Running cadence is effectively the number of steps you can take per minute and this has been shown to attribute to a better economy and faster running as well as reducing injury. Which is a win right?
We all want to be faster and less injury-prone! If we look at elite runners or your typically ‘fast’ runner, they will generally have a cadence on the high side, usually around that of 180 steps per minute.
This has been recorded to be the ‘Magic number’ when it comes to your steps per minute. So it MAY be something to work towards.
Of course, like everything, it isn’t a one rule fits all principle, but a general rule of thumb, so it’s worth trying to see whether improving your cadence will indeed help you become faster and efficient. Some runners will have longer strides, lower cadences, and still boss times.
Like a lot of things in running, it’s all dependant on your own personal biomechanics.
Monitoring your cadence can be kind of tricky and there is a couple of ways to do this.
Stopwatch method – During this method, you will count your steps on one foot across the minute then multiply this by two… You have two feet right? This will be a pretty accurate way on how to assess your current cadence rate
The smartwatch method – During this method you find your smartwatch and see if it has a cadence rate on it – most of them do nowadays if you have a good model. This method I find is less accurate, but possibly a lot easier to monitor than the above method.
To improve your cadence the best method I have found is to use either a metronome app set to your desired steps per minute (180) or sometimes your smartwatch will have this mode built-in for ease of use.
I like to utilise this during easy runs in some short intervals, such as 1 – 2 minutes, and to follow the metronomes beats whilst trying to keep my HR low. You can increase this over several weeks Your HR may raise out of the zone, but over time your body will start to become more efficient at this cadence and your HR will level out.
Hopefully, this has helped. Feel free to reach out if you need any further advice or coaching needs.
Jake is an online run coach who specialises in Endurance and OCR events.
On this weeks podcast we talk with Hunter McIntyre about OCR Stars. OCR Stars is a virtual OCR event which will take part in 4 events over 4 weeks to crown the OCR champion for 2020. With plenty of cash prizes to be won, but more importantly, plenty of the entry fee money is being re-invested back into the athlete community in the way of sponsorship packages and free race entries!
On this episode of the Rise & Grind podcast, Graham hosts a discussion with Aaron about his recent 100km backyard ultra, Which he completed by doing laps of a local route around his house! Inspirational stuff!
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Trust me its a good one & its all available on iTunes, Spotify and all other decent podcast apps!
On this weeks podcast we talk with Hunter McIntyre. Hunter is taking on the Murph WOD world record on the 23rd of May in support of Team RWB & US veterans. He also currently holds the fastest time at Hyrox!
Heres what you need to know before your first Obstacle Course Racing event, and help you get prepared
Wear the right gear
Those that have done an OCR will all be familiar with this one. You’re lined up to your first obstacle course race, wearing the latest road runners or Nike Met-cons from the Box. You glance down, and all of a sudden you see a sea of trail shoes… Oh wait… I didn’t read the small print… This race is on trail?!
Or worse, you don’t even notice that 90% of these events are off trail and you’re running along in your fresh, reebok nano’s to be met with a muddy downhill and your skating like Bambi on ice.
Do yourself a favour, get some good trail shoes!
Prepare to grip
Monkey bars, rigs, hoists, Walls, all these obstacles involve GRIP! Your best bet is to work to maximise your max pull-ups on your run up to the event, that will give you the biggest bang for buck.
But if you have a lot of time, then do a dedicated grip training program. I have a free Ebook, about training your grip for OCR, check it out.
Running is involved
Be prepared to be able to run the distance of the event… and hopefully a bit more.
Generally, events range from 5km to a half marathon distances, so make sure you’re fairly comfortable at running the distance you have chosen and bare in mind you will have a myriad ofobstacles fatigue your along the course!
It’ll be a good idea to look at the previous race at that location to see if there is any sneaky elevation involved. If there is… Hit some hills!
Learn to carry
Whether it be a Sandbag or an atlas stone. These events generally involve some sort of carry. Get used to be able to carry in all sorts of different holds, from front rack, to on your back, to farmers carries (This will also help with grip)
Don’t think doing some hypertrophy 10 reps of 3 sets in the gym will get you through this unscathed. Get used to carry weight and moving with it!
You may get wet or muddy
Some events pride themselves on making you as MUDDY as possible… personally, i hate this aspect of OCR. But it still stands as some sort of gimmicky part of it!
My advice, don’t be wearing something plain white, as you will look like you’ve come straight out the sewer! And don’t go getting something brand new for the event – Things can easily get ruined or ripped on course!
in fact, in the USA, a lot of people have taken to not wearing much clothing at all!
It may push you out your comfort zone
If its your first event, its’ a pretty good guarantee that you will be pushed out of your comfort zone in some way. Theres not many sports like it and it will test you at some point on course. It could be how technical an obstacle is, a big fall, mud or how heavy something is.
The bonus to this, is after the event, most people feel great, feel accomplished, like they have been through the wringer, and everything that seemed tough before, isn’t so tough anymore!
If you have any questions regarding your first OCR event, then feel free to drop me a line and i’d be happy to answer your questions and have trained beginners all the way to elite field athletes.
Jake is a coach who specialises in Endurance and OCR events.
On this weeks podcast we talk with the undefeated OCR World Champion & Current SkyRunning World Champion, Jon Albon.
We discuss what Jon’s up to right now and various topics such as virtual races, Spartan, The Barkley marathons, coronavirus and our addiction to coffee – Apart from Graham, he likes tea. Its not to be missed!