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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering what the views are on turning up the pace.

I'm running along with my Garmin toy and the dreaded 'Too Slow' alarm gently informs me its time to move my sorry butt along a bit quicker. As I see it I've got three options:
a) Increase stride length, keep same cadence
b) Increase cadence, keep same stride
c) Increase both.

From experiment I'm finding that option a) seems the most economical. Anyone got any tips? Mental imagery? Arm work? Or do you just let your body work it out for itself?
 

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ideal cadence for efficiency is around 170-180 strides per min, biggest varying factor is stride length! Yes overstriding is definately bad, but if you can increase your stride length in relation to your speed (by keeping the point at which your foot strikes the ground underneath you rather than in-front) you'll end up moving faster :)

I'm fairly confident in saying that if you look at the worlds best endurance runners, and compare them to 'competitive club runners' then you'll see there's probably no difference in stride rate, merely the distance covered with each stride.

As for the pace alarm, I don't tend to use it because i'm sure it'd start beeping everytime I hit an upwards slope!

It might be worth checking your cadence, as if your foot strike rate is low, it'd be worth increasing it to up the pace... I do it from time to time and find I usually fall closer to the 170 mark than 180, but i'm comfortable enough with it. Just count how many times your right foot hits the floor in a minute and multiply by 2 ;)
 

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I started out by increasing my stride length but now (after reading a thread on here. I think it was about chi running) I try to take smaller, quicker steps and seem to be running a lot faster than I used to. I'll see if I can find the thread.
 

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in hindsight i was wrong before so please dont take too much notice of my posts in that thread singularity... running shorter strides with a high cadence is pretty standard running advice... 'pose running' or 'chi running' are different things altogether and i didnt really understand them then... now i really dont agree that they are better ways to run and they are silly complicated... pose style you have to lean forward like a sprinter... chi running is some airy fairy nonsense... my best advice would be to not even look into it...

aside from these odd techniques, there is much discussion about landing midfoot verses landing on the heel... i thought about it and landing heel or midfoot it shoulder matter so much really with running shoes designed as they are... you cant really overstride if you have to land midfoot but it is a hassle to run like this... running downhill is much harder to do and if you are running for a long time you have probably already adapted to a good style without much thought and messing about with this would do more harm than good... if you do run heel first then usually normal running is completely fine... i think what you should do is take care is when you increase the pace suddenly... when you run downhill and sprint to the finish line what you should do is increse the pace by increasing leg turnover and not by stride length... if you try to increase your stride length you end up overstriding and your heel lands like a break and you end up slowing yourself down a little... it is very simple to do and will prevent injuries... high foot turnover takes a bit of practice and may feel a bit unnatural but it does make you faster - i doubt many of us run 180 strides per minute unless it's when we are running at an extremely fast pace so i wouldnt ever worry that cadence is ever too slow... even at my fastest, i really cant believe i do 3 strides per second, but i have never checked... believe me thought i don't think running style needs much thought whatsoever... i certainly dont think about it at all anymore - one foot in front of the other is all it is... the simpliest advice is often the best... it is a shame pedestrian isnt here anymore though... it was great to have an expert promoting the message that just run more and think less about it... probably the best advice i've heard but it is advice you dont often hear...
 

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blimey... you're even disagreeing with yourself nowadays... heheh ;)
You're right though, pedestrians message of 'just run, it's that simple' is very true... naturally our bodies adapt to running and become pretty efficient at it. I don't think it harms to know what an average running style comprises of though :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the input guys.

Yes overstriding is definately bad, but if you can increase your stride length in relation to your speed (by keeping the point at which your foot strikes the ground underneath you rather than in-front) you'll end up moving faster :)
I had to read that a few times to get what you mean, but I get it now, it sounds a fairly simple goal to keep in mind. I've never counted my strike rate, it'll be interesting to see what it is.

I agree about trying to change a running style. But I do like to have an answer ready when my brain yells - 'Body! Go faster!' and my body yells back 'How, exactly? I'm trying, dammit..!'
 

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Yeah, sorry, I've never been very good at expressing my thoughts as words! lol. Basically I was trying to say it is possible to increase stride length without 'overstriding' - I guess I would probably say don't try to increase your stride length by reaching further forwards with your legs kind of thing... gain the extra stride length by pushing off harder with your trailing leg.

If your foot is striking the ground in front of your centre of gravity... i.e. in front of your body, then it will partially be acting as a brake :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, that's good, it all makes sense thanks. I shall have an experiment session.

Its amazing how fast I plan to run when I'm sat here at my keyboard..
 
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