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Cadence Training (Read 1479 times)

Scout7


CPT Curmudgeon

    Well, I'm sufficiently confused by your posts that I'm just going to drop out of this thread. You seem to have started this discussion with the intent of arguing that runners shouldn't go out with the goal of achieving a 180 stride rate and/or that runners shouldn't forgoe other workouts exclusively for turnover drills. Um, ok. Roll eyes No one ever said they should. Even Daniels -- in his famous study from which the 180 stride rate for elite athletes was first identified -- says that sub-elite runners have a more economy at stride rates slightly below 180. And I'm still looking for the expert who you imagine suggesting that cadence drills are the most important workout; I kinda suspect he doesn't exist. Confused
    You'll probably not read this, but oh well. Like I said earlier, I probably wasn't as clear with my intentions initially. Additionally, my initial post was related to conversations I had seen elsewhere, so like I said, I was looking for a different perspective. Here's the thing....I have seen people talk about going out and trying to increase their cadence. When asked as to how, they say they just try to run at a higher cadence, by using a metronome. That doesn't make sense to me. And that was where my issue was. It seems that everyone agrees running at a higher cadence is good, but no one could identify a way to increase it other than using a metronome (or similar type of device). Again, this is elsewhere, not here. I had someone who was a coach try to explain the whole cadence increase thing. His response was that he does drills. Ok, great. I agree with the drills. I just wasn't sure about the point of running with a metronome or something, while never doing turnover drills, or anything else. As for the "expert", I was told that this is what both Chi and POSE running recommend doing. I know Chi Running does, for the most part, recommend this type of running. Does that makes sense at all? If not, then disregard, I'm gonna slink off quietly.
      A non-elite non-report: So I went out this morning and counted my steps. And learned a few things. All of them about as useful as knowing the capital of South Dakota. Which, actually, I don't know. But here are my findings: First, it's harder to count then you'd think. I was probably better at it in grade school. Second, people give you funny looks when you count and run at the same time. Especially if you do it in base 8. It confuses them. And no, I don't really know what "base 8" means. But I'll bet you geeks do, don't you? Second (told you I couldn't count), music apparently affects my stride count; with bad techno-pop on the iPod, I run approximately 14,000 paces per minute. Seems excessive. I may try again with some Kenny G or Yanni. Third, when nice little old ladies walking small yippish dogs or cute moms pushing tots in strollers wave hello and offer a friendly salutation, counting becomes harder. Who knew? Also - offering such people obscene gestures and grunts of displeasure for screwing up your counting is strangely not appreciated. Setting these preliminaries aside, I discovered that I run - can you guess? - right around 180 steps per minute. I counted four times. Never less than 170, never more than 181. I even varied my speed, and it didn't seem to matter. 2 of the 4 times were at 175. Interestingly - or maybe not - the 170 strides/minute came during the fastest section. And I have no idea what any of that means. Obviously, if I had a better understanding of physics and/or knew who Foucault was, the above numbers would mean more to me. My experiment did raise one semi-serious question though: what happens to my strides per minute rate at faster speeds? Alternatively, to get faster - to run my sub-20:00 5-K - does that strides per minute pace have to change? In other words, does running faster mean a faster cadence? Longer strides? What? Or will I find that even running a 400 at interval speed (and, of course, it has to be a 400, you know), even running sub-6:00 pace, that my strides per minute won't change? I'm curious. More experimentation is necessary. Plus, I've got to check wikipedia for that Foucault guy. His name sounds vaguely obscene. But maybe that's just me. In closing, let the record show that I am no longer the only one dorky enough to have used the phrase "straw man argument" on a message board devoted to running. That makes me feel better. Also let the record reflect the fact that although this thread has gotten needlessly snippy, I had nothing to do with it. Other than pointing and laughing. Of course, to be fair, I probably would be joining in - if I had any real idea what you people were talking about. Something about a physicist name Foucault, I think. And metronomes. Which, I gather, are gnomes that are sexually ambiguous. Seems redundant. Carry on with the Dungeons and Dragons tournament. If anyone finds the +6 Sword of Flaming Dweebitude, it's mine. Thanks.
      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        This supports my theory that JK is an elite-runner in an ape-suit. Hmmm. Stride-rate of elite runner. Dork quotient of elite runner. Sense of humor of an elite runner. Wait. Skip that. I'll be the first to say it. JK's got a sub-18:00 5k in his near future. Within the next 18 months. You heard it here first.
          My experiment did raise one semi-serious question though: what happens to my strides per minute rate at faster speeds? Alternatively, to get faster - to run my sub-20:00 5-K - does that strides per minute pace have to change? In other words, does running faster mean a faster cadence? Longer strides? What? Or will I find that even running a 400 at interval speed (and, of course, it has to be a 400, you know), even running sub-6:00 pace, that my strides per minute won't change?
          So much of that post had me, literally, laughing out loud (my wife even heard me) that I almost missed this part. I'll take a stab. I think what happens when you get faster is you are pushing off with more relative force per step without working harder to do so, but your stride rate stays the same. So yeah, your stride is longer but you are not striding longer if that makes sense--it's just that your center of mass (how's that for a physics term?!) travels farther in between footstrikes.

