Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad.... and The Ugly

Living Proof That Increasing Run Cadence Makes You Faster and Wears You Out!

I went for a run today on a six mile loop through the Barton's Creek and Wood Valley neighborhoods.  This isn't a "10 k time trial" circuit - there is (quite literally I think) not a flat spot on the whole loop, so my times aren't generally fast, but it's a great work out.

If you read the post about my performance at the OBX sprint tri last week, you'll know that I need to work on increasing my run speed.  Those more experienced than me have advised that the best way to achieve this is to work on increasing my total mileage over the winter (which I will do), but run speed is also basically a function of stride length x cadence.  Trying to increase your stride length can really mess you up, so I tought that for this run that I wouldn't worry about pace, but would just focus on cadence, cadence, cadence!  I didn't try to count or quantify in any way, just concentrated on faster leg turnover.

The Good:

Wow!  I pushed-up cadence and didn't worry about pace (I very deliberately didn't check pace on my Garmin).  Here are my run splits over the first four miles compared to the last time I did the same circuit (when, admittedly, I was feeling a bit tired).

Mile             Today          Previous         Delta
  1.               9:40/mile     10:33/mile     0:53/mile
  2.              10:25           11:08            0:43
  3.               9:54            10:37            0:43
  4.              10:48           10:54            0:06

(Don't laugh at the paces - it IS all hills!)

Clearly I was significantly faster, which is obviously good!

The Bad:

The bad part of all of this was that by the time I got to mile five I was pretty gassed and ended-up walking for short periods on some of the hills.  As one minor excuse - it was hot out there.  Since when has it been in th mid 80s at 9:30 am in late September?

The Ugly:

To add salt into the wounds of walking, when I was almost home I moved onto a grass verge to avoid traffic and stepped into a hole.  Turned my left ankle slightly.  I don't think that it's too bad, but annoying anyway.

Lesson learned:  Yep.  I can up my cadence and get faster.  Will make this my focus for the 5k leg at the Lake Royale event next week.  Need to learn what I can sustain over longer distances though!

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