How to make 180 steps/minute feel really slow

Leave the first response May 29, 2007 / Posted in Running Form & Style

I’ve changed to a faster cadence 180 to 190 and find my speed has increased.Before I used to think about increasing the length of stride to get faster , but now I just think Cadence , cadence , cadence! It will feel strange at first as though you are going slower with baby steps, don’t even think about the length of your stride.

Just relax and think of yourself ‘ flicking’ along rather than ‘bounding ‘ along .You are ‘skimming over the ground’ heel and forefoot landing at the same time rather than heel striking first , stick with it & after a few weeks you will suddenly think, “I’m going quite fast here” I’ve personally gone from 11 min miles to 9 min miles in a month! Its a technique and you have to unlearn how you previously ran and stick to it for a few weeks. Its the running equivalent of spinning on a bicycle, watch most people on a bike and they push a big gear, because it seems easier = slow long strides in running , Watch a Top Racing cyclist & its lower gear with high cadence = fast shorter steps in running, don’t believe me? Watch Lance Armstrong in action! Nuff said!

Oh & don’t forget Eyes on the Horizon , shoulders relaxed ….Read all Ozzy’s (SP) posts!
The above was written in 2001. I figure that in the next 20 to 30 years, hopefully I’m around to see it, the tipping point will occur when the majority of runners will be using a high cadence at slower speeds knowing that the lean from the ankle and falling, aided by earth’s gravity will increase their speed to whatever is their maximum capacity.

Thanks to the work of Pose Running and ChiRunning, the slow run to proper running form and style has begun. Nicholas Romanov, the Scientist of Running, and Danny Dreyer, the Chi Master of Running, are in the vanguard of experimenters who are teaching the world what Leonardo diVinci observed hundreds of years ago: Walking (and running) is a controlled fall.

It’s a hard concept for the world to grasp. For coaches to grasp. For runners and walkers to grasp. For most physiologists, kinesiologists, biomechanists to grasp. Walking and running is simply falling and catching yourself gracefully each and every step. Dr. Romanov along with Dr. Graham Fletcher have done the research to show that the horizontal component of running is related to the propulsion due to gravity. I believe what they are saying as does ChiRunning: There is no push off. Gravity is acting upon your falling body and you had better keep your feet under you or you will…fall.

I’ll talk about the GAPO Theory of Man’s First Fall at a later time. Let it suffice to say that after our first fall somewhere between ages 3 and 8 the way we stood and walked was forever changed that counter to using gravity.

So the cadence of 180 is a start at getting people to regain a deep relationship with gravity. For many it is an experience of regaining the grace of a child before the fall.

I’ve a metronome clipped onto the back of my cap. I usually keep it around 180. During my training runs I also play with cadences of 190 to 220 steps per minute. Mind you I’m not running fast, I’m just picking up my feet fast at whatever pace I’m going.

This morning I ran with Myles Glasgow, a long time friend, and we played with the 180. I finally got him to 180 by continually having to slow down his running speed. I did this by first running in place at 180 steps/minute. It’s like doing the Filipino national dance: Tinikling, only there’s imaginary thick, heavy bamboo poles that will smash your ankle if your don’t pick your foot up fast enough.

What’s interesting if you’re doing 200 to 220 steps/minute; 180 steps/minute really feels slow.

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