Rhythmic running

SO APPARENTLY, there’s a popular school of thought that says your running cadence is important and counter intuitive. Most people prefer to take a small number of long steps, whereas, supposedly, what you should be doing is a large number of small steps. APPARENTLY, we should be aiming for about 180 steps per minute. I’m making a conscious effort to change my technique because it’s asymmetrical and I have some very tight muscles, that doesn’t mean you should.

I tried this yesterday. I downloaded a 90BPM click track from Reddit (there’s also a 180 version – read the post) and used it on a shortish 3.9 mile route.

180 steps per minute turns out to be noticeably higher than I usually run and I had to shorten my stride length a lot to keep up with it. This changes the way you hit the ground, because your leg/foot is very much below you rather than in front of you. It feels like the impacts are lighter, maybe because it is, or maybe because your leg is in a better position to absorb it. In any case, this seems good. By the end I was struggling to keep up with the click track, even with very short strides, and it turned out I ran a bit slower than normal for the distance (8:15/mile vs 7:52-8:00). I’m not too fussed about this as I’m more interested in injury prevention than speed, but it’s worth mentioning anyway.

I’m intending to repeat this the next few times I run.

The speed/performance might well be down to the weather; it’s suddenly gone near Arctic this week (~2 C, 35F). I love running in 12-15 degrees, but when we’re down to 2, it makes breathing more difficult, and I haven’t run in this kind of temperature since maybe February or so, so I’m not used to it. On the other hand, I do get to wear my super fashionable running tights, which is good.


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