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Increasing turnover rate

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Increasing turnover rate

Post  ounce on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:13 pm

I've been running a bit faster over the past couple of weeks. I have been doing a shorter stride for increased turnover for almost two years. One one particular run, I increased my pace enough that I had to revert to lengthening my stride because my I couldn't increase the turnover fast enough to support the pace I could do.

So, my question is do I need to just work on increasing my turnover rate until I don't need to lengthen my stride for the faster pace? Thanks for your time.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:58 am

No. You want to keep your cadence somewhere in the 85-95 range, if you're "most people." That means taking larger strides while keeping your turnover high. Your turnover may increase a little at those higher speeds - mine usually hovers in the high 90s at anything close to tempo - but it's about stride length at that point.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:26 pm

To be clear, that's 90 per foot. Ideally you want to have 180 foot strikes per minute. 180 is the magic number and its incredible but true that you will see almost NO deviation from that number among elite and sub elite runners with wildly different running styles and speeds. 5k runners, marathoners and every thing in between. Men and women. Most runners need to increase their cadence or foot strikes per minute by taking shorter mincing steps. There are very few amateur runners that need to lengthen their stride and make less foot strikes per minute. I check myself at least once a week by counting one foot's foot strikes for 30 seconds. 45 is ideal and 44-45 is now where I am although it took some big time modification in my stride in the early days to get there. So it on flat ground at a "normal" (not slow jogging and not kicking) pace. The magic of 180 is true for all leg lengths and speeds so if you find yourself more than a few taps off of 180 really focus on getting to that number with conscious effort. Before you know it, that will be the new normal.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  ounce on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:13 pm

Thanks, but I have a question. I have a cadence monitor and I couldn't even get close to 90 and I believe it's because I'm not fast enough to turnover in that range.

So, do y'all think a 13 minute runner can do 90, like y'all can? thanks.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  mul21 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:37 pm

I can't provide a great answer for you, but a close example. I normally run somewhere between 8:00-9:00 for most of my regular runs. I've been doing long runs with my girlfriend while helping her get ready for an upcoming half. We're running at about 11:00 pace and I actually brought up cadence the other day and counted while we were out there. I was hitting somewhere between 42-43 steps every 30 seconds, or 168-172 cadence. I normally hit 180-184 when I'm running a normal for me pace, so I think you may see a slight downturn in that number at a slower pace, but you should still be in the neighborhood. Honestly, I would work on getting to where you can, but don't go terribly out of your way if there's not an injury or overuse problem developing in your build ups for marathons. We are each an experiment of one and different things are going to apply for different folks.

As an aside, how tall are you? I have a feeling that if you're over 6' tall, you're probably going to have a harder time getting to the 180 at the pace you're running.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  ounce on Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm 5'10". I guess I'll have to hook up the cadence sensor again and see what I can do.
Thanks for your thoughts. That helps.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:34 pm

Pretty good article on cadence here. Interesting that many of the elites do in fact have cadence rates OVER 180 (particularly when kicking hard at the end of the race) so the "180" is not a perfect magic number for all. But note that basically none of them have cadence levels lower than that so 180 is still the minimum threshold goal. And yet the average runner has a cadence in the 150-170 range. Shorten that stride and take more steps! As part of the transition, it should feel like little mincing quick steps as you move towards increasing the number of times your foot strikes the ground. If you are like Mike or Jim and often seeing cadence rates over 180, no worries. But stuff in that 150-170 range I think is well worth trying to improve no matter your speed or height.
http://runnersconnect.net/running-training-articles/heelstriking-running-cadence/
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Jerry on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:36 pm

Personally I really believe in 180 number, but what exactly the number is is less important than we need to run light and high cadence. How high is difficult to say. I am actually higher. Asian women elites typically run higher.

Oz, I don't know if your optimal number should be 180 giving your time, but I can bet this, for a runner with high caliber before, say Michele. She ran well slower than before, but I bet she can do 180 still. I can easily maintain 180 with 8:00+ pace as I have tested before. That tells me the importance of running form and technique, specifically the muscular response.

