Workout Wednesday – Cadence

Workout Wednesday – Cadence

A runner’s cadence is the number of strides in a minute. Having a quicker cadence can help to improve running form and prevent injury.

Shorter, lighter, quicker strides aid in preventing over-striding and encourage a mid-foot strike. Over-striding can lead to injury. You are more likely to hit the ground with your heel, which adds more impact to your joints. Having your body weight over your foot when it hits the ground, not behind it, will utilize your legs as shock absorbers instead of focusing blunt force on your legs and body. Shoe padding can only do so much.

A quicker cadence will also help you tackle hills; both the ups and the downs. Shorter strides on the up slope help conserve energy. On the decline, they keep you from reaching too far forward with your feet and using your heels as a breaking mechanism. Trust me, your quads will thank you.

Think “quiet” – you want to be as light on your feet as possible and if your feet are going slap, slap, slap, you are sending that force up through your whole body.

To figure out your cadence, count the number of times your right foot hits the ground in a minute. Then multiply that by two. That will give you the number of strides per minute.

An ideal cadence for most runners is 170 – 190 strides per minute. A lot of the elite runners have a cadence of over 200 strides per minute. I try and stay in the 180 range. When I focus on cadence in my tempo runs, I see improvements in my race times and overall conditioning.

If you listen to music while you run, pick something with a fast beat. There are even stations on internet radio or iTunes that have mixes specifically for runners that tell you the beats per minute.

What does a cadence of 180 steps per minute sound like? Listen below:

Want some music suggestions with 180 beats per minute? Click here

I’m a counter. I get a pattern going with steps and breaths. 1, 2, 3, breathe, 1, 2, 3, breathe, 1, 2, 3, breathe … It’s a great way to quiet some of those voices in your head during a run or race.
“Man, it’s hot.”
“4 more miles?”
“Why am I doing this?”
“I gotta poop.”
“1, 2, 3, breathe, 1, 2, 3, breathe, 1, 2, 3, breathe …”

Like any new exercise, it should be added gradually into your routine. For this Workout Wednesday, do a mile or two warmup to reach a comfortable pace, then use the counting method described above. Come back here or to facebook and share your cadence.

After you have established your baseline cadence, you can start working on improving it. Start adding longer periods of time at an elevated cadence until it feels effortless. It is interesting to see how your cadence changes over time.

And you never know when your coach will call you out on it …

Workout Wednesday – Strides

Workout Wednesday – Strides

This Workout Wednesday isn’t necessarily a workout, per se, but an addition you can make to any run to change it up a bit. By simply adding a few “strides” in, you work on both your aerobic threshold and anaerobic power. Some people call them “striders” or “pick ups”. We’ll go with strides. Those other people are wrong.

What is a stride? A stride is a short duration of increased effort. It is not an all-out sprint, but rather a hard effort where you are in control and maintaining proper running mechanics. I usually do strides for 10 to 20 seconds, spaced out during an easy run. The easy running builds your aerobic capacity, which is the ability to use the energy in your muscles provided by the oxygenation of your blood. At an easy pace, those energy stores last longer and can continually build as your body adapts. When you go into an anaerobic state, you have used those stores up and muscles look for different fuel sources ,which leads to fatigue. By switching between the two, even for a short while, you are training your body to increase it’s aerobic capacity.

Enough science talk, let’s take a look at a sample workout.

EZ6 w/4 strides, 10 sec each.

For this run, it would be an easy pace, meaning you should still be able to talk comfortably. During the 6 miles, do a 10 second hard effort, then drop your speed back to an easy effort. Over time you will see your “easy pace” start to get faster and faster.

The other cool thing is when you look back at your run data, it will have your average pace and then your maximum pace. Those brief seconds of running in the sub 5 or 6 minute range are enough to make you feel pretty badass.

Workout Wendesday Photo Contest

Make sure you take a photo of yourself doing one of the Workout Wednesday exercises then post on the Facebook or Twitter pages of RunningDad.com or RunaissanceMom to be entered to win a prize!

Challenge yourself! Need some incentive? RUNaissance Mom and I are challenging you during the month of May.
Take a #WW selfie of you doing one of our workouts and post on either of our Facebook or Twitter pages to try to win!

(1) Prize: (1) Nuun tube, (1) pair of Lock Laces, (2) Honey Stinger waffles and a $20 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods!

Rules:
1. Post your selfie on the Workout Wednesday post and use the #WorkoutWednesday tag. Photo can be submitted on either RunningDad.com or RunaissanceMom Facebook or Twitter accounts.
2. Each photo equals one entry. Only one entry per Workout Wednesday will be counted. 5 Wednesdays in May = 5 chances to win.
3. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Nuun, Honey Stinger, Lock Laces or Dick’s Sporting Goods.
4. Contest will close at midnight EST on June 1, 2017. One winner will be selected and contacted on June 2, 2017.

Workout Wednesday – Agility & DIY Ladder

Workout Wednesday – Agility & DIY Ladder

Ready to work on your your agility and your arts and crafts skills? Here we go!

RUNaissance Mom shows us how to make our own agility ladder and several drills we can do with it. Why work on agility when most of us are training for speed and distance? Read more to learn the benefits of agility training. She put me through the gauntlet, and I have some work to do … CONTINUE READING

Don’t forget the Photo Contest!

 

Workout Wendesday Photo Contest

Make sure you take a photo of yourself doing one of the Workout Wednesday exercises then post on the Facebook or Twitter pages of RunningDad.com or RunaissanceMom to be entered to win a prize!

Challenge yourself! Need some incentive? RUNaissance Mom and I are challenging you during the month of May.
Take a #WW selfie of you doing one of our workouts and post on either of our Facebook or Twitter pages to try to win!

(1) Prize: (1) Nuun tube, (1) pair of Lock Laces, (2) Honey Stinger waffles and a $20 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods!

Rules:
1. Post your selfie on the Workout Wednesday post and use the #WorkoutWednesday tag. Photo can be submitted on either RunningDad.com or RunaissanceMom Facebook or Twitter accounts.
2. Each photo equals one entry. Only one entry per Workout Wednesday will be counted. 5 Wednesdays in May = 5 chances to win.
3. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Nuun, Honey Stinger, Lock Laces or Dick’s Sporting Goods.
4. Contest will close at midnight EST on June 1, 2017. One winner will be selected and contacted on June 2, 2017.

2017 Boston Marathon Race Recap & More!

2017 Boston Marathon Race Recap & More!

I have written race recaps for the Boston Marathon twice now. (2015 Recap, 2016 Recap) This year was my third year and not a whole lot changes when recapping the race. Lots of runners. Awesome spectator support. Heartbreak Hill … ugh. My time was 3:14:35. The slowest of my three Bostons. I still had a great time running the race, but the real fun came from the events leading up to race day. I could write a novel about the weekend as a whole, so I’ll break it down into highlights. I will start with the race, though, since that is what you came for. (more…)