September saw Lynn having a great race at the Bluewater Health 10k, Carol running (not racing :-) the Thru the Leaves Trail Run, and 'Iron Terry' living up to his name with a great and gutsy race at the Barrelman Half Ironman Tri. Technically it was October, but we also want to congratulate Michele and Elizabeth for great runs at the Run for the Toad trail run, and to Heather for a really strong run at the Wine Glass Marathon in NY (oh, and did I forget to mention that Heather's time beat the qualifying standard by over 8 minutes and will almost certainly give her a ticket to Boston!!!). Congrats to ALL!
October will also be a busy month with Michelle and Mike running the Rock 'n Roll half marathon in Brooklyn, and Angela running the half at the Scotia Waterfront marathon. In the first week in November we also want to wish good luck to Verylene in the NYC Marathon, Lynn in the Road to Hope Marathon, and Angela in the Road to Hope 10k. The Outerbanks Marathon is also that weekend and good luck goes out to Michele and Elizabeth in the marathon and Monica in the half Marathon. Go Renegades!!
I always like reposting some of your racing photos from Facebook. Even though many of you have already seen them, it's always great to re-live some of these moments. Please keep posting these pics....everyone enjoys seeing them! Here are September's.
This month, we're lucky to have a guest contributor for our technical topic. Thanks go out to Dr. Brendan Carney Killian, one of the chiropractors and owners of In Motion Health and Fitness. Brendan has a topic of great interest to all of us: cadence.
That's all for me. Have a great October!
Cadence & Injury Prevention
Practice running? No really, does running require practice? Yes, it does if you would like to improve and remain injury free.
Cadence – what is it?
Cadence is the number of times your foot strikes the ground in a given time period, usually measured per minute. The generally accepted “gold” standard is 180 steps per minute (or 90 per foot). A low cadence (less than 160 spm) is typically seen in runners who over-stride (take strides longer than biomechanically optimal). This longer stride causes runners to extend their legs out in front of their body, creating a breaking effect. This can slow you down and lead to injuries.
Why should you care?
In studying runners who are faster, more efficient and have fewer injuries researchers have determined that these runners have one common denominator: their feet strike the ground a minimum of 180 times per minute.1,2 Some of the more elite runners may reach a cadence of 200 or greater. Developing a faster cadence leads to less time spent in the vertical plane, which over the course of time can significantly reduce impact forces in particular on your knees, hips and lower back. It is also important to note that you can achieve a cadence of 180 whether you run a four-minute kilometer or eight-minute kilometer. Improving your cadence will help you run faster and more efficiently.
How to measure?
On your next run, count the number of times each foot strikes the ground in a minute. To make it simpler, pick either your right or left foot, count the number of times it strikes the ground in a minute and multiply that by two. You should repeat this two to three times to find an average. To simplify the counting you may purchase a running metronome or download a metronome app on your smart phone, utilize a running watch with the function or you can even purchase a shoe pod like the milestone pod.
How to improve/practice?
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, you can start the metronome and begin to run in place, trying to match each footstep with the beat. The best way to achieve a faster cadence is take the metronome with you on a run and periodically turning it on for two to three minutes. You may think you are maintaining 180 steps at first but this can be deceiving. It is important to continue training with your metronome until you are staying up with the beat each time you resume using the tool. Alternatively, you can download 10 to 15 songs that are around 180 beats per minute or get a music player that allows you to adjust the bpm. Run to the beat of the music for additional practice.
To avoid injury, increase your cadence by no more than two to five steps per minute. Don’t try to get your cadence up to 180 strikes per minute in one session. Increases in time and distance should also be gradual. For example, begin by running one minute at a faster cadence, return to your original cadence for three to five minutes, and then run at the faster cadence again. Play with it to see what works best for you.
Enjoy the journey,
Dr. Brendan Carney Kilian
Health & Fitness Director
In Motion: Health-Wellness-Fitness
1. Chapman RF, Laymon AS, Wilhite DP, McKenzie JM, Tanner DA, Stager JM. Ground contact time as an indicator of metabolic cost in elite distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012; 44(5):917-25
2. Daniels J. Daniels’ Running Formula. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2005.