So I think if you can run light and quick, you are fine. Forget about the number. Otherwise work on them. If you force a high cadence, but can't maintain long, it doesn't really help. That might be one of the reasons Lydiard says stop if one can't maintain the good form or pick a pace one can maintain the form for the whole training distance.

That principle works well for lazy Jerry.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:46 pm

Jerry wrote:Personally I really believe in 180 number, but what exactly the number is is less important than we need to run light and high cadence. How high is difficult to say. I am actually higher. Asian women elites typically run higher.

Oz, I don't know if your optimal number should be 180 giving your time, but I can bet this, for a runner with high caliber before, say Michele. She ran well slower than before, but I bet she can do 180 still. I can easily maintain 180 with 8:00+ pace as I have tested before. That tells me the importance of running form and technique, specifically the muscular response.

So I think if you can run light and quick, you are fine. Forget about the number. Otherwise work on them. If you force a high cadence, but can't maintain long, it doesn't really help. That might be one of the reasons Lydiard says stop if one can't maintain the good form or pick a pace one can maintain the form for the whole training distance.

That principle works well for lazy Jerry.
I must be tired tonight because I think I understood everything Jerry said and agreed with him. 180 is the perfect number for me as well and its always a good check on myself to make sure I'm still hitting 45 steps with one foot per 30 seconds at various points of a long run.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  ounce on Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:52 am

Chris M wrote:
Jerry wrote:Personally I really believe in 180 number, but what exactly the number is is less important than we need to run light and high cadence. How high is difficult to say. I am actually higher. Asian women elites typically run higher.

Oz, I don't know if your optimal number should be 180 giving your time, but I can bet this, for a runner with high caliber before, say Michele. She ran well slower than before, but I bet she can do 180 still. I can easily maintain 180 with 8:00+ pace as I have tested before. That tells me the importance of running form and technique, specifically the muscular response.

So I think if you can run light and quick, you are fine. Forget about the number. Otherwise work on them. If you force a high cadence, but can't maintain long, it doesn't really help. That might be one of the reasons Lydiard says stop if one can't maintain the good form or pick a pace one can maintain the form for the whole training distance.

That principle works well for lazy Jerry.
I must be tired tonight because I think I understood everything Jerry said and agreed with him. 180 is the perfect number for me as well and its always a good check on myself to make sure I'm still hitting 45 steps with one foot per 30 seconds at various points of a long run.

(We might have to arrange a random drug screen for Jerry)
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Admin on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:11 am

Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence. As I improved, my cadence did naturally approximate 180 foot strikes/min.

So then the question is, does approximating 180 fs/min make you a better runner? Or does becoming a better runner naturally cause you to approximate 180 fs/min?

I think it's more the latter.

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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  John Kilpatrick on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:22 am

If the goal is getting faster and you were getting faster naturally, who cares what the turnover rate is? Sounds like whatever you were doing was working.....

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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:37 am

Mr MattM wrote:Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence. As I improved, my cadence did naturally approximate 180 foot strikes/min.

So then the question is, does approximating 180 fs/min make you a better runner? Or does becoming a better runner naturally cause you to approximate 180 fs/min?

I think it's more the latter.
A good chicken vs egg question but for some (and me in particular) focusing on "cadence" specifically was a much more direct way to improve my stride and running economy than more vague things like "shorten your stride" or "don't heel strike" or "keep your feet under your body". Realizing early on that I was at like 150-160 cadence and way overreaching in my stride and setting myself up for injuries, it really helped me overall form wise to force myself to try and get to 180. It felt so strange for a few months and like I was doing a shuffling stride with little baby steps. But absolutely my form improved and became more efficient and now I can't run anything but 180 without any thought to it. So....agree that good running form will get you to right around that number and so maybe the number doesn't need to be the focus. But if you want to figure out HOW to improve your form and running efficiency and your cadence is way low, I think its a good place to start with total feedback on how you are doing expressed in the form of a number.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:37 am

Mr MattM wrote:Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence. As I improved, my cadence did naturally approximate 180 foot strikes/min.

