Saturday, November 3, 2012

Running Form - Cadence

Anna Boom

Moving Your Body:
Pick up those feet!
Metronome - a device that produces regular, metrical beats or clicks , settable in beats per minute

Previously, I mentioned that as a running coach, I often get questions on running form. And now you know that I am hesitant to change another runner's form. It is because we each have developed our own style, unique to us as our personalities are. Running form takes in all the physical aspects: height, weight, skeletal build, that are you and only you.

Last time, I wrote about arm swing. I hope you got out and thought about your arm swing and that it will become a normal part of your form. This write up, let's talk cadence. This is one of the biggest pointers I work on with my clients.

Cadence is how quickly you pick up your feet. Pros are running anywhere from 180 footfalls per minute on up. Some have counts of over 200. From the beginning of their warm up all the way through the run, they maintain a fast, light foot and quick pickup.

For many of the rest of us, a quicker cadence will lead to faster times and possibly, fewer injuries: ( from )

...beginning and recreational runners typically have a cadence closer to 160, which Daniels says puts them at risk for injury because the longer strides necessitated by a slower cadence take runners higher off the ground. This in turn means that each footfall is harder, and many running injuries are associated with the shock of landing.

Faster times and less risk of injury, where do you sign up?! If you dare, take it to the tread mill. Yes, you may hate the treadmill. It may be the last thing you want to do in this glorious fall weather. But it will give you the opportunity to focus on one thing, counting foot falls. The track works too.

Set your timer for one minute. Then count the steps for your right foot. See how you do.

You strive for at least 90 right foot falls in that minute. This is a great tool to add to your warm up and cool downs. The more often you incorporate it into your training, the more comfortable you will feel, just as with the arm positioning. There are also music tracks you can find that have a BPM or beat per minute to help you keep those light fast feet flying.

Fast cadence, fast turnover, more ground covered in less time and waaalaaa, faster times. Yes, there are other components and it all works together so stay tuned, please!

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