180 Strides Per Minute

In a previous post I was marveling at how my RS800sd displayed my running index and how it was giving me positive feedback. Efficiency, however, is only part of the equation when seeking to run fast times and compete well in running. The title of an email that I receive from Runner’s World caught my eye and it is a good opportunity to explain another facet of our running training - stride rate. After reading the article, I now know that elite and world class runners have a stride rate of about 180 strides a minute. This about twice my stride rate on my easy runs in base training and as I move into the speed phase of my training, I will focus more on what my cadence is when I look at the feedback that my Polar RS800sd gives me.

Ed Eyestone says that, “Once, after a less-than- memorable junior high race, my dad said, “It looked like you spent a little too much time in one place.” Dad hit the nail on the head: To run faster, you need to minimize your time in one place. That is, you need to move forward as effectively and efficiently as possible. And the two determining factors for forward momentum are running stride length and running stride rate.

When you go from jogging to race pace, your stride length naturally increases as you generate more power. Yet despite increasing your stride length nearly twofold, your stride rate–or how frequently you take each step–remains pretty constant. That’s because stride patterns are hardwired into your natural biomechanics.

But with the right training, you can develop a faster stride rate, which leads to faster times. Increasing your stride frequency will also lessen your vertical bounce, because the quicker steps force your body to stay closer to the ground. This lighter touchdown not only makes you faster but will also reduce impact, which is a major cause of running injuries.” Continued…

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