Research indicates that running with a higher cadence of 170-190 steps per minute can decrease vertical loading force (impact) and increase economy during endurance running. These can decrease our risk of injury and allow us to run faster and further without as much fatigue. Cool hey? Start counting your steps per minute by using this audio file to improve your running efficiency and incrase your reslience!
Aim to hit a minimum of 170spm on all terrain, no matter what comes your way. Do not run a faster pace to accomplish this, however! Run your normal pace/effort, but adjust your stride (likely a bit shorter) to match this step count. Begin by jogging on the spot at 180spm then gradually start running with short steps, lengthening them until you are at your normal pace. Now you are doing it! Keep checking that cadence throughout your run to make sure you haven’t slowed it down. You can also download music that is around 170-190bpm and run to that too. If you don’t do anything else with your form- nail this! It will have the biggest impact on your running performance and transform your efficiency as a runner.
Practice your ABC's a few times a week during your runs to improve your technique, neuromuscular co-ordination and efficiency so that you can run faster and further without fatigue! Start slowly, until you develop smooth technique so that your body can learn the patterns first. Speed will come! Work at a pace that allows for excellent technique- you get what you practice;) Have fun!
Perform 2-3 days per week, 10-20metres, 2-3 sets.
Instructions: Warm up thoroughly to ensure your tissues and nervous system are ready to roll. Stand tall, stay relaxed but sharp, look ahead and aim to keep good postural alignment throughout- ears over hips over knees over balls of feet.
A's: All Drives. Drive one arm backwards while driving the opposing knee forwards, pushing off the ball of the foot with a controlled skipping action. Keys: Push off ball of foot, drive knee forward, drive elbow back and down, lead with hips and look ahead.
B's: Shin Tucks (Don't Kick your Butt Kicks). Lift your heels behind you to bring your shins parallel or slightly higher, landing on the balls of your feet and driving arms backward. Lean forward from the ankles slightly to create a feeling of 'falling' forward. No need to 'kick your butt', unless you are a short distance/sprinter training this range.
Cs: Circle or Wheeling Drill. Start by mastering smooth technique in the stationary position. Practice in front of a mirror to ensure you aren't missing any spots in the Circle. Stand tall and do not let hips drop or torso flex laterally- stand tall, lifting out of the standing foot. Make a complete circle with your foot, moving through the entire running gait pattern. Shin tucks up, knee drives forward, shin whips out (toes up), leg paws back and then begin again. Progress to Walking and then Skipping levels. Technique first- then more advanced levels, then speed. Think 'smooth and relaxed'.