General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Running cadence Rss Feed  
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2019-06-28 4:04 PM

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Highland Park, Illinois
Subject: Running cadence
I have started working on my running form, and oh boy... it's hard (apparently I had a really bad form, thus, it's so hard to adjust).
In addition to the drills, I also read about the 180 cadence. I kept counting today and the max I was getting was 160...

My dilemma here is pretty complex, as I want to achieve a good form, but I also need to have a high mileage for marathon and other long distance courses, and it is hard to prioritize or put together all of the pieces from the list below:

1. Maintaining the proper form while running, AND
2. Making sure I have 180 cadence, AND
3. Running slow - I follow BarryP plan, and the overall consensus that you should train running as slow as possible.

Should I focus on the form and cadence at the same time, or work on the form, and then count? Or vice versa...?
How do I get 180 and run slow? I was at 120, then finally managed 160, and I had a hard time running... I only did 30 minutes run today, and it was the hardest 30 minutes ever, at 11 min/mile pace.... It could be that my legs are still tired from the recent race, I was not eating well this week, and did not drink enough, but I have to admit it was frustrating. I am capable of running 13 miles (with bad form), and struggled in 30 minutes run with an attempt to fix the form.

Maybe I am overthinking this, maybe my questions are silly, but I trust your judgement and experience to help me go through this, and adjust this journey.


2019-06-28 6:37 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Subject: RE: Running cadence

Stay with the form drills and quit counting.  Give the drills a few months and count again if you want. The drills are meant to improve the number you are looking at, and they will.

Ideal cadence is a tricky thing......it's not 180 for everybody.  Just do the drills and see how it shakes out. Improving running economy and form is a looooong process and requires a great deal of patience. Lose patience and an injury is waiting for you on the other side.  Believe it! 

You CANNOT rush run fitness.  You certainly CANNOT rush working toward improved form and economy.

2019-06-28 7:37 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Subject: RE: Running cadence
Originally posted by marysia83
How do I get 180 and run slow? I


shorter strides. When I start off, I'm typically at 164ish and after 10min closer to 176ish on my "easy" runs. After the first km, when I see my pace sucks, I just speed up my feet a little and things usually improve. But I would not focus on this, just experiment with it.
2019-06-28 7:41 PM
in reply to: #5260395

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Subject: RE: Running cadence
Running cadence, and cycling for that matter, isn’t one size fits all. Your body will naturally settle into a rhythm. As long as you’re not on an extreme, I wouldn’t worry much about it.
2019-06-29 6:18 AM
in reply to: Parkland

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Subject: RE: Running cadence
LeftBrain knows a lot more about this than I do, but stick with the drills for now. Do them as slow as you need to to keep good form, and work to build up speed on the but kicks & high knees. Those two in particular should help a little with cadence.

I wouldn't worry about it for now, but when your ready, download a metronome app, set it to your normal cadence. Run with it for a week or two to get used to it. Then bump up the beat by 5 bpm. Run like that for two weeks. Repeat until you can run at 180. Running is all about small changes over time.
2019-06-29 8:32 PM
in reply to: #5260406

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Subject: RE: Running cadence
What a higher cadence/shorter stride does for me is it allows for a mid foot plant underneath my knee. This small adjustment has kept my knees in pretty good shape since they aren’t getting jarred by heel striking.


2019-07-01 9:55 AM
in reply to: 0

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Running cadence

My running coaches never counted our cadence and I have never counted run cadence on my own.  I have no idea what my run cadence is, but my coaches did work with us on running form if they ever saw something that made them cringe.  

Mostly they worked on getting us to run relaxed.  They didn't like to see clenched first, vanes popping out of our neck, shoulders scrunched up, etc.

 

They also worked on getting us to run upright.  They didn't want our head to be bowed to the ground, our back hunched forward, shoulder hunched forward, etc.

 

So basically anything you can do to make your feet/legs more swiftly with less opposition to forwarding movements is good.  I personally focus on how I run when I do speed work and try to maintain a lot of the same movement/form when I run longer distances.  That doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me.  I also focus on trying to be as relaxed as possible at any given speed I am running.   

 

About two years I was working with one of our regular service contractors and learned that he had got an invitation to the USA Olympic trails for the 400m as a younger man.   He was a very accomplished runner.  He said that a few years ago he took a vacation with some of his wife's friends and he tagged along for a group run all the ladies did while they were on the trip.  I guess they all looked at him as a "project" that they could convert into a runner.  Throughout the run, they gave him tips on how he could improve his form to run better.  One lady, in particular, was the self-proclaimed running expert and told him that he had really bad form and need to change a lot of things in his running form.  She got under his skin enough that when they got home he pulled his invitation to the Olympic trials out of his files and sent her a copy of it.

 

So....don't focus so much on running form (or cadence) that you miss the big picture.  Do the drills, do the speed work, do the volume, etc. and let everything else fall in place.  Don't try to force something that isn't natural.



Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-07-01 9:56 AM
2019-07-01 10:20 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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1433
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Highland Park, Illinois
Subject: RE: Running cadence
Thank you all, this is very helpful. I appreciate your feedback and support. I'll keep going with the drills then

When I told about the drills to my partner, he said this is exactly what he does for his soccer practices, and he promised to help me with them - mainly to make sure I do them properly, and to motivate me more.
2019-07-02 12:27 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Lethbridge, Alberta
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Subject: RE: Running cadence
If you take the "shorter strides" to the extreme, try just running on the spot at 180 steps per minute with no forward movement. This isn't a high knees drill either, just manage to have both feet off the ground at some point during each "stride".

