improve

How to Improve Your Cadence

When it comes to cadence, we’ve all heard that the magic number is 180 – why is this though? At the 1984 Olympics, famed coach and running researcher Jack Daniels counted the strides of distance runners as they raced, and discovered that nearly all of them took at least 180 steps per minute. Many experts have cited Daniel’s work in suggesting to minimize overstriding, lessen impact forces on the legs, and maintain forward momentum, runners should always aim to hit that number. However, your cadence is hinged on your pace. Even Olympians take fewer steps per minute when they run at a slower speed. As a matter of fact, your easy and 5K paces may differ by up to 20 steps per minute. With that being said though if your cadence at 5K pace is below 180, it needs a boost. Here’s how to improve your cadence at every pace.

Take Notes:

First, establish your baseline cadence for all of your training speeds. On a treadmill, begin at warm-up pace and increase the speed by one minute per mile until you’re at 5K pace. As you reach each training pace (easy, marathon, temp, etc.) give yourself a minute or so to adjust to the speed, then begin counting your steps for 30 seconds. Multiply by two, record the number, then accelerate to your next pace. You should see that as your speed increases, your cadence increases. You can also do this on the track using intervals of 800 to 1200 meters.

Set a Target:

Add five percent to each of your recorded numbers. This is your goal cadence for each pace. According to biomechanics researchers, five percent is an attainable target that is still big enough to significantly reduce impact. So for example, if your easy run cadence was 160, aim for 168; if your tempo was 166, strive to hit 174.

Practice it:

One of the easiest ways to quicken your step is to run with a metronome (there’s an app for that!). You can also use things like JogTunes to find music with beats that match your desired turnover. Otherwise, monitor your progress with a 30-second cadence check every couple of miles. To accelerate the transition, schedule a workout like downhill sprints (Check “Get in Stride” below). If you’re struggling with the new target, lower it by two to three percent. Practice that revised cadence for three weeks, and then bump it back up again.

Get in Stride:

Here are some weekly workouts to train your legs for a faster turnover:

The Workout: Downhill Sprints

Details: After an easy run, do five accelerating sprints (strides) down a gentle grade of 150 to 200 meters, reaching top speed at the bottom. Walk back up for recovery.

The Workout: Fast Feet

Details: Using short, quick strides, take as many steps as you can in 10 meters. Keep your ground contact as short as possible. Jog for 10 meters. Repeat five times.

The Workout: Race-Pacer Tester

Details: Run fartleks of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minute, and 1 minute at 5K pace. Jog one minute between reps. Do two sets. Count your steps or use a metronome during each rep of the second set.

 

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

The Right Way To Choose Your Next Doctor

The majority of people will stick to one family doctor for the years they spend in a certain area, and never give a second thought to their primary physician. Then, when they move somewhere else, they can feel slightly lost when looking for a new one. It goes without saying that you need a good go-to doctor to manage your health properly, so finding one isn’t something you can afford to rush through. Here’s some of the best advice on finding a good doctor…

Choose Expertise That Suits Your Needs

Once you’ve done a quick Google search for local practices, you can begin to narrow your choices down. Rather than choosing the practice that’s closest to where you live, you should look for one that fits your needs closely. Family practices will be able to treat patients of all ages, and the doctors who practice there will have generations of experience dealing with anyone from newborns to the elderly. Internal medicine practices typically treat adults only and will specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and chronic conditions. General practices are more or less the same as family practices but have a higher chance of being able to provide osteopathic treatments, which can be handy for sporty types. Take some time considering your needs before narrowing down your search any further.

Get Some Referrals

Naturally, you may feel more comfortable going to a doctor recommended by someone you know, such as a family member or friend. This is a great way to guide yourself towards doctors who will really listen and adjust their methods to their patients and to make sure you avoid the incompetent quacks or even doctors with a history of medical negligence. You may be reading this because you’re not totally settled into a new area, but make a point of asking around and seeing who your friends and co-workers go to. You may even want to ask other health professionals in the area, such as your personal trainer, dentist, and so on. If you haven’t moved yet, and you trust your current doctor’s judgment, see if they have any recommendations local to the area you’re going to.

Visit the Candidate

Of course, nothing can really determine whether or not a doctor is a good match for you quite like a visit to their office and meeting them in person. Make sure that you feel comfortable enough in the practice and with the behavior of the doctor and any other staff. Obviously, competence is the most important thing in a doctor, but your doctor should always be someone you can trust and rely on for managing your health care properly. Talk to them about any medications you’re currently taking, along with your medical history, and make sure that you’re both on the same page when it comes to managing any long-term diseases or chronic conditions you might have. Aside from various environmental factors of the practice, the most important thing is that you feel the doctor is listening to you, rather than just hearing.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: Going to the next Level: How Fitness Clothes Can Improve Your Workout Routine

Everybody knows that saying “You are what you wear” but it’s commonly associated only with dressing for business meetings or going out while dressing for a workout seems to be neglected. It’s a messy activity anyway and you’ll just get sweaty, so why not just wear an old T-shirt and get it over with, right? Well, professional athletes’ and trainers’ experience says differently. Wearing proper fitness clothes goes far beyond wanting to look good for gym selfies, too – it’s a question of improving your workout results. Here’s how getting the right shorts or leggings can level up your fitness routine.

