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2009-11-06 9:22 PM


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Subject: struggling with sub30 5k
Been running for 10 months and am struggling to reach this goal. Personal best of 30:50 and can't seem to improve. I've been told cadence is the secret but I can't seem to pick up the pace. My last run I was trying to pick up the cadence and after the run with a garnin 405 see that my cadence was the same for 4 out of 5k. Anyone have some good advice...what is the best way to get faster?


2009-11-06 10:00 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
rod23 - 2009-11-06 8:22 PM

Been running for 10 months and am struggling to reach this goal. Personal best of 30:50 and can't seem to improve. I've been told cadence is the secret but I can't seem to pick up the pace. My last run I was trying to pick up the cadence and after the run with a garnin 405 see that my cadence was the same for 4 out of 5k. Anyone have some good advice...what is the best way to get faster?


Are you keeping a training diary? Your training logs here at BT are empty, so it's really impossible to tell you what the "best" way is to get faster.

What does your current training look like? How often are you running? With what intensity? How far/How long? IS every workout the same? Are you doing any drills, intervals, changing intensity with different workouts?
2009-11-06 10:07 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
You just have to concentrate on turning your legs over more quickly.  You'll have to really think about it as you do it at first...but eventually a faster cadence will come more naturally. 

With the Garmin, it is really neat to see how what seems like just a little push in turnover adds up.  Maybe try setting your Garmin to autolap every 1/4 mile and try to kind of do intervals...do 1/4 at your regular cadence, and then for every 2nd 1/4, pick up your turnover a little bit over your "base" turnover, not much, just a bit.  You'll clearly see the changes in pace on your Garmin, and I think you'll be surprised...and over time, you might be able to make significant improvements in pace.

Also, if most of your training runs for the 5k races are 5k runs, pick up the mileage a bit too.  If you can run 5 miles regularly, a 5k will become easier to finish...and easier usually equals faster.
2009-11-06 11:31 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
rather than running one long distance effort when training, esp. when I'm at school. I tend to run more hard runs over short distances per workout.

Last week I ran a rough total of 5 miles in one session, broken into five ~.45mile and 2 ~1.3 mile runs in the same session.  I set my ipod to my running playlist (containing songs about the same tempo as "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, "Big Shot" by Billy Joel, and "Hound Dog" by Elvis)  I preset this list to be slightly faster than my normal running cadence.  I run one at a decent pace, but not absolutely flying to set the baseline and tell myself I need to run the same loop X # of times under the base time before I can stop.  I've found it helps if you pick one song for the entire workout since you can judge your tempo by where you are when the song restarts and judge your pace from that.  If you really get a good song to match your pace and there is only a little of the song left, use that as your rest time, then start again at the beginning of the song.  I have one loop where I can put "Big Shot" on, run the loop, and have roughly a 1-1:30 min rest in between.  Play around with it a little and you'll find one that works. 

Then I go for only one or two long runs (usually Tues/Fri) and pick my normal pace and feel like I need to push it when I'm actually going faster than I did the time before.
2009-11-07 4:38 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Hard to give good advice without knowing your running history. Logs would have been useful.However, I suspect the easy answer is run more & it will come. Other obvious factor is ideal body weight...are you there or Way off? Trying to run a 30, 5k...cadence is probably not the major factor.

Edited by GoGoGo 2009-11-07 4:39 AM
2009-11-07 5:29 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
AdventureBear - 2009-11-06 11:00 PM

rod23 - 2009-11-06 8:22 PM

Been running for 10 months and am struggling to reach this goal. Personal best of 30:50 and can't seem to improve. I've been told cadence is the secret but I can't seem to pick up the pace. My last run I was trying to pick up the cadence and after the run with a garnin 405 see that my cadence was the same for 4 out of 5k. Anyone have some good advice...what is the best way to get faster?


Are you keeping a training diary? Your training logs here at BT are empty, so it's really impossible to tell you what the "best" way is to get faster.

What does your current training look like? How often are you running? With what intensity? How far/How long? IS every workout the same? Are you doing any drills, intervals, changing intensity with different workouts?


X2.... no way to really give any good advice without knowing what you're doing now. I doubt that "cadence" is the problem.... My guess is that you probably need more mileage to improve, but since we don't know how much you're running now, it's pretty hard to say for sure.


2009-11-07 6:30 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Cadence is NOT the secret.

Cadence is the latest fad triathletes are using to make a solution for a problem that does not exist.

