I raw 12 miles yesterday morning. Most of the run went great. I did have a couple problems at the end; I went out late last night and was probably too dehydrated, so during the 10th mile of my run, I felt nauseous. I ate a Shot Blok, drank water, but then started to get cramps from drinking too much. HAHA! Sometimes we can’t win. But I got my run in.
I never like going on the same route each time because I get bored so easily. This time, I switched it up by going down some side streets, first starting in the Mission District and then running down one of my favorite walks in Mission Bay along the water. I love it there; it’s rarely crowded and when the weather is good, it’s a beautiful place.
During my runs I observe other runners. I see if I can learn from them and sometimes I can’t help pointing out areas they could improve. Many young and/or novice runners don’t understand the importance of Running Cadence.
Cadence is how many steps per minute one takes in a run. And easy way to determine this is to count one’s footfalls for 30 seconds and then times two. Or, if one has a Garmin watch like mine, it tells you on the website your cadence.
For distance runners, the best cadence to have is 170 or above. It helps with one’s form and prevents injuries, as a higher step count lowers the stress on one’s ankles, shins and knees. I counted no less than 10 runners bounding across the sidewalk like springing gazelles. I could only imagine their cadences would fall far short. OK, if they were all sprinting, I can understand it, but something tells me they weren’t all testing their 440 meter limits; they were simply never taught about step counts.
The pros make it seem as if their step count is really low, but that’s not accurate. Their cadences are usually around 180 but they move so fast it looks like less.
It’s not as important when one runs three miles or less each time. However, if one wants to keep running for many years and be injury free or if one wants to expand out and start running half marathons and more, proper step count is vital. It may mean changing a little in one’s running at first. Take slightly smaller steps and see how that feels. It may make running easier. I can’t imagine myself lasting long if I took those giants steps running that I saw a young lady take today. It looked as if she was practicing for the triple jump!
I do love looking at my Garmin uploads after my runs. I can see where my steps may have gotten a bit too long and where they looked the best. The best is where I probably felt the best too, not surprisingly.
Running is a sport comprised of lots of physio-mechanics and I think it’s fascinating to find out all about everything.