Counting my Cadence.

I wasn’t sore this morning. How is that possible? I expected to be really stiff this morning when I woke up, after running twelve miles on the treadmill yesterday, but I wasn’t… how strange, yet awesome. I hopped on the treadmill after work again today for a shorter and slower run. 

7.0 miles, negative splits, and TWO NFL games playing while I was on the treadmill… sounds like the perfect run to me. 

Mile 1 @ 8:34
Mile 2 @ 8:27
Mile 3 @ 8:20
Mile 4 @ 8:20
Mile 5 @ 8:00
Mile 6 @ 8:00
Mile 7 @ 7:40

I always feel the need to run my last mile really fast, like I am sprinting to the finish line of a race. It makes me feel awesome having a little bit left in the tank and putting it all out there on the last mile. That, and the cute fitness centre staff guy was walking around the gym so I was trying to impress him. 

While I was running I used a couple of minutes to count my cadence. I have read a few articles about running cadence and the “ideal” SPM (steps per minutes) while running. In 1984, Coach Jack Daniels found that the most efficient, fastest, elite runners had a cadence of 180 SPM or higher. While, we are not all elite runners, and there is no set number as each runner has their own “ideal,” I was curious what my steps per minute were. 

I counted twice… 178, and 182. 

Quickening your cadence, or stride, results in less impact while running which means you are running more efficiently and will be less prone to injury. Neat. (Source.)

Although I pride myself on running very elegantly and gracefully, like a gazelle, with long strides and perfect form (ha)… it turns out  lengthening your stride isn’t always the best bet for running fast and running efficiently. Everyone’s ideal SPM is different, so by no means try to hit a target number, but it’s interesting to count your cadence and see what you are currently running!

At the beginning of December, I started doing wall-sits every day, trying to increase the time I could hold a squat on the wall. December 1st I sat 3:14.44, and halfway through the month I have already added over TWO minutes to that! Woo!

After my 7.0 mile run, during which I counted my steps and watched football, I hit up the weights for some leg strength training. Cute gym staff dude told me I should do some strength training today after seeing me run for hours yesterday… so you can bet that’s what I did. My legs were jello when I left. When I got home I drank some intensely blue electrolyte water… you know, to pretend I’m a real athlete or something.

If I’m not sore tomorrow I guess I’ll have to up my leg-day weights, even though I almost fell off the hamstring curl machine today. It’s a chair… I have no idea how I almost fell. What was I saying about being graceful?

I think I will try counting my cadence at a few different paces to see how or if it changes. I am trying to focus on my form a lot during my runs lately, in preparation for marathon training in the new year. Yes, I am training to train 😉 I am hoping that having good form while I run will help me avoid injuries and become a faster runner! Only 167 days until the Calgary Marathon.