How much are you running each week/month??
2009-11-07 7:48 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
rod23 - 2009-11-06 8:22 PM
Anyone have some good advice...what is the best way to get faster?


There are not magic shortcuts like "cadence".

Start logging your workouts so you know how many miles you're actually running per week. And don't pretend that you know unless you're writing them down because it's impossible.

Then condition your body to to be able to handle very slightly more miles each week until you reach your ideal time commitment. I think beginners should increase <5% a month. Run some of those miles hard, some easy, and the rest in between.

Every now and then test yourself. (like every couple weeks do a race or a personal time trial). If you think long-term and are consistent it's almost impossible to not get faster.

Over 2.75 years of training, I went from being able to run a single mile in 12 minutes to a 43:12 10k split in my last olympic tri.

I was able to run pretty well when I was younger (following the exact same method above). But before starting running again recently, I had not run one step in over 15 years.
2009-11-07 9:53 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
But exactly what is it that makes people faster?

Speed (miles/hr) is equal to stride length (feet) times cadence (strides per minute) (times a conversion factor).

So it's either his stride length or his cadence that needs to improve or both. Cadence is 50% of the equation for speed.

It may not be the "magic" answer, but it certainly shouldn't be disregarded. It's a vital component of running fast. The slower your cadence is, the longer your stride length must be to reach an equivalent speed. Stride length has absolute limits, but cadence not so much.

2009-11-07 10:39 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
AdventureBear - 2009-11-07 8:53 PM

But exactly what is it that makes people faster?

Speed (miles/hr) is equal to stride length (feet) times cadence (strides per minute) (times a conversion factor).

So it's either his stride length or his cadence that needs to improve or both. Cadence is 50% of the equation for speed.

It may not be the "magic" answer, but it certainly shouldn't be disregarded. It's a vital component of running fast. The slower your cadence is, the longer your stride length must be to reach an equivalent speed. Stride length has absolute limits, but cadence not so much.



And so obviously if you want to ride faster you should simply turn a bigger gear with a higher cadence. Wow, getting fast is so easy when you look at it that way.
2009-11-07 10:41 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
breckview - 2009-11-07 9:39 PM

AdventureBear - 2009-11-07 8:53 PM

But exactly what is it that makes people faster?

Speed (miles/hr) is equal to stride length (feet) times cadence (strides per minute) (times a conversion factor).

So it's either his stride length or his cadence that needs to improve or both. Cadence is 50% of the equation for speed.

It may not be the "magic" answer, but it certainly shouldn't be disregarded. It's a vital component of running fast. The slower your cadence is, the longer your stride length must be to reach an equivalent speed. Stride length has absolute limits, but cadence not so much.



And so obviously if you want to ride faster you should simply turn a bigger gear with a higher cadence. Wow, getting fast is so easy when you look at it that way.



Yep, makes training pretty easy. Work on power, work on technique. Same thing for running.


2009-11-08 4:58 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
I think the cadence is a byproduct of CV fitness. s your fitness improves your cadece will. As you have said, it is hard & probably unwise to improve stride length. The best marathoners, have small stride, high cadence gait.All that being said, running faster is harder than just increasing cadence. You need the engine to power it!!!
2009-11-08 8:12 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
AdventureBear - 2009-11-07 11:41 PM
breckview - 2009-11-07 9:39 PM
AdventureBear - 2009-11-07 8:53 PM But exactly what is it that makes people faster? Speed (miles/hr) is equal to stride length (feet) times cadence (strides per minute) (times a conversion factor). So it's either his stride length or his cadence that needs to improve or both. Cadence is 50% of the equation for speed. It may not be the "magic" answer, but it certainly shouldn't be disregarded. It's a vital component of running fast. The slower your cadence is, the longer your stride length must be to reach an equivalent speed. Stride length has absolute limits, but cadence not so much.
And so obviously if you want to ride faster you should simply turn a bigger gear with a higher cadence. Wow, getting fast is so easy when you look at it that way.
Yep, makes training pretty easy. Work on power, work on technique. Same thing for running.


Bzzzzzzzzt.

If you can't produce "X" power, you can't maintain "Y" speed.

Same thing with stride/cadence.  If you can't run 7 minute miles, it doesn't matter if your stride is shorter and cadence faster or the other way around.  It costs "Z" amount of energy to go a certain speed.  The cadence/turnover ratio is dependent on the individual's genetics, training abilities, overall pace and numerous other factors.