So then the question is, does approximating 180 fs/min make you a better runner? Or does becoming a better runner naturally cause you to approximate 180 fs/min?

I think it's more the latter.

With many cyclists, it's the former. Pros with bad habits of powering up climbs were taught to bump that cadence up to 180 (or in Lance's case, even higher), to be most efficient. Just like hill-climbing - it doesn't just come naturally to take tiny steps, but that's actually what you want to do with climbing above 10-15%.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Gobbles on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:20 pm

I think it very dependent on the person.
I run with a guy who is well below 175/min, we refer to him as "lopper".
I on the other hand, I average 184~188 on an easy run; Over 200 racing. Shocked
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  JohnP on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:49 am

I don't think you can talk about cadence on its own. Anyone should be able to vary their cadence by the length of the stride. The key thing to me is the power behind the stride. Look at the elites or faster runners here. Many times when you see pictures of them, their feet are not on the ground. Their stride is powerful and explosive and propels them forward. Then you look at slower runners and we typically have our feet on the ground on any given picture. So even though we might be able to increase cadence, if the foot is still in contact with the ground so much, the power is not there, and therefore no amount of cadence increase will cause you to go faster.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:11 am

How did I get in Jerry's post? Internet lawyers, can I sue for libel? Just joking. During my training this winter, I have had trouble getting my cadence back to the 180-182 range (where I like to be) and some of it has been the injury, surgery and imbalances as a result of the above. I can tell you that when I am at the top of my game (like last Spring), 180-184 is my norm, this winter I was struggling around 172-174. I noticed today that my pace has increased as has my cadence and as felt like I was not trying too hard at a 9 min pace, I measured a 178 cadence - so pretty much back to where I need to be. I have never measured during a race.

Interestingly enough, I have trouble increasing my cadence on the bike. Much of it is because I bike like a runner, but I am working on it. And as I continue to strengthen and run more miles, I continue to work on cadence.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  nkrichards on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Interestingly enough, I have trouble increasing my cadence on the bike. Much of it is because I bike like a runner, but I am working on it.

How do you bike like a runner? I struggle with cadence both while running and while biking. Tried to work on cadence last spring and got frustrated and kind of gave up. I did get a bike trainer and work on cadence on the bike in the garage this winter. Seems to be helping but I haven't been out on the road much yet.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:40 pm

nkrichards wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:
Interestingly enough, I have trouble increasing my cadence on the bike. Much of it is because I bike like a runner, but I am working on it.

How do you bike like a runner? I struggle with cadence both while running and while biking. Tried to work on cadence last spring and got frustrated and kind of gave up. I did get a bike trainer and work on cadence on the bike in the garage this winter. Seems to be helping but I haven't been out on the road much yet.

From what I've been told it means I "push" but don't "pull" through. The feeling of "spinning" is still not comfortable to me.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:57 pm

Mr MattM wrote:Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence.

I have actually never measured/kept track of my cadence. I have always cared more about maintaining a good running form. Of course, all this talk has me curious and will probably check it out tonight.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Nick Morris wrote:
Mr MattM wrote:Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence.

I have actually never measured/kept track of my cadence. I have always cared more about maintaining a good running form. Of course, all this talk has me curious and will probably check it out tonight.
My guess is that you are already at 180 or higher and don't need to worry about cadence as you've focussed on other form cues to get there. But I do think EVERY runner should strive to get to at least 180. Overstriding is a huge precursor to injuries and a low cadence invariably means you are overstriding. Michele's own observations about her own cadence mirror mine. When I'm injured/struggling I'm forcing things too much and my cadence gets too low. When running normally I settle right into 180 and higher for hard/fast race or speed work.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:24 pm

Chris M wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:
Mr MattM wrote:Personally, I don't get hung up on turnover. I care more about running form which will result in a natural cadence.

