Stride cadence

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Captainblood
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Stride cadence

Post by Captainblood » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:04 pm

After reading Daniels and his observation that most top runners run with a 180 per minute stride frequency I was happy to discover mine was 180. Lately I have been noticing that my leg turnover has been faster. When doing a recovery run this week at 8:00 per mile I measured it at 210.  During a interval session it was at 186. This surprises me because I am tall with long legs. Stride length of 3 feet on easy runs and 5 feet running sub 6 miles. Is stride length something to work on or does it just work itself out naturally?
Last edited by Captainblood on Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dilluh
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Re: Stride cadence

Post by dilluh » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:44 pm

I'm not sure that there is anything magic about the 180 cadence. Perhaps I'm wrong but I thought foot contact time in combination with a reasonably high cadence was a good indicator of efficiency. You may be on to something with respect to the cadence of your easy runs. I used to find myself somewhere between running and jogging (without a fast cadence) during easy runs after a workout. I felt that it wasn't doing me as much good to be "plodding" and sped up just a bit and tried to be more aware of a quicker cadence even during easy runs. I think there's something to be said for maintaining a good running action - even on the easy or very easy runs. I never jog/plod anymore because I felt it takes away from running efficiency. If I'm that tired that I can't even keep up a quick cadence jog then I probably shouldn't be running that day. As for the conscious effort of stride length? I have no idea.

Captainblood
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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Captainblood » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:29 pm

The cadence that Daniels discovered was actually 180 or faster (my mistake and a few other writers as well).

I agree with you about slogging on runs.  When I was tired I used to shuffle a bit.  My legs were weaker and I was unable (or unwilling) to engage the full set of muscles to run with proper form.

When I get tired now sometimes I have to focus to run with proper form instead of just thrusting my leg forward.  I find myself finishing runs with more energy and more focus and I attribute this to better fitness and doing leg strengthening exercises.

The other thing I would do when I was tired was lengthen my stride.  When I started to struggle and I needed to hold a faster pace I would open up my stride a bit more (sometimes a bit sloppily).  Now I notice when I open up my stride I am in control and I feel like I am floating.  This is a great feeling.  Instead of falling apart as I tire now I can power forward and steady my breathing.

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:39 am

Last month's Running Times (Mo Farah was on the cover) had an excellent article on form and cadence.  I think it should be required reading. Also Google Keith Bateman, the excellent form coach and Masters 55yr old WR holder from Down Under. 

The article referred to a cadence of less than about 160 being a plyometric hop and not real running. I find focusing on a good stride utilizing the glutes and keeping the turnover high has fixed a lot of my form issues. Anyway, read the article, good stuff in there.

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Captainblood » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:25 pm

I am very interested in the article, but I can't seem to find it.  Do you happen to know the title?

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by FTIR » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:15 pm

Not sure if this is the article but online you can try here:

http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prev ... form-fixes

It starts talking about cadence.  Follow the link to the hip article.

I know it says Runnersworld but it came from Running Times.

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Tinman » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:22 pm

A challenge for our community members:

Go to Youtube and watch videos of some of the top runners in the world. Pick various events, from say the 1500m to the marathon. Count the number of steps top runners take per minute. For those interest in the results I found, using a 180 rule is nonsense. I timed Geb, Bekele, El Gerouj, and Webb today, and all were above 190 steps per minute, nearly 200 per minute.

Stride frequency varies with several factors, among which are speed of travel, strength of the support leg, and the motor-neural control (nervous system control) of one's limbs and responses to the environment. Top runners are stable, rhythmical, have limited arm range of motion relative to the speed they travel and very little vertical oscillation.

What is the optimal stride frequency? It depends!  If you are running 9:00s per mile, it may be 160 steps per minute for you. For 4:30 per mile, it may be near 200 steps per minute for you. Another runner, say Bernard Lagat, may run 160 steps per minute while jogging at 7:00 per mile, and he may be running 3:46 per mile pace at 200 steps per minute. His strides are longer, he has more body lean/angle from the foot/ankle than you, and he may have more stability at faster speeds than you.

What should you think about? Being efficient at racing speed! Can you balance your body more forward on your foot? If so, you'll run faster. However, do you fatigue soon because you are more forward on your foot or leaning more from the ankle? Do you need to reduce excessive arm swing at racing speed? Do you need to reduce the vertical displacement of your body (are you bouncing up and down to much?)?

Note, you may be efficient at running 7:30 per mile and inefficient at running 5:00 per mile. One reason I want runners, whom I train, to execute faster running during the entire year is because learning the skill of running quickly and efficiently doesn't happen over night. I like Lydiard's method of training, but like Peter Snell, who trained under Lydiard's direction, I believe in using some quicker running all-year-long. Snell got into arguments with Lydiard about this, I am told, and they split their relationship for at least a year in the early 1960s. Snell is on record as saying he thinks a runner could benefit greatly from doing Lydiard's marathon conditioning phase of training but include a workout of faster 300m reps per week. Why would Snell say that? The man was not only a 3-time Olympic champion and world record holder, he earned a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology in the 1970s. He knows that aerobic fitness is of foremost importance - per Lydiard and per research on endurance athletes - but he also knows that skill is part of running; skill isn't just reserved for court sports or swimming!