Go read Noakes, it will help you out tremendously with respect to running mechanics and physiology (and since you are a doc., you will aprreciate the very scientific and detailed explanations).
2009-11-08 8:13 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
AdventureBear - 2009-11-07 9:41 PM
Yep, makes training pretty easy. Work on power, work on technique. Same thing for running.


Oh I totally agree on the first point. Training is easy. IMO, the body gets better at things the more it does them. Whether it's running, cycling, playing guitar, typing, whatever.

But IMO, some sports are highly dependent upon technique like skiing, golf, swimming, etc, while others like cycling and running are not. In the latter set, the body will naturally hone in on the most efficient technique and therefore being concerned with things like cadence and stride length are of little importantance (unless you are naturally out of acceptable ranges).

IMO, the post above is correct. Running ability/speed is about run "fitness". Take almost any runner and have them increase their cadence, that will result in a reduced stride length and they'll run at the same speed as before, the speed dictated by their fitness.

Edited by breckview 2009-11-08 8:15 AM
2009-11-08 8:21 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
breckview - 2009-11-08 9:13 AM Running ability/speed is about run "fitness". Take almost any runner and have them increase their cadence, that will result in a reduced stride length and they'll run at the same speed as before, the speed dictated by their fitness.


Bingo!
2009-11-08 8:42 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Wow, I'm not really sure what we are arguing about. I understand physiology. I understand that it takes running fitness and durability to improve your run, be able to train consistantly and not get hurt. I understand that improving run speed takes time and isn't something that happens instantly (in most cases), and I also understand that the cyclists who ride the fastest push down the hardest and don't pedal in circles. I don't waste time having people do drills that are low yield for time limited athletes.

But I constantly see people jumping on an "anti-fad" bandwagon for things that aren't really fads. Just because someone mentions cadence doesn't mean they see it as a "magical answer" to a problem... (with the exception of the OPs friend, possibly). But we really don't know what the conversation was that took place between the OP and the OP's friend.

I'm not sure how you can disagree with cadence x stride length = speed. Or that pushing a bigger gear at a faster cadence makes you go faster. It's pretty basic.

I never said that improving either one was easy. But all training, physiology and medicine (and likely every other profession) can be broken down into basic fitness concepts and I think it would be irresponsible to lead new runners to believe that cadence was not important. Do I believe it is the MOST important? No, but if someone's going to come out and say it's a fad, I'm going to highlight why it's simply a basic aspect of the sport.


2009-11-08 8:48 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Right.

But what your post came off as ^^ is that increasing their cadence will make them faster NOW.  Not after they have built their fitness up.

And to go back to Noakes, he specifically says that to get people faster they need to SLOW DOWN their cadence and increase their stride length while still not overstriding.  High cadence is INEFFICIENT for a runner and utilizes more energy and puts more overall stress load on the muscles/joints/ligaments.  (According to him).
2009-11-08 9:04 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Daremo - 2009-11-08 7:48 AM

Right.

But what your post came off as ^^ is that increasing their cadence will make them faster NOW.  Not after they have built their fitness up.

And to go back to Noakes, he specifically says that to get people faster they need to SLOW DOWN their cadence and increase their stride length while still not overstriding.  High cadence is INEFFICIENT for a runner and utilizes more energy and puts more overall stress load on the muscles/joints/ligaments.  (According to him).


Sure, stride length and cadence are inversely related in the immediate term.

I believe the majority of people need to increase their stride length if they want to improve their overall running ability...but tell them this over an internet forum and most people will reach out in front, pawing at the ground, overstride and end up with greater up and down movement, more impact over time and more pain and discomfort. Most people need to increase their length by improving leg extension, which is frequently limited by an upright body posture and tight hip flexors.

If you have a good running stride, good form, not over striding, good leg extension and push off, relying on elastic recoil of the lower extremities for a good part of your leg recovery (and not pulling or lifting your leg forward with the quads/hip flexors), then you can increase cadence as much as you want without adding more stress. It all comes down to form.

That's why this whole conversation is someone moot as we haven't seen the OP run. Without seeing a person's stride, the only "safe" running advice you can give them is "run more" and "run slower". They won't get hurt and they will build "fitness" (however you want to define it).
2009-11-08 10:33 AM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
That's why this whole conversation is someone moot as we haven't seen the OP run. Without seeing a person's stride, the only "safe" running advice you can give them is "run more" and "run slower". They won't get hurt and they will build "fitness" (however you want to define it).


Isn't this ^^^ the simple truth?

You can mess with run mechanics all you want, but in the end it comes down to fitness: how long can you sustain a given effort level--whether that effort includes high cadence/short stride length or low cadence/long stride length. 

