Thursday, May 07, 2009

(More) Tidbits and Wesisms

So, yea, I've been cadence training.  It's been good.  Really.  From the moment I started I've learned a lot of things.  Being the giving person that I am, I am going to share them with you, whether you want them or not.

The first day, I learned that the path to a heart attack is start cadence training while keeping the same stride length.  Even though I thought I shortened my stride, I did not, and my heart rate shot up into cardiac arrest zone as a result.  People who know these things say you will reach your optimal stride length once you get to a cadence of 90 per foot.

This led me to the unalterable conclusion that I have been over striding.  That is why I am a heel thumper.  Although I have never been injured, I have never been light on my feet ever.  More than one fellow runner, when they've had the pleasure of running with me, has noticed the pounding of my feet. 

This leads us directly to tidbit number two...  How does one become a midfoot striker?  For me, it involved an a-ha moment.  I conciously tried to have my feet land behind my center of gravity.  Of course, this is impossible, but the result was extraordinary.  I was mid-foot striking without any effort.  I'm still having to practice.  Often when my cadence falls back into the sluggish 80 times per foot range, my stride is too long.  I am running sub-conciously now in the 86 per foot range, and that is near optimal for me.

Finally, y'all remember that pain I was having behind the ankle on my left foot.  It healed up nicely during the off season, and I hadn't really noticed it before until yesterday.  It is a direct result of kicking out my heel to unclip from my bike.  Duh...  I got to think about this one...

And that's it for this episode of Tidbits and Wesisms.  I am accepting cash, checks, and homemade meals in payment.  Till next time :-)

Wes

21 comments:

Marcy said...

I'll send you a home cooked meal but I don't know if you're gonna like it! HAHA!

Kim said...

video of you running please! :)

Calyx Meredith said...

Dang it, Marcy took my line. :D Now I'll have to say something about cadence like - wow, who knew you were supposed to take that many steps? I don't know if I can count and run at the same time. This running thing sure turns out to be more complicated than I thought!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

We'll have dinner on the table for you tonight, just come on over.

One other way to help stop heal striking is to find a flat, grass field (oh, I don't know, maybe a soccer field or something) and run intervals barefoot. You will find that it is impossible to heal strike when you run barefoot and you will get a good feel for midfoot striking.

Michelle said...

I have had far fewer aches and pains since I made a very conscious effort to shorten my stride. It makes a huge difference!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

interesting. maybe i need to invest in a cadence thingee

Carolina John said...

that's pretty neat. i think i still have a heel strike no matter what i try to change it still hits first.

i'll work on it like that though, sounds good. thanks!

Missy said...

C'mon over for dinner! We're waitin on ya. Good deal on the run. I totally deconstructed my run cadence and style last year..so much more efficient. It's great.

Kevin said...

One thing I did read when doing cadence training is that it is normal for your HR to go up when you initially begin cadence training.

Run for Chocolate said...

How do you know how many steps you are taking?

Stuart said...

They say running barefoot or close to it will help you make the switch check out Newtons or Five Fingers

Runner Leana said...

Meals in payment!! So if you change your cadence does this give you a better guarantee of some great running pictures during races...cuz I always look like I am one big sack of potatoes lumbering around in my race shots.

Jess said...

Clearly, not nearly enough thinking goes into my running.

Wes said...

RfC:

I have a cadence on my Garmin Forerunner 50, and I bought a digital metronome to beep incessantly at me to remind me :-)

Lily on the Road said...

The cheque is in the mail!!

the shorter your stride the easier your run (and faster too), who'd a thunk it!

Joe said...

Dang, you have me thinking with this cadence stuff, Wes.

Like I need more to think about...thanks :-)

Hmmmmmm...midfoot strike....sounds like a good way to prevent injury....

Karen said...

Thank you :o)

I really got to do some work on my cadence... I'm sure when I went running with you last year people thought it was a herd of elephants coming... but no... just two heel striking, overstriding wannabees ;o) .. sigh - when I've sorted my cadence out maybe I'll come back to Atlanta! ;o)

Michelle said...

Home cooked!

You got it!

What do you like?

Still don't know much about the cadence you speak of!!!

Kona Shelley said...

Don't laugh, but wearing Newtons has made me more of a mid foot striker as well as learning Chi running..give it a try!

Stef said...

Last I checked my cadence was between 85 and 90 -- thanks for the reminder to check it again. So may facets to this sport!

CNuk said...

It's funny that you mention this. I've been working on my stride for a wee bit now. Before, I couldn't really tell the difference. But now, I know immediately when I'm going to long. I guess it's like swimming. When you're doing it right, it's effortless.