Hooray – it’s Spring guys! The weather this past week was great for running, and even Friday’s rain was so much better than running in the -20C windchill. I feel like we made it through the longest winter ever – we survived!! This past week was a great week. I got a new haircut, and took my weekday running to a new level. I used to run twice around the park on my lunch breaks (5.5k), then over the past month I slowly progressed to averaging 3 times around (7.75k), and this past week I’ve moved to 3.5 times around (9.5K). My average pace is improving, and I’m also getting better at maintaining a cadence of 83 or 84 (up from an average of 80-81). I have been feeling so much stronger when I run!
Hey Janice, why are you working on your cadence?
I personally find cadence to be one of the most important thing endurance runners should work on. Cadence is how often your feet hit the ground and according to the coach Jack Daniels, a cadence of 90 is associated with the greatest running efficiency. The lower your cadence, the longer you’re in the air, and the harder you will land. If your cadence is low, then you your chances of injury are greater because the forces you are exerting on your joints, bones etc is greater. A faster cadence means you spend less time in the air, and come down with a softer force. My average cadence over the past few months was 81 on my short runs, and 83 on my longer runs. It is natural for me when I’m running on tired legs to have a faster cadence and shorter stride because this reduces the impact, as well a higher cadence has been shown in studies to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
The iSmoothRun app that I’ve been using for years has been measuring my cadence, only I didn’t realise it. My coach noticed that the report I sent him from the Chilly Half Marathon included my cadence. I looked it over and found that I over stride at the beginning of the race, then shorten my strides and increase my cadence later in the race in order to maintain my pace. I’ve gone through and looked at my history and have learned that my running injuries are usually due to poor running form. When I ramp up my training a lot, that harder force multiplies and causes my injuries. So I’m now increasing cadence by using the built in metronome of iSmoothRun. When my cadence slows below 84, it activates to help me shorten and quicken my stride to prevent injuries. As my running form improves, I will be slowly increasing the cadence up towards 90. An interesting thing that I learned is that the music you listen to can help your cadence as we naturally try to run to the beat. Jogfm is a great place to find the bpm of music for running.
Here’s some additional reading about cadence:
- Women’s Running: Efficient Running Cadence
- Runner’s World: How to boost your cadence
- Polar.com: How to utilize running cadence and stride length information in your training
Here’s this week’s training recap:
Monday: This was a beautiful day (7C) and the last day of March. I knew I was getting close to hitting 100 miles (160k) for the month, so I stretched out my lunch run and added an additional km to it. I didn’t realise that the extra km actually put me over 160k. Ran 9.6k at a pace of 5:27/km and my average cadence was 83.
Tuesday: Strength training with my conditioning coach. We mostly did plyometrics.
Wednesday: It was cooler out, felt more like winter than Spring (3C). Grrrr. I ran 8.26k at a pace of 5:29/km and my average cadence was 84.
Thursday: Strength training with my conditioning coach.
Friday: Rain, rain go away! I ran 9.47k in the pouring rain at a pace of 5:32/km and my average cadence was 81. My shins hurt a lot afterwards and I saw a lot more ducks and geese than people on my run.
Wow! Can you believe it’s been 10 years?!?
Total this week: 43.3
21 week total: 466 + 43.3 = 509 k
This coming week I’m going to have to listen to my body. My shin hurts to walk so I’ll be doing my “running” on an elliptical in order to reduce the pounding and I’ll also continue to ice it every day. I’m not sure how accurately an elliptical records distance, so instead I’ll go for time on it. As I mentioned in my April goals post, my conditioning coach wants to work on my swimming this week for the upcoming triathlon season and I bet my shin will love the break from the jump training as well. Here is next week’s training plan:
Monday: 60 min elliptical
Tuesday: Swimming with my conditioning coach.
Wednesday: 60 min elliptical
Thursday: Swimming with my conditioning coach.
Friday: 60 min elliptical
Saturday: 16 k run
Have a great week everyone!
Have you ever checked your running cadence?