20 Oct The Low Down On Cadence
I never used to think about my cadence.
When I first started looking into running form many years ago (after I’d already been running a while) I became heavily influenced by watching the endurance events at the Olympics!
It was all about flexibility through the hips and lengthening my running stride.
As thats what appears to make the guys on TV so quick right?
But in fact there are a number of things happening all at once that we probably don’t even realise.
And one of those pieces of the puzzle is cadence (aka the speed you turn over your legs).
Quotes from various sources state that 180 is the “magic” number.
You can probably tell from my use of quotes around that one word, that I believe that to be rubbish.
This is one of those subjects that isn’t possible for me to sit on the fence about!
As for why – well its related to the TYPES of runner that I work with.
I don’t deal with the elite athletes of this world (I do have a number of VERY good triathletes and runners) but generally they are just like you reading this.
They have LIFE to work around. Work, kids and other general stuff.
Which means whenever we look at things we can work on, these factors must be included in any plan.
You might be wondering what on earth this has to do with your running cadence…
But with making any kind of changes to what you are doing, we have to look at how realistic it is. Asking someone with limited training time available to suddenly switch something as important as their running cadence is a recipe for disaster.
So we have to look at how often they can run and importantly how they adapt to this new cadence.
Its not a one size fits all approach. In fact nothing to do with running is!
So a quick test for you to try – mid way through a long run, simply count your running steps (every time your feet hit the ground) over 30s.
Double this number.
And then you’ll have your current cadence.
Normal belief will have you thinking that anything below 180 is too slow.
But I guarantee 75% of you reading this will be below this number.
It’s not too slow – its something to work on. If we can start to push up your cadence SLIGHTLY.
We are going to start noticing a few things happen…
– Impact forces on the ground will be reduced. I.E. Less stress on joints.
– Efficiency will be improved as theres is less “breaking” as your foot hits the floor
– You’ll have a bit more spring in your step, mostly because there is less braking in your stride
– Plus the most important factor… As you’ll have something to focus on, it completely changes your thought process. Rather than focusing on your running times and possibly talking yourself out of running or cutting a run short. You can now focus on your cadence!
Thinking about things that can positively enhance your running is one sure fire way to help improve your running.
As we are probably aware – negative self talk and the “I can’t do this” is not good for us.
But thinking about what we can do right now to improve our situation is VERY good for us.
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
When I am struggling mid way through a run.
Rather than thinking about how badly it might be going.
I’ll ignore my watch and solely think about my running form. It’s a great distraction technique.
Theres todays top tip for you 🙂
P.S. Bookings have started to come in for our next 12 week Level One Courses starting in January.
To grab your spot – follow the link below.
Then you can come and not only learn WHAT to start implementing, but HOW to as well.
P.P.S. Lots of questions coming in about our weekends for 2017 – full details coming next week once we have the dates confirmed.
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!