April 16, 2011

Running Two Days in a Row

It's not very often that I run two days in a row. I went for a run yesterday in the sunshine and today, well, see the picture below. We're having a bit of a spring blizzard at the moment, not cold, just snowy.

Me covered in melting snow after spring running

During yesterday's run, I had a bit of an epiphany: a faster cadence really is easier. My right foot was hurting a little about three quarters through my run. I thought it might have been from landing too hard. Then I thought if I had a slightly faster cadence, maybe it would land more softly. And it really did! My foot stopped hurting, my arms dropped, my back got even straighter, my knees lifted a little higher all from speeding up my cadence a little. I'm pretty sure my heart rate went up a bit but I don't really know because I don't run with a heart rate monitor anymore.

This morning, my calves and feet weren't as tired and tight as they usually are the day after a run so I thought I'd go again. Just a really short run, though. I tried the faster cadence the whole run and it went really well again. Very comfortable. And I tried Angie's breath trick: in in in out out out with my steps. I liked it when I read it and thought it was really easy with the higher cadence.

A note about cadence, I counted it a couple of times last year and it was always 84 BPM. When I tried to run at 90 BPM my heart rate shot up (that was when I did wear a heart rate monitor). At the time, I didn't think it was worth the higher cadence but now I think differently after yesterday's and today's experimenting.

I've read that a cadence of 90 BPM is the optimum turnover for maximum utilization of your body's own elastic capabilities. I'm certainly willing to keep trying to achieve 90 BPM to test if this works for me. After three years of running in minimalist shoes, there are still new things to learn. I CAN'T WAIT to learn from Lee Saxby next month in the VIVOBAREFOOT Training Clinic!