Wednesday, October 19, 2005

33:00 Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden, NJ (85 bpm cadence)

A nice day for a run, a little too hot for my running jacket-- on the other hand, I like to sweat some.

I ran with my Finis Tempo Trainer. It's a little metronome beeper that clips to your clothes and helps you maintain a cadence. I think it originally was designed for swimmers, but it's good for running, too. I got it off of the page.

The ChiRunning book suggests that you try to run with a cadence (i.e. step frequency) of between 85 and 90 bpm. That's faster than most runners do, although apparently 90 is what a lot of professional runners run at. The idea is to minimize the time your foot spends on the ground; this helps you avoid injuries. It also forces you to shorten up your stride, which is also good, because it keeps you from over-striding and actually pushing back against your calves and knees.

The one thing that is a little bit of a drag about the metronome is that you can't really listen to music while you're using it. I felt that today, because when I was heading home, I started tiring out a lot and was really having to concentrate to keep my cadence up and my form good. I started getting a little negative self-talk (that happens when I'm tired), which I usually can get out of by turning up my MP3 player.

So probably I won't run with the Finis Tempo Trainer every single run, but it seems good for reminding me to watch my form when I'm tired.

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