I have actually never measured/kept track of my cadence. I have always cared more about maintaining a good running form. Of course, all this talk has me curious and will probably check it out tonight.
My guess is that you are already at 180 or higher and don't need to worry about cadence as you've focussed on other form cues to get there. But I do think EVERY runner should strive to get to at least 180. Overstriding is a huge precursor to injuries and a low cadence invariably means you are overstriding. Michele's own observations about her own cadence mirror mine. When I'm injured/struggling I'm forcing things too much and my cadence gets too low. When running normally I settle right into 180 and higher for hard/fast race or speed work.

As usual, you are correct Chris. I counted three one foot for 30 seconds three different times tonight and came up with the same number. My cadence was at exactly 45 each time while running an easy 7:30 pace. I can imagine that I am closer to 200, like Mike, during my races.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:56 am

And to back up what I said earlier, Doug, I counted during my easy run today which is back pretty close to my normal pace - I was at 180 and 182, so as I have healed, the cadence has returned on its own. I'm still not where I want to be fitness-wise, but it is a big step in the right direction.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Chris M on Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:21 pm

JohnP wrote:I don't think you can talk about cadence on its own. Anyone should be able to vary their cadence by the length of the stride. The key thing to me is the power behind the stride. Look at the elites or faster runners here. Many times when you see pictures of them, their feet are not on the ground. Their stride is powerful and explosive and propels them forward. Then you look at slower runners and we typically have our feet on the ground on any given picture. So even though we might be able to increase cadence, if the foot is still in contact with the ground so much, the power is not there, and therefore no amount of cadence increase will cause you to go faster.
I think a focus on cadence has next to nothing to do with speed and is all about a good check on proper running form and injury prevention. I'm pretty confident that NO runner is going to run at a cadence well under 180 for any period of time and not have some injuries once they try and ramp up to marathon-level mileage and speed work to race fast. There's just too much evidence that 180 is a minimum and of course the powerfully striding running pros you are referencing do that and often even quite a bit more (200+) at race paces. But when i started running and was doing 10 milers and never getting out of the 150-170 range, I was a horribly ineffiecient running machine heading straight for an injury. Its like having a hitch in your delivery as a QB in the NFL or actually taking the bat backwards before starting your swing at a pitch. Sure, there are weird exceptions to the rules and probably some NFL/MLB/pro runners who break the mold, but for 99% of humans, you gotta have the right form to get the most out of performance and in running that's a cadence of at least 180 at any kind of MP or faster speed. A lot of people are like Nick and Matt M and never think about cadence but the truth is they got to great efficiences in their running another way and cadence isn't an issue for them at all. They groove a great stride pattern without conscious thought and both are at 180 or more without any focus on it. But for the rest of us like Michele and myself, a cadence of 160 in a run is a giant flashing red light that something's not going well and consciously shortening that stride and making the stride more "quick" is the key for us to get back to where we groove runs. So whether people want to think about it and measure it for themselves or not, i do think its critical to hit the right numbers and work on it if you are not.
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Re: Increasing turnover rate

Post  Tim C on Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:21 pm

So I read this blog again as I've been trying to work on increasing my cadence.  I'm typically around 164 and getting to anything in the 170's feels incredibly awkward.  It also seems to be much more work for me.  I got one of those little $12 metronome things and have done a couple of runs with it at 172 or 174 (actually 86 or 87 - every right foot strike) and I'm completely worn out after 3 or 4 miles of doing this.

However, almost everyone I run with is both faster than I am and less injury prone.  They ALL have much faster turnover than I do, to the point I will follow one of them and try to mirror their turnover and can usually only keep it up for a few seconds.  Maybe it's like anything else - consistent practice may make it come easier.....But it seems like any change in running style is supposed to make it feel easier - not harder...
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