Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cadence and form drills

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 ( -  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 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.

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