up sometimes!

67 Chloe (Naturally Frugal) September 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Definitely hot oatmeal! Maybe it’s because you live in Florida where it doesn’t get too cold?

Up here in Seattle the weather is turning quickly, so now all I can think about is a warm breakfast.

68 Fallon September 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I love oats both way. I made overnight oats this morning while I went for my run and couldn’t wait to come home to dig in! I like the fact that you don’t have to sit and stir oats on the stove. Although when the weather does cool off a nice bowl of oats and gooey almond butter always make my day! Maybe a little chocolate too 😉

69 cookinfanatic September 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

HOT oats all the way – oatmeal or oatbran! What is up with everyone finishing their PB jars at what seems like the exact same time hahaha ?:)

70 Tay September 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Strides were part of my original training plan as well and I was so confused that I just ditched them! I really have no idea. As for oats – hot hot hot!! I’m doing better with cold ones, but hot breakfasts satisfy me so much more.

71 Breanne September 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I have to try oats in an empty peanut butter jar! It looks so yummy!

72 Molly September 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

So I have been reading your blog for what seems forever, and I just thought Id tell ya that you are such an inspiration when it comes to running that I am signing up for a 5k this weekend, and hopefully a 1/2 soon!
Also I started my own food blog (something I have meaning to do for so long now!)
If you have time, check it out 🙂

hope you enjoy the rest of the day!

73 Kate September 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I like both equally! I don’t think that banana is necessary- oats are SO good with hot/stewed apple, dates, walnuts, almonds, bluberries… and just about anything!

74 Kelly September 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Blah! Kelly doesn’t like cold oatmeal! lol Maybe I should have someone who really knows how to make cold oatmeal make it for me.

75 Monica C. September 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Hot. I can’t even imagine eating cold oatmeal. Picky me again!

76 Amy September 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I go with warm oats. 1/2 c. old fashioned with water cooked for 2 minutes in the microwave. Then I add some frozen berries (fresh fruit is hard to come by here) and about 6 oz. organic lowfat vanilla yogurt. If I can only find plain yogurt I’ll add a little sugar. So, the oats come out hot, but cool a little with the berries and yogurt. DELICIOUS!
If you’re ever in Savannah, GA go to Clary’s and get the oatmeal- absolute heaven!

77 Jessica September 16, 2009 at 7:12 pm

In the running books I’ve been reading they usually use strides after the warm-up jog and before the run, but other people seem to be negating that.

I think like everything else in running, there’s no consensus. I’d say do whatever works for you.

I like oatmeal both ways, but I experiment a lot with different methods of breakfast and what not. I’m definitely not picky.

78 wholesomefoodie September 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Hot oatmeal girl here! I love muesli though.

79 Molly September 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I am a D1 college cross country runner…Strides are SUPER important. After a hard work-out, you always want to end the run with your legs on a good note. For example, if you finish a hard run and your legs are aching, you don’t want to end with your legs in a bad place. Strides are supposed to be a way to literally run with a “perfect” stride. (By the way, I recommend doing them barefoot in grass – so refreshing!) They should be a sort of progression, but personally, I progress to my top speed a ways before the 50m mark. (Also, not all strides are 100m. Somedays, a shorter distance is more beneficial.) and don’t begin the progression downward until closer to the “finish line”. But all that really depends on the type of training you’re doing. Good luck with your strides – they really are great to help your legs recover!!!

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