Cadence Q and A

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Below are some questions asked by Timothy about my entry on Cadence, along with my answers.

Timothy: Tonight I did a 13 mile run and experimented with 180 BPM to shorten my stride to prevent Overstriding and I wanted to point out a few things I noticed to see if you noticed similar things when you started working on 180 BPM. First and foremost it is really hard to turn over that fast for extended periods of time.

Jonathan: Yes, it takes time to adjust. Running at a faster Cadence will use your muscles in slightly different ways.

Timothy: That brings me to the second observance. To hit that turnover it felt like my shoe laces were tied together because to stretch it out like what felt comfortable I couldn't hit that Cadence.

Jonathan: I found exactly the same thing; it seemed my shoe laces were tied together. This makes sense; if you are running the same pace at a higher Cadence your stride is much shorter. It took a little while for this feeling to go away and now the higher Cadence feels great.

Timothy: To make sure I was hitting that Cadence I downloaded 2 DJ Steveboy podcasts that had techno music at 180 BPM. Techno not being high on my favorites of music selections actually was kind of hypnotizing and I often found myself closing my eyes as I ran getting into the rhythm and trying to keep my feet up with my pace.

Jonathan: I trained with a credit card sized metronome when I first started using a faster Cadence. Choosing music with 180 BPM rather limits your selection! However, a friend of mine, David M, suggested using music with 90 BPM and using 'double time', which works pretty well.

Timothy: The third thing I noticed was that it seemed a bit easier to get into the rhythm and Cadence if I had a slight forward lean from the ankles. I read Chi running a year ago and that is one of the big things is the forward lean and letting gravity do its thing and having your energy be focused on pushing off and your feet behind you and landing under your center of gravity. With Overstriding that is hard to master. With 180 BPM I can see now more of how that would work.

Jonathan: The higher Cadence is a more natural running style, as you can see from anyone running barefoot or in primal footwear. The forward lean and the paw back so your feet land under you, are all part of that natural running style, which go well with the higher Cadence.

Timothy: Lastly it seemed like my heart race was about 10 BPM less tonight and my pace was about 30 seconds per mile faster over the 13 miles. That really took me a bit by surprise. Hills seemed a little less effort too. I felt like I had more gas left then I would have expected for a run at night after a day of yard work.

Jonathan: The extra efficiency makes you faster with less effort. This is the benefit that caused me to persist with higher Cadence running, even though it felt like my Shoes were tied together ;}

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