Dress to impress… yourself

When you wear a certain piece of clothing, your mind goes through a mental change scientists call enclothed condition. This was confirmed in a study that showed the importance of our association with certain pieces of garment meaning that when you put on your fitness wear, you become more eager to go the gym and get your workout done. It’s a matter of confidence, actually – if you know that you look good, chances are you’re going to act like that as well. That’s why psychologists and fitness experts suggest you should get dressed for a workout way ahead of time – to get yourself motivated.

In fact, with the rise of athleisure wear trend, fitness clothes are becoming an integral part of street style fashion. Now you can incorporate trendy bodybuilding shorts or fashionable leggings into your everyday outfits without worrying people will look at you funny. Activewear is getting more and more attention in the fashion world as well and it’s all good for promoting healthy lifestyles. Putting on some good-looking fitness clothes is the easiest way to give yourself a motivational boost, so don’t hesitate to take yourself shopping.

Say hello to better results and goodbye to injuries

Besides looking good, proper workout clothes are important for your safety as well. Improper fitness clothes are one of the main reasons people get injured, right after incorrect techniques, not stretching, and not warming up enough. Even if you’re a beginner who just goes jogging for a few minutes before work, wearing the wrong kind of shoes might get you in trouble and cause serious injuries. Purchasing the right shoes will depend on the type of physical activity you engage in, so make sure you give it some thought.

On the other hand, weather conditions also play a major role in your workout routine, especially if you like working out outside. If the sun is shining, you’ll need some kind of cap to protect your head and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn. Cold season demands long-sleeves, too – to protect your body from cold and the wind and keep your muscles warm. Ankles are the ones that suffer the most damage during any kind of workout that includes feet movement, so you’ll want to make sure they’re well protected with high-tops. Finally, your workout clothes must fit you well in order to improve freedom of movement and provide good support at the same time.

Go the extra mile with new technologies

A couple of years ago, wearable tech started to gain its momentum and that’s why, nowadays, we see more and more companies introducing smart watches, activity trackers, fitness apps, etc. Now the trend has expanded to workout clothes as well with the idea that you can get better performance by wearing smart clothes.

Compression garments, for example, have been used in the medical field for years and now they found their role in a workout. Namely, they can increase the blood flow thus supplying your muscles with much-needed oxygen and helping your athletic performance get better. This is beneficial for the recovery period as well. Heart rate monitors are now built in sports bras so you can go even further without the fear of pushing yourself too hard. They even came up with running shorts that improve your posture. All of these are a normal part of the professional athlete’s workout routine but now they’re available to enthusiasts, too. Of course, simply purchasing fancy equipment is not enough to get you in top form but it can surely help you improve your performance and get even better results.

Spending a fortune on workout gear isn’t a way to success but investing in a few high-quality pieces can surely get you going in the right direction. Look good, get yourself motivated, and make sure you’re well protected – and the results will come in no time.

How Can We Improve our Mental Health

Unlike our bodies, we presume our mental health will take care of itself. When we decide to overhaul our lifestyle and focus on fitness, we often forgot to pay attention to our mental state. Our physical state matters a lot, but so does our brain performance, stress levels, and focus. Find out how we all improve our mental health and the benefits of improving it…

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Simple Changes For A Healthy Lifestyle

Do you want to lead a healthier life? No matter who you are, I can guarantee the answer to that is a resounding yes. Many of us want to live healthier, longer, happier lives – and yet, just as often, we might find ourselves engaging in behaviors which are not conducive to that end. If you are serious about improving your health, then you need to think about what you actually need to do to get there – and then you need to do those things. It might sound simple, and in one respect it is, but often these simple changes for a healthy lifestyle are the hardest thing to actually enact.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

5 Myths About Distance Running

When I first started training to run track; my coach took one look at me and told me I was meant to run middle to long distance. Being a runner for the past eight years; I’ve heard every insult and misconception that exists about the sport of distance running. Which I’ll admit some are true (yes, our shorts are short), but most are false. Here’s the truth behind five myths about distance running.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Are You Challenging Yourself? 7 Ideas To Amp Up Your Workouts

When you’ve been at the gym for a while, it’s all too easy to get complacent and stop pushing yourself in your workouts. Are you challenging yourself each and every workout? If not, you’re not getting the results available to you! Challenging yourself is all part of the fun of working out, and it’ll help you to get fitter and healthier, as well as help you to look better. These seven ideas will help you to amp up your workouts.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

How to Find Your Running Stride

I’m officially announcing/releasing part one of my Love to Run Program. This program is an in-depth program to help you become a better, stronger, and more confident runner the correct way. No cheating your way to success, this is putting in the work it takes to become the runner you want to become. So, naturally, I wanted to talk about how to find your running stride. As this is one of, if not the most important part of running.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

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