14 miler, Cadence and New Gel Kayano 21

cadence, stride frequency, stride length,

As it was scheduled, I went for a 14 mile run yesterday. And my main focus was to maintain my recently increased cadence and to increase stride length (SL). It was a perfect day to add a significant amount of miles as the temperature recently dropped significantly due to the rain storm that we had a couple of days ago, so, I couldn’t think of any better place to finish this run other than at the Venice Beach Pier.

Increasing cadence

My Garmin Forerunner 310XT arrived in the middle of the past week, so I didn’t have much time to play with it till yesterday. But I did start using the watch for tracking a couple of my runs, including yesterday’s. Frankly, I don’t think it’s the easiest device to learn how to use. Of course, I am not saying that it is awfully complicated to learn, however, making a transition from using smartphone apps, like MapMyRun and Strava, to a watch that isn’t operated using touch screen, and that has to be synced to the Garmin Express app on a computer via USB ANT Stick seemed to be going backward in time in terms of technology in this day and age where blue tooth and cloud computing have become a norm. However, in terms of tracking my cadence, GPS can’t be as accurate as measuring it using a foot pod, so for now this will have to do it.

However, I also used MapMyRun, which I have used since 2007 and continuously will, and MetroMeter. Especially, the latter was crucial to maintaining my recently increased tempo of 94. Of course, I will find out more accurate cadence of steps per minute (SPM) by pairing with the foot pod, but for now, it is at a about 5% increased pace from 180, recorded on Moves. You can read more about it here.

cadence, stride frequency, stride length, 14 miles, Venice Beach,I opted out of the heart rate feature, so the heart rate graph does not apply to me. 

The tempo of 94 on MetroMeter was seriously challenging at some parts where the elevation gains were not small bumps. Of course, this isn’t new. For the past week, when I ran the scheduled 4, 6 and 4 mile runs at the same tempo, I noticed that my lungs were burning as elevations were gained. Especially, when those lasted from a couple of quarter miles to a mile, I found it quite challenging and stressful to keep up with.

cadence, stride frequency, stride length, 14 miles, split,

Of course, consequently, my pace suffered. Now I understand why when this article and this blog talked in depth about the importance of balancing stride frequency (SF, or referred to as cadence) and stride length (SL) to run faster, discussing the observation made by coach Steve Magness, on 3 medalists in the 10K at the 2007 World Championships of Athletics.

Or speed = stride length x stride frequency, like the latter put it.

So, in other words, I may have been able to run at the tempo of 94, but that hasn’t necessarily translate into the cadence of 188. At all. It’s because my stride length suffered, and I know it did, whenever I had a bit of elevation gains. So, better logic is that I should slow down the tempo a bit, say, to 92 or even further down to 90, so that I feel comfortable with it and focus on increasing SL.


After the run, I stopped by the Road Runner Sports location in Santa Monica to purchase a new pair of running shoes and a pair of custom insoles.


Since my left foot injury, I’ve been walking everywhere in my Asics Gel Kayano, which had been dedicated to solely running prior to the injury, because of the excellent sole support they have as I talked about it here, so the bottom of the shoes were getting worn out rather quickly. And the double duty would not be a great idea for the long term anyway, so naturally it was time to get a new pair that will be worn only for running again.

I like the 19, which has been discontinued, so when I went back to the store, it was the Gel Kayano 21 that I was recommended, along with a Brooks, which they actually didn’t have a size for me. I wanted to go a size bigger to avoid having black toes again and again. And I was not necessarily seeking shoes with a bigger toe box, honestly. Besides, I do not want to make many changes at this point in training while having a race only 7 weeks away. Furthermore, as I mentioned here, Road Runner Sports has an excellent 30-day exchange policy when the shoes don’t work for its VIP members.

And I got myself a new pair of FootBalance insoles, which is custom insoles. They mold them to the bottom of your feet in the store so that runners have better support from those fitting insoles while running in their shoes. Bottom line is that I do not wish to experiment with something new and get stressed if it doesn’t work at this moment and that I just want to maintain what works for my feet. Hopefully a better result in combination of the increased stride frequency (SF) and stride length (SL) will come about.

cadence, stride frequency, stride length, View of the Pacific Ocean from the beach end of Venice Beach Pier

Tomorrow is another day, and there’ll be another run. 7 weeks left to Surf City Marathon. Let’s see if I get to move one step closer to my dream to run the Boston Marathon.

How was your weekend run? Did you run a race this weekend? How did it go?

Thanks for reading.



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About H Peter Ji Photography

I am a photographer. My photos have been sold on EyeEm, Adobe Stock and ShutterStock and also featured on ViewBug and G+ Landscape Photography Community, and via Death Valley National Park Instagram and Facebook. My work is the natural byproduct of my love for outdoors - backpacking, hiking and camping in nature.

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  1. Stride length, it is. | Dreaming of Running Boston Marathon - December 21, 2014

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