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cycling, free time & relaxation, injuries, Marathon training, Running, short runs

The Cadence Game

Hey, runners! Hands up who’s never googled “injury prevention” or “best running techniques” or something of the sort.

I’d say odds are you have. ๐Ÿ˜€

I know I do it pretty often. Especially when something starts to get sore or nagging me a bit too much. In fact, even though I’m so not a team sports kinda gal, I’ve stopped by a local running group once or twice to have a coach look at my form and to pick up some pointers.

And yes, there’s plenty that could be improved when it comes to my “technique” (aka just going out there and running ;)) but it’s devilish hard to get out of bad habits.

I mean, it took six months for me to not be a heel striker anymore. Now, a year later, it’s completely natural.

So I guess success is possible. ๐Ÿ˜€

My current project?

Cadence.

Usually I’m just happy running.

But when something starts hurting enough that I reach for my trusty roll of KT… I hit the Internets.

And what I came up with this time is trying to change my cadence.

To something at least near the supposed ideal of 180 bpm.

Or. Running on eggshells as I’ve seen some sites call it.

Have you ever tried to move to 180 bpm? That’s fast. I mean really fast. Like whoa fast the first time I tried it.

My natural cadence is a lot slower. A lot.

So why do I want to change it? Because the less contact between your feet and the ground… the less pressure on your joints and tendons and bones and well, everything.

And this is a real project atm.

Because let me tell you, it’s not easy. I started out with a metronome to keep the beat two weeks ago.

It turned out that almost all the faster songs on my phone, which formed the core of my running playlists… were too slow.

I mean, Gaga’s Edge of Glory was too slow. Titanium was too slow. Billie Jean and Dancing Queen were too slow. Most of my trusty old Queen songs were too slow.

That’s how fast 180 bpm is.

Since running to a hyperactive metronome gets old fast… I set about mathematically overhauling my running playlists.

The magical 180 is nearly impossible to find (I’ll tell you again โ€“ it’s that fast) but 90 bpm will work just as well. You just have to hit with the same foot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So.

Turns out that of the nearly 800 songs on my phone… no more and no less than 12 songs can be considered ideal running songs.

And only two of them were previously in my long runs playlist โ€“ Queen’s Breakthru and Don’t Stop Me Now.

But the best surprise running song with the perfect rhythm?

๐Ÿ˜€

Currently I’m able to keep up this bunny rabbit cadence for about three kilometres (and it’s a chore) but there’s already a marked improvement. ๐Ÿ˜€

Including to how my hamstrings feel as I’m pretty sure my first and only hamstrings injury can be attributed to the change in cadence and how I was suddenly using my muscles differently. They’re fine now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally. Today’s run.

5km. Easy.

image

I was a bit tired when I started out as in some fit of insanity I had decided to use my bike as my main mode of transportation so I’d racked up about 30km of biking before the run… but got back into the rhythm of things by the third kilometre.

๐Ÿ˜€

K.

P. S. Iron Man 3 is just awesome. /geekery

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Cadence Game

  1. GREAT post! I find 180 insanely fast as well since my regular speed is 168. I’ve heard though that you don’t have to get to 180 exactly, that 175 is probably ok too ๐Ÿ™‚

    And it’s fascinating to read about the music issue! I have not run with music for a long time but I’m guessing Ellie Goulding will not do ๐Ÿ˜€

    I have a run planned for lunchtime but I freaking left my metronome at home. I’ll try to improvise as I sort of know what 180 feels like.

    Posted by MrsB @ Mind over Matter | April 26, 2013, 9:17 am
    • Mine’s even slower than that just around 160, so it’s very very different to run right now. But I managed something around four K today I *think*. And nope, Ellie wouldn’t do. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I was unable to include any of her songs.

      Posted by klmv | April 27, 2013, 7:53 pm

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