To the OP: start keeping logs on here, it'll not only help you by giving you a simple way to monitor your progress but will also allow others a look into what you've been doing and what you're capable of.  I'm certainly not qualified to dish out advice on how much/long you should be running but keeping a log is a good start and from there much more qualified members can advise you on where to go from your current training.


Edited by Brownie28 2009-11-08 10:33 AM
2009-11-08 12:11 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k

This may seem like an odd suggestion.  I also had cadence issues and struggled to bring my times down.  I actually searched and purchased some military cadence songs from ITunes.  This did help speed up my cadence.  Be sure to get the running cadences, not marching cadence.  My thoughts were that the military has speed requirements for their PT testing.  It worked and now ave, sub 8 min on my runs.  I don't use the cadence any more, but it did help to keep me focused on my pace.

Just my $.02.  Something diferent to try.  Enjoy and good luck.

2009-11-08 12:46 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
The debates about cadence have been around for quite a while. I keep remembering one assertion from several years ago. I have no idea if this is backed up by research, but I read that it's easier to lengthen your stride as you gain fitness than it is to quicken your stride. Towards that end, I sometimes do various drills aimed at increasing my turnover, either going slightly faster for longer periods or really spinning my feet during shorter efforts. I may sometimes run at a faster cadence than what would be most efficient for the speed I'm going.


2009-11-08 1:32 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
velocomp - 2009-11-08 12:11 PM

This may seem like an odd suggestion.  I also had cadence issues and struggled to bring my times down.  I actually searched and purchased some military cadence songs from ITunes.  This did help speed up my cadence.  Be sure to get the running cadences, not marching cadence.  My thoughts were that the military has speed requirements for their PT testing.  It worked and now ave, sub 8 min on my runs.  I don't use the cadence any more, but it did help to keep me focused on my pace.

Just my $.02.  Something diferent to try.  Enjoy and good luck.



I would try some run/walk/run.  Counter-intuitive, but take a one minute walk break every 2-3 minutes.

As far as cadence is concerned, try something like this or this.
2009-11-08 3:10 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
rod23 -  Anyone have some good advice...what is the best way to get faster?


Run longer, and run more frequently.

8 months ago, I did 3 miles @ 14min/mi.

2 weeks ago, I ran a 10k in 50 minutes.

The key has been to simply run a lot, and possibly more importantly run frequently.  I'm now training for my 2nd marathon.  I started seeing dramatic improvements in my running speed when I changed from running 3x a week to running 4x a week + 2 (optional) cross training days.

You haven't told us about your training yet.  But try getting up to 25-30 miles of training per week, and I'd expect for your 10k time to drop dramatically. 

Oh.... and let me just add in another vote for trying run/walking.  In my recent 10k I walked a minute a mile, and still came in at 50 minutes.
2009-11-08 7:04 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Daremo - 2009-11-08 9:21 AM

breckview - 2009-11-08 9:13 AM Running ability/speed is about run "fitness". Take almost any runner and have them increase their cadence, that will result in a reduced stride length and they'll run at the same speed as before, the speed dictated by their fitness.


Bingo!


All the other posts talk about running long or running fast or changing your stride lendth/cadence. They are missing the most important aspect of getting faster. Here's the science behind it:

Fitness, referring to the maximum oxygen uptake (vo2max). Two ways to increase your speed. Increase your vo2max, and increase the oxygen amount getting to your muscles (o2 supply), OR increase your anerobic threshold, which will in theory help the enzymes in a cells mitochondria utilize oxygen better, or otherwise your ability to work at a higher percentage of your vo2max for a longer period of time (o2 utilization).

Both ways have been shown to help, but it is oxygen supply that is the major limiter to endurance performance. So, how do you improve the o2 supply, ie. increase your vo2max? You increase the ability of the cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to active tissues. An increase in blood volume, maximal cardiac output (due to increased stroke volume) and better perfusion of blood into the muscles account for the changes in VO2max with training.

You can significantly increase your VO2 max by regular training and by gradually increasing your activity level until you can work at an intensity that raises your heart rate to between 65 and 85% of its maximum for at least 20 minutes 3-5 times a week - in otherwords, if you want to run faster, run more frequently.


Edited by tjtryon 2009-11-08 7:06 PM
2009-11-08 7:23 PM
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Subject: RE: struggling with sub30 5k
Do intervals, sprint and rest. or google "run a faster 5k" and follow the plan to the T. If that doesn't work, re-post.
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