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 …

Connor’s Corner – Boston Marathon Recap

Connor’s Corner – Boston Marathon Recap

My Boston Experience

Boston 2017 was amazing! I loved seeing all the cool sights and the outrageous runners. Every day was a new experience! We ate good food, ran super well, and saw so many amazing things!

The 5k was a really good experience! We talked to Mike Wardian before the run and I got to see him in his famous Elvis costume! He passed us near the finish of the race. I got to see Rick and Dick Hoyt just after the start! But the best part was that I came across that finish line with a nice new pr! I ended up getting a 20:32! I also got 503 overall and got 15th in my age group!

Before we went to the expo we had lunch and yelled at Dean Karnazes from out the window! At the expo we got to see Mike Wardian, again, and we got his autograph!

When it came to marathon day we watched some of the Team Running Dad runners finish. I got right up at the gate on the side of the road right across from the Expo Center. Mario came in in front of my dad. Dad came in at a 3:14:35. They all ran their best due to the bad running weather.

I had so many cool things to show off at my school when I came back. I got the 2017 Boston jacket for my birthday. It was an amazing experience, but I am still waiting for my trip back to be one of the runners in the marathon.

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…)

Workout Wednesday – Hill Fun!

Workout Wednesday – Hill Fun!

HILL FUN!

Hill workouts are great for building strength, VO2 Max, and, of course, improving your efficiency running up hills. Trust me, you WILL encounter hills in races and in your daily training runs. Why not build up strength to make you stronger, faster and turn hills into speed bumps? (more…)

Connor’s Corner – Going to Boston

Connor’s Corner – Going to Boston

Most of you know my dad loves to go to crazy places and do crazy things. One of his yearly trips is to Boston to do the Boston Marathon. Every year, I would have to study, read, and do all those boring things at school while my dad was running and having fun in Boston. I was so desperate to know how my dad was doing during the marathon. Last year, I carried my ChromeBook everywhere I went. But finally, this year, it is not on a school day and I get to go have some of the fun with my mom and dad. (more…)