There are three main ways to achieve this objective. First, your training program should include a few workouts per week that result in a high level of fatiguetypically a tempo run, a session of highintensity intervals, and a long endurance run. Doing too few fatigue-inducing workouts will not produce sufficient fatigue exposure to maximize the neuromuscular adaptations you’re seeking. However, attempting to do too many hard workouts per week will cause you to carry too much residual fatigue between workouts, hampering your performance in them. Second, instead of trying to do more than three hard workouts per week, you can increase your exposure to fatigue in a more productive way by adding short, easy recovery workouts to your schedule. Such workouts are gentle enough so that they will not hinder your recovery from previous hard training, but because you start these runs in a prefatigued state (within 24 hours after completing a hard run), they provide extra exposure to fatigue despite their brevity and slow pace. Third, engage in interval workouts. The recovery periods that occur between high-intensity running intervals enable you to spend more total time running at high intensity than would be possible with a single, sustained, high-intensity effort to exhaustion. With rare exceptions, anytime you train above anaerobic threshold intensity, your workout should have an interval format. The most important pace at which to experience fatigue is race pace. As Stephen McGregor’s research has shown, the stride becomes more efficient only to the degree that it has to. It will not become more efficient at paces you seldom run, and it will become only marginally more efficient at running paces at which you seldom experience fatigue. This is why McGregor’s accelerometer data show that very good runners tend to be rather uneconomical at slower paces. You must run at race pace to the point of entropythat is, to the point where some specific constraint in your stride limits your performanceto stimulate the neuromuscular adjustments that will make you more efficient at your race pace. Therefore race-pace running needs to be a regular part of your training regimen. Again, the rationale for running in a fatigued state is that it forces the neuromuscular system to confront the primary constraint that limits performance and thereby creates opportunities for the neuromuscular system to experiment with new stride patterns, one or more of which may alleviate that specific constraint. But exposure to fatigue is not the only way to stimulate this process. Runners are also limited by structural factors including muscle power, joint mobility, and leg stiffness (or the capacity to quickly tense the right motor units to the right degree in the instant before impact to maximize the bouncing effect). Research has shown that specific training to enhance these structural characteristics alters the stride in ways that boost performance.8 Aware of these effects, many elite runners incorporate large amounts of strength training, explosive jumping exercises, mobility drills, and dynamic warm-up activities into their training. In fact, this huge commitment to cross-training for stride improvement is the greatest difference between the training of today’s top runners and that of past generations. One of the best young middle-distance runners in America, Anna Pierce, who has a 1,500 m PR of 3:59.38, told me that at times she spends more time each week lifting weights, tossing medicine balls, bounding, and so forth than she does running.