For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cadence revisited

I was digging around trying to find info about cadence last week for someone i've just started training - something they could read that would explain the theory behind why higher cadence can lead to faster running.  I'd long ago adapted my own running to feel natural at around a cadence of 92, but several of the articles i found suggested that there might be a benefit of developing an even quicker turnover rate (around 200 steps per minute or a cadence of 100).

Hmmmm.  I wonder if i could do that?  I wonder if it would make a difference?

Today was my first real run of consequence since the Frozen otter and since i didn't have a 'benchmark' to try to attain, i thought i'd experiment.
 I did my 'no-slow-random-pro' on the treadmill at level 5 (incline between 0 and 4.3%) and a starting pace of 7:30.  I channelled the road runner and made little circles with my feet.  It was interesting.  For the first 25 minutes it wasn't too bad - i was able to maintain a cadence of right on 100.  I wanted to go a bit faster so i upped the speed to a 6:58 pace.  Tougher, but not bad.  My cadence dropped slightly to about 98 on any inclines over about 1%, but still not bad.  With five minutes left i punched up the pace to 6:40 per mile.  I was getting tired but the cadence was almost feeling natural.  The last minute i lengthened my stride and hit a 6:00 pace.  Thankfully it was flat.

All in all i was pleasantly surprised.  It's been so long since i've done a serious run that its hard to compare the perceived exertion of this effort with my last similar effort, but i am confident that if it did feel harder, it didn't feel much harder.  So i think i'll stick with it over the next couple of weeks and see how it plays out in my speed-work.  One thing that was interesting is that it does feel slower - a phenomenon i'd heard is often reported when people start increasing their cadence - even though it obviously wasn't.  I'll follow up in a couple of weeks.

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