Back when I first tried to learn to run, I was reading about the Maffetone method. I didn't realize at the time that my own heart rate tends towards the high end of the scale and Dr. Maffetone's formula was rediculously low for me. In an attempt to see if I could even run at 180 steps per minute with my HR that low, I tried to run on the spot. It worked, just barely, and in the process I learned a lot.

For one thing, you don't land on your heels when running on the spot. If your calves etc. are not used to that, start with very short sessions and build time very gradually. Obviously the workout/drills are based on time and not distance. Once you can run on the spot for more than a few minutes, let yourself drift forwards. Do it slowly enough and your heart rate doesn't climb much. Keep working out like that and eventually you'll be drifting forward fast enough to call it running. I've since seen drills that have you start out running on the spot and then accelerate into a hard short sprint, repeat.

Fun fact: you can run on the spot on a steep hill as easily as on level ground. Drift forward and you can run all the way up the hill. Slowly to be sure, I could walk up faster, but if you keep doing it that way you'll get faster running up hills too eventually.
2019-07-02 1:02 PM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Subject: RE: Running cadence

Originally posted by BlueBoy26

They also worked on getting us to run upright.  They didn't want our head to be bowed to the ground, our back hunched forward, shoulder hunched forward, etc.

 So basically anything you can do to make your feet/legs more swiftly with less opposition to forwarding movements is good.

Not exactly......a forward lean in your run form is an axiom for fast running.  Sure, there can be other problems with breathing as it relates to hunched back, hunched shoulders, etc......but running upright is not the fastest running.

I watched national caliber run coaches have kids "tire drag", and do intervals on very short, very steep hills, or very steep treadmill work, to develop that form and feeling of "forward running".   Granted, it's not as easy to get adults who are not fast to get there....but  the idea that running upright is the ideal run form is not correct.

Here.......this is not upright.......

 

 

 





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2019-07-02 1:36 PM
in reply to: Micawber

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Subject: RE: Running cadence

Originally posted by Micawber  I've since seen drills that have you start out running on the spot and then accelerate into a hard short sprint, repeat. Fun fact: you can run on the spot on a steep hill as easily as on level ground. Drift forward and you can run all the way up the hill. Slowly to be sure, I could walk up faster, but if you keep doing it that way you'll get faster running up hills too eventually.

These are called "strides" in the running world......all meant to work toward a forward lean while running. 



2019-07-02 3:41 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Subject: RE: Running cadence
Form should lead to cadence.

I posted a video of my top tips to focus on form that will lead to higher cadence naturally.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfpGK-JE92o

The key is to lean at the ankles, not the waist.
Make gravity help, not hinder.
Think "falling forward".

Also dropping a blog post shortly.
https://setthepacetriathlon.com/blog/
2019-07-02 5:33 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Running cadence

Originally posted by TriJayhawkRyan Form should lead to cadence.

Yes. ^^

You use "coach speak", but you know your business. I've just been around running and "fast" runners for a very long time.....I  know what it looks like and I know what it takes to get there.....but I don't the "book words". 

We once had the Police called on us because we had 4 kids taking turns, in a harness, pulling a tire across a field in August.  Child abuse, you know?  Three of the four ended up with "elite" tri cards and they all were/are college runners....and they all still love it.  It's really hard work to learn to run well.....but if you are patient, and you don't put the cart before the horse.......EVER.....you can make great improvements.

ETA - I was never a coach.  I employed the best coaches I could find in the area, for a kid who said he wanted to win races and had the genetics so that it wouldn't be a waste of money.  I did what they told me to do since they couldn't be with him every day.  Swimming is the same.  I found a former world record holder who had a team and liked the 14 year old kid who was willing to swim with 9 year olds to learn how.  There is not a single short cut to fast racing.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-07-02 5:58 PM
2019-07-03 10:14 AM
in reply to: 0

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Running cadence

Originally posted by Left Brain

Here.......this is not upright.......

 

 Semantics, Semantics, semantics.  I don't see a curved back that is bending forward.  I don't see a curved neck that is dropping the head down.  I don't see shoulders rolled forward.  I am seeing a straight back, straight neck, and shoulders back.  Upright is how they describe a straight back. straight neck, etc.  :-)   

 

Originally posted by Left Brain

.....but I don't the "book words"

 

 Ya...I don't do book words well either.

 

 

 



Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-07-03 10:29 AM
2019-07-03 10:28 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Subject: RE: Running cadence

It's not semantics to people who don't know running.  You tell them to run upright and they will......and upright is not good running or fast running.  If you are going to describe upright to a person trying to learn to run, it has to come with explanation of running form that includes leaning into the run.....and it's hard to learn.  You basically can't get there without drilling.

2019-07-03 11:12 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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McAlester, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Running cadence

Originally posted by Left Brain

It's not semantics to people who don't know running.  You tell them to run upright and they will......and upright is not good running or fast running.  If you are going to describe upright to a person trying to learn to run, it has to come with explanation of running form that includes leaning into the run.....and it's hard to learn.  You basically can't get there without drilling.

 

Some days I think I would like to start a USATF track team to give young people where I live the same opportunity to start running young as I had growing up.  Days like today I feel that I wouldn't be a good "coach" and am happy to just still be a runner.  I will be doing my first open 5K in a year and a half this evening.  I will run through my drills and strides in warm and hope for the best in the race.  The main thing I will focus on in the race is staying relaxed and running smooth.  I was first place out of 600 people at this race two years ago.  I would be happy to repeat that success.   



2019-07-03 11:24 AM
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Subject: RE: Running cadence

Semantics, semantics, semantics.  LOL

The last big race I attended was a 10K with 200 runners.  31:33 was 142nd  place.  The guy who ran that time walked toward me, shaking his head, saying, "I suck".  

I take it you never ran in college......it will humble you.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-07-03 11:30 AM
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