Cadence

November 21st 2018

Today my return to running continued with a speed session at the track. And then this evening, I doubled down with a 6km run that just happened to coincide with a game of football. Haters will say that football shouldn’t count towards my total running distance, but I think it’s perfectly legitimate.

Either way, the track session was hard work. The efforts were 3x300metres, 1x800m and 4x400m with a lap’s recovery between each ‘race’. (‘race’ in airquotes because “there’s no racing in training”, according to the coach)

It was hard work. My legs hurt. It was just me and one other guy there, and the other guy is a lot faster than me, so I was playing catchup for most of the session. I puffed my way through the 800 metres, and then the coach gave me a bit of advice. He told me that if I improved my cadence, it would speed me up. (Cadence is the amount of steps you take per minute, basically)

My cadence when jogging is usually around 160 steps per minute, increasing to 170 when I’m sprinting. Ideally that number needs to be around 180, so I’ve still got someways to go.

Because I was running behind the fast guy, the coach told me to watch his heels and try to match his steps. So on the next race I tried to match his rhythm and take a step when he stepped. It seemed to improve my time but I can’t be certain whether it helped me because I was consciously matching his cadence or subconsciously trying harder.

Either way, it’s something to consider. I basically have to take three steps every second, so I have to implement an internal metronome that counts the seconds for me, and I have to count the steps. One Two Three One One Two Three Two One Two Three Three. Or, more accurately, One Two One One Two Two One Two Three.

I’ve just tried tapping that rhythm on my desk using my fingers, and it went awfully, so I’m hoping my running-attempts will be more successful.

Until tomorrow, One Two One One Two Two One Two Three.

Jacn

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