IM­PROVE CA­DENCE AND FORM

Runner's World (UK) - - Coach -

CA­DENCE COUNTER

WHY DO IT Es­tab­lishes your base­line ca­dence for all your speeds. HOW TO DO IT On a straight stretch of ground, run at each train­ing pace (eg 5K, marathon) for a few min­utes. Count your steps for 30 sec­onds and then dou­ble the num­ber to get your ca­dence. You should see that as your speed in­creases, so does your ca­dence. To each of your recorded num­bers, add five per cent to get your goal ca­dence for each pace.

STRIDES

WHY DO IT When you speed up, your body ad­justs to spring more ef­fi­ciently: you push off more pow­er­fully, with less up-and­down os­cil­la­tion. With prac­tice, th­ese habits will be­come in­grained even at slower paces. HOW TO DO IT Once or twice a week af­ter an easy run, do six 100m strides on a flat sur­face. Al­ter­nate be­tween 90 per cent ef­forts and ac­cel­er­a­tions that start a lit­tle eas­ier but fin­ish a lit­tle harder. Walk back to re­cover.

DOWN­HILL STRIDES

WHY DO IT Do­ing strides on a slight down­hill that flat­tens out is a great way to in­crease your stride rate. Grav­ity makes ac­cel­er­at­ing eas­ier and al­lows your legs to turn over more quickly. Warm up thor­oughly and run on a soft sur­face, such as play­ing fields. HOW TO Run down a grass slope for 150200m, con­trol­ling your ac­cel­er­a­tion. Take short, quick steps so you don’t over­stride. Jog back to the top and re­peat four times. Do once a week.

FAST-FEET DRILL

WHY DO IT This drill trains your legs for a faster turnover; helps com­bat over­strid­ing (which leads to greater brak­ing forces and ex­ces­sive im­pact on the body) and en­cour­ages good run­ning form. HOW TO DO IT On a flat, straight sur­face, and us­ing short, quick strides, take as many steps as you can in 10m. Keep the ground con­tact as brief as pos­si­ble. Jog for 10m, then re­peat five times. Do this ses­sion once a week.

1-2-3-4-5 FARTLEK

WHY DO IT By fo­cus­ing on in­creas­ing ca­dence, this work­out in­creases your ap­pre­ci­a­tion of stride turnover. HOW TO DO IT In­stead of pick­ing up the pace, run at a quicker stride rate. Run for a minute at 180 strides per minute, then one minute at a more re­laxed turnover. Use the step-count method men­tioned in the Ca­dence Counter work­out, left. In­crease each fartlek sec­tion by one minute at a time un­til you hit five.

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