Have you ever run a lot of distance for several weeks, without doing faster running? What does it feel like to go out and run a fast mile or 1500m, then? You can't turn your legs over! Your stride is shorter, though efficient. You have just one racing gear - hard! You can't change gears. You can't stretch out your stride. You probably cannot sprint, unless you are very talented.


It's my view, and has been since the 1980s, that training needs to be a mix of slow, medium, and fast running. It's more efficient and effective to mix training elements, though balance and proportion training so that aerobic is of primary importance, along with technical skill development and specific strength.

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Last edited by Tinman on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Barney
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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Barney » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:39 am

Tinman, you wrote, "Can you balance your body more forward on your foot? If so, you'll run faster."  What exactly do you mean by this?  I've experimented with leaning slightly more forward at the waist when I run and I naturally speed up.  Is this what is meant? 

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Tinman » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:21 pm

Barney -

Leaning from the waist is counter-productive. Faster runners balance forward on their feet. Watch some Youtube video of Kenenisa Bekele running the 10,000 m on the track.  Most of the top distance runners and mid-distance runners have a full body tilt forward; they don't bend from the waist.  It's like running down a slight hill but you lean forward and let your body go, rather than lean back and brake as you go along.
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Re: Stride cadence

Post by WHS » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:39 am

Lydiard may have made this recommendation himself later in his career.  I read an article once that outlined a presentation that Lydiard made when he consulted with Japan on marathon training.  In the article, he specifically mentioned how their country neglected speed training.  His recommendation was the speed was something that should be touched on 52 weeks out of the year.  The article provided no definition of how to define speed.  Nor did it provide any examples of how to incorporate this training into an overall plan. 

Perhaps related to this concept, is Keith Livingstone's recommendation in "Healthy Intelligent Training", on weekly bouts of maximal velocity training (ex. short 30-50m burst at nearly all-out intensity with a complete rest between runs).  This book is endorsed by the Lydiard Foundation. 

Tom (or anyone else), do you have any examples of how Lydiard incorporated speed training?  The fartlek sessions may have covered this segment of training but this was poorly defined in everything I have read.  Additionally, you mentioned Snell's thought of 300's, do you know what type of pace he was referring too?

Tom, do you feel strides and/or fast 200's at the end of the CV sessions is enough to learn how to run fast (develop the technique and strength needed to run fast efficiently)?

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by Tinman » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:05 pm

Lydiard was talking about very short repetitions with complete recovery and speed drills or technical drills. In my view, he learned this from Peter Snell. Snell was the one who argued for them back in 1963 and earlier. The short pickups that you referred to from Livingston, they have been recommended by cyclists and cycling coaches for several decades, at least back to the 1960s. It was common practice. I read Greg LeMond 's cycling book back in the 1980s , and I still have it; he discussed short sprints with long , active recoveries.
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Re: Stride cadence

Post by WHS » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:25 pm

Thank you for the feedback!

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by WHS » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:08 am

Does anyone have recommendations/experience about when to integrate such speed sessions into the overall training plan?  Can this be done effectively (fast enough, safe enough, fully recovered enough) to tack onto the end of stamina training sessions?  Or do you do this as a stand alone workout?  If you have had luck either way, I would be interested in hearing your comments.  This seems to be a necessary component but obviously not as important as stamina training.  Thanks for your willingness to share.

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by dilluh » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:51 pm

I think the answer, as always, is that it depends. There are two places that are fairly common to see strides used.

(1) After a speed-stamina workout on the track, cool down a bit and then go into a set of maybe 5x150m focusing on good form and turnover w/ 90-120s jog recovery.
(2) At the end of an easy run the day before a longer strength-stamina workout do similar sets as above but don't get too carried away.

I suppose they could be used as a workout unto themselves but the neat trick about strides is that their fuel usage mechanism doesn't tax you in the same way that hard/fast anaerobic sessions do, i.e., the fuel for strides is primarily inter-muscular creatine phopshate which is quickly regenerated, not lactate (anaerobic). Thus many people go year round with several sessions of strides every week along with their normal workouts without any ill effects. The main thing is to be warmed up properly before launching into a set of them.

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Re: Stride cadence

Post by BoilerTom90 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:23 pm

[quote="WHS"]
Does anyone have recommendations/experience about when to integrate such speed sessions into the overall training plan?  Can this be done effectively (fast enough, safe enough, fully recovered enough) to tack onto the end of stamina training sessions?  Or do you do this as a stand alone workout?  If you have had luck either way, I would be interested in hearing your comments.  This seems to be a necessary component but obviously not as important as stamina training.  Thanks for your willingness to share.
[/quote]

What I've read is to include pure speed training (as Tom outlined in terms of short all-out efforts with full recoveries) on a day when you're rested to get maximum benefits.  I don't view this the same thing as strides -- strides are rarely all-out efforts.

If I were to do such a thing on my own, I'd take one day/week and not after key day and make that my speed training day. I'd sandwich the speed training between a relatively long warmup and a longer cool down.

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