I may be over thinking this…
Recently, I have read countless articles recommending that I strive for a cadence of 180 beats per minute while running.
When I run without thinking, I’m not sure what my cadence is (it’s on my to-do list to figure that out on my Garmin), but I’m here to tell you–180 beats per minute makes me feel like I’m tripping over my feet!
When comparing the two strategies for running faster, my comfort level lies in stride length. I have attempted a shorter stride at an increased tempo, but it requires a lot of effort on my part. Maybe that’s the point…
Speed= Stride length X Stride frequency¹
A detailed article was posted on a blog entitled, “Science of Running“. It basically concluded that you can run at the same speed using various and individualized methods.
At first, I understood this to mean that I should work on my turnover to be able to incorporate stride frequency into my already comfortable stride length strategy. What the author actually recommended, however, is that stride length dependent athletes (like myself) might need to do more strength/power work, while stride frequency athletes might need to do more turnover work/neuromuscular work. Strengthen what you already do naturally.
So, now that I feel better that I don’t have to forcibly change my running style, I want to figure out what my cadence actually is and go from there.
Did I bore you with this technical stuff? Does anyone else wonder if they are “doing it right” when they get bombarded with running suggestions?
What kind of runner are you? One who uses stride length or stride frequency?
PS: I’ve been watching my little running group when we set out for runs and I know at least what I think two of them prefer!
¹Steve Magness. (n.d.). Understanding Stride Rate and Stride Length. Science of Running. Retrieved October 10, 2012. From http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/11/speed-stride-length-x-stride-frequency.html.