Last week I took a planned low mileage week. My achilles have been a bit sore since the Leona Divide 50 miler, last month, not hurting on runs but a bit sore in the morning, and my right knee, which took some damage in the accident that fractured my hip socket last year, had also been bugging me a bit.
Given this I spent a bit of time reading about running injuries this weekend. I basically tripped over Ian Torrance's article at irunfar on running injuries (http://www.irunfar.com/2014/04/injury-recognition-treatment-and-recovery.html) - That article emphasized that cadence, the number of steps per minute, is optimally 180/min; anything less tends to be associated with over striding, larger impact forces, and form errors. I believed my cadence to be about 180; Torrances' article motivated me to check it again as it had been a couple of years. Checking my cadence with a timer on my run yesterday I found I was running at ~ 170 steps/minute. So I started working on increasing my cadence. To pull the turnover rate up to 180 steps/minute I had to consciously shorten my stride....it felt awkward as though I was running with handcuffs on my legs. On today's run I ran easy, again focussing on the timer to achieve 180 steps/min, and to my surprise I clocked 5.3 miles on the Sawpit wash in a respectable 41 minutes and felt great despite the awkwardness.
I've ordered a clip-on metronome to continue focussing on cadence as counting to 30 repeatedly while running is getting old; Over the last couple weeks I've also gotten myself back into hamstring/glute drills that I'd learned from my PT last fall. These are: Single-leg glute bridges (3x 15 each side); form drills on stairs (basically slow motion step ups, like slow motion sprint starts), single leg RDLs or hip-hinges.