Running A Marathon. Training Plan Week 10. The Cadence King.
Running A Marathon. Training Plan Week 10. The Cadence King…
Running Do’s: Eating a snack of 100-300 calories within 30 min of finishing a run, may significantly reduce your hunger later in the day, while re-loading the muscles with fuel. It’s best that this snack be composed of 80% simple carbohydrates and 20% protein (e.g. Accelerade and Endurox R4).
Running Don’ts: Being disqualified for running with headphones when the race rules forbid it (often for safety reasons) – that has got to hurt.
Background: I have signed up to the London Marathon 2015, having never run before and recently having undergone major knee surgery (twice). This is my weekly diary which captures the highs and lows of my attempt to get fit enough to run the marathon in April 2015.
I am running for the mental health charity Mind. Feel free to donate on my Virgin Just Giving page – every single penny I raise goes directly to Mind and helping people with their mental health – thank you.
I am following a 30 week marathon training schedule that has been defined for me by Jeff Galloway the American Olympic Marathon runner. Jeff espouses the run – walk – run method which significantly reduces the likelihood of injury and enables you to gradually build up your strength, endurance and speed.
Week 10 Schedule: 5 Miles. 2 X 60 min cadence and track sessions.
Weekly Diary: In my earlier posts I bestowed the joys of trying to figure out how to complete the Cadence Drills (CD) to the point when small children were hiding behind their mothers and police helicopters.
In short a CD is a key part of your running and training schedule. CD’s consist of increasing your footfall over a set distance or a set time – a type of interval training exercise. The way to see if you have increased your footfall is to count the number of times that your right or left foot touches the ground. So for example, I jog for 20 seconds and then for the next 30 seconds during which time I count the number of times my right foot touches the ground. I repeat the process 4-6 times. Each time I am aiming to increase the number of times my right foot touches the ground – so 1st time it touched 30 times, 2nd 32 times, 3rd 34 and so on. The aim is to try and increase the number of touches until you plateau.
If I am honest I have struggled a bit with this – conceptually and physically – and how this fitted in to my running and training schedule. Conceptually I saw it as a speed exercise where the aim was to go as fast as possible over a short distance – this resulted in me increasing my length of stride and reducing the number of footsteps. I was also struggling to see how this exercise would help me over the course of running 26.2 miles?! Physically I was also concerned about the impact on my knee and my Achilles so I was tending to back off a little bit.
So this continued for a number of weeks. Eventually I spoke to my long-suffering wife and set her what I thought to be the impossible challenge – right up there next to conception of the universe, the existence of humankind and the whole chicken and egg thing. I asked her how she would increase her speed without lengthening her stride? I was sure I had got her on this – it was a nailed on certainty. Her reply was instantaneous – “I would take a greater number of smaller steps.”. Bugger – why hadn’t I thought of that?
With my new found knowledge – by this time I have forgotten (ahem) that it may have been wife’s knowledge – I went headlong into my drills. EUREKA – it worked!! Now Archimedes was obsessing about water displacement – which in my view was nothing compared to a CD.
By focusing on shorter quick steps I was able to increase my footfall by 20% and at the same time move forward faster. I didn’t have to lengthen my stride – I could still use the shuffle technique which protect my knee and Achilles. Moreover, I built this into my longer runs – by really trying to focus and I was able to reduce my miles per minute time.
The only downside now was that I needed to learn which was my right and which was my left and I would be away.