Cadence, cadence, cadence
Increasing my cadence. That’s what I’ve been focusing on this week. I actually purchased a Garmin Foot Pod and a Garmin Forerunner 310XT watch. I’d been looking to buy one but was not sure which one to buy, and in the light of discovering what increasing cadence really meant, I referred to a few sites and concluded that this particular model would serve the purpose very well at a modest budget. Unfortunately, I’ve got only the foot pod delivered this week, I’ll blog about it once they’re all here and I test them to measure steps per minute (SPM).
Meantime, I had to improvise a bit, nothing as fancy or accurate as the combination of a watch and a foot pod, but still kind of helps gauge where I am in terms of cadence rates. What I used is an app called Moves, which tracks a user’s walks, runs and cycles on daily basis. Not too long ago, it was bought out by Facebook in the midst of health and fitness frenzy, but still it looks like before it was bought out and works like any other tracking apps out there. I just like the simplicity of it. It’s not cluttered with features, and is very straight forward. Maybe too simple. I started using this app a while ago to monitor how many steps a day I clock in.
So, what I did is that I looked at the amount of steps of each run (because it gets separately tracked from the amount of walk steps) and divided it by the amount of minutes I run for.
Of course, although the app itself tracks steps using the censors on the phone, because it does not necessarily count to the second, it can’t be as accurate as it can be with the combination of a foot pod and a watch. Having said that, I still wanted to know my approximate cadence whenever I ran, and these are what I worked with.
I ran 5.62 miles on Wednesday, 2.66 miles on Friday and 12.39 miles today, which are converted to the amount of steps (8,287, 3,586 and 17,620 steps) and how long it took (48, 20 and 109 minutes). Once again, it isn’t as accurate as it can be, because of a variable like the censors on the phone which are not as accurate as the one in the foot pod that goes onto a shoe during the run. So, the data is only as good as the censors on a phone are.
And time wise, it is very loose data. For instance, for 48 minutes, it doesn’t show 48 minutes and how many seconds, so it can be quite deceiving if I divide 8,287 step by 48 minutes (and 2 seconds) vs. 48 minutes (and 46 seconds). So, I used this method only for purpose of knowing where I stand till the watch actually arrives so that I can measure accurate results.
Each run bears 172.65, 179.3 and 161.65 SPM in order, and there are two ways to look at this.
- Because the first two runs are short, I was able to keep cadence at a tempo of between 170 and 180 SPM.
- The last run clearly shows the slower cadence.
Now, I am going to throw a trick that I tried during the last run into this equation, which is metronome. According to most of references that I came across in terms of running faster, they all recommended increasing cadence in a singular voice. And one of the ways to make sure to follow this through is using a metronome. A small metronome like this can be purchased, but also, free metronome apps are also available, which is the method that I chose for the time being, and it is called MetroTimer. Downside of using such an app is that it is, after all, free, meaning an error can occur.
During today’s run, I ran pretty much way ahead of a tempo of 90 per a half minute, so I barely replied on it. However, once I hit 4 miles, I decided to run at the tempo of 90, which translates into 180 SPM. It was my aim to run at the tempo throughout, and below is the result.
When I actually compared this to my training records prior to Long Beach Marathon, it is a lot slower. For instance, the run that I had on September 6 came in at the average pace of 7:55. And it was actually 13 mile long. So, I am not sure what to make of today’s result at the moment, especially when I ran first 4 miles at a faster pace than a tempo of 180 per minute. And then I tried to keep the same tempo till the end, in spite of some minor hiccups here and there.
What I learned from using a metronome is that it keeps you at the pace pretty well. Of course, one must pay attention to the tempo at all times. And I had a good time running over 12 miles, not having short of breath or anything as I kept the tempo consistently. Once the watch arrives, I’ll get a closer and accurate look on this progress.
Did you run a marathon this weekend? How did it go? Did your training pay off?
Thanks for reading.