          Runners run.

            JK's got a sub-18:00 5k in his near future. Within the next 18 months. You heard it here first.
            Look, kids. This is what can happen to your brain if you dabble in serious narcotics. Jeff, if you're going to smoke stuff that good, you should at least consider sharing. And what the Foucault happened to your avatar?
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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              I think what happens when you get faster is you are pushing off with more relative force per step without working harder to do so, but your stride rate stays the same. So yeah, your stride is longer but you are not striding longer if that makes sense--it's just that your center of mass (how's that for a physics term?!) travels farther in between footstrikes.
              I'm completely guessing, and my guess has no basis in either physics or philosophy ... but the above is exactly my theory. I suspect that all runners, after enough training and practice, settle into a basic stride rate this is most efficient for them. And that the stride rate doesn't change; that faster running means more distance between steps - but not necessarily a longer stride (in other words,"your center of mass travels farther between footstrikes"). In fact - and it's another guess - I think that if you consciously tried to dramatically change your pace rate, you'd feel very strange. And probably trip over yourself. I think it could Foucault you all up. Ask Jeff, if you can catch him between puffs.
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                I think what happens when you get faster is you are pushing off with more relative force per step without working harder to do so, but your stride rate stays the same. So yeah, your stride is longer but you are not striding longer if that makes sense--it's just that your center of mass (how's that for a physics term?!) travels farther in between footstrikes.
                Mike, the physics teacher in me cannot resist. How can I push off harder without doing more work? Work = Force*Distance. More force = more work. Your explanation is right--your center of mass does travel farther between steps, but I'll say again (even though everyone is already sick of it [yes, I was a teacher]): it doesn't take more force to travel at higher velocity. It takes more force to get to that higher velocity, but once there, it shouldn't take more force to maintain it. Hence my hypothesis that running fast is more about form than we think--see previous posts. I don't think this changes anything in terms of training techniques, but it does increase the dork factor of the debate. And, yes, JK I am a dirty hippie. And a dork. You blew my cover yet again. But I was strangely able to achieve hippie insights (for what they are worth) without touching "the good stuff." Unless you count running as a species of mind-altering activity. Which I do. And nice catch with the Foucault. It took you about three seconds. Told you that you were fast.
                  It's more work in a purely physics sense, Jeff, yes. But not more effort in a heart rate/breathing/running effort sense. Also note that I said relative force. That's because you can accomplish this by losing weight or by becoming stronger, or both. I'm sure form plays a part, but--and we're really getting into the weeds now-- I just think it has to take more force to run faster. It has to. Maybe the air resistance is more than you're giving it credit for, or maybe the fact that when we're running we are actually pushing off at a ~45 degree angle to the earth's surface and so the upward force is what makes most of the difference (moving your mass upward away from the earth's center quickly will take more force than doing so slowly, etc. etc.) but you get the idea. I'm sure someone could put together a really scientific explanation with lots of math for all of this but I would likely not understand it anyway. Jeeze I feel like I should make an aluminum foil cone to wear on my head when I participate in this thread....

                  Runners run.

                    Good stuff, Mike. We're into the weeds. Found the limits of our dork-dom. And that, my friend, is quite the avatar.


                    You'll ruin your knees!

                      ...yawn... Sleepy

                      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                        With all this talking about cadence training, I thought I'd count my strides on my run this morning. Conclusions: My natural stride rate was about 160 which seems to suggest I'm overstriding. I tried to increase my stride rate and got to as high as 175. Going higher would either have made me look like a fool (probably already do) or I would have had to run faster, i.e. race pace. I'm wondering if elite runners only get the 180+ stride rate is in races or in speed workouts. From what I read, the rate was counted by watching race finishers. So what to they do in training? The easy run I was planning ended up being a tempo workout. I have a hard time imagining going at that rate on an easy run. However, I did a PB on this course with a relatively low average heart rate. All seems to confirm that I was overstriding and that it doesn't help my running. Usually, when I'm planning a faster run, I just end up pushing harder and it gets my HR going higher for the same speed. The physics theory behind higher stride rates makes sense both for speed and injury prevention. I'll definitely try it again.
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