Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Churn and Burn!

I was thinking about my beach path run the other day and how I managed to knock out three miles in 22 minutes. I wasn’t really trying and I haven’t put in any speed work lately, as a percentage it’s a fair bit slower than my 5k PR of 20:47 from last year, about a minute a mile slower in fact. Then I started to put things together, I had been watching YouTube lately and some of the videos from the recent Hardrock 100 and one thing lead to another and ended up watching clips of Anton Kuprika who it has to be said is the antithesis of me as a runner, he is stripped down, often literally, lightweight and quick, he won Leadville last year and American River earlier this to name but a few. Anyway I digress, check out the videos and look at his cadence, pretty quick huh! Then I thought about my run, from memory my cadence was pretty quick…I think. Of course I had forgotten my HRM strap and everything so all I actually have is the Garmin miles per minute data to refer to.

So then I see in a running forum the a RBF discovered that you can use the Garmin Footpod with the GPS running as well, up until now I had assumed that one would usurp the other, apparently not. I have had a Footpod for nearly a year and have only used it on our treadmill but it would seem that you can use it outdoors. The neat thing about the Footpod is that it measures cadence.

Ok so the final piece of the puzzle is that if you want to run faster you have to increase you cadence; I knew this and had it filed away mentally somewhere in the poorly illuminated cavern that is my mind. It’s more than tempting especially if you’re tall like me to simply increase your stride length but this is not the way to do it, more so there seems to be a correlation between your cycling cadence and your running cadence, this I can bear out from looking back at my Garmin data where I have a natural comfort level in the mid 80s for both, compare this to an elite runner whose cadence is in excess of 100 and Lance Armstrong whose cadence was around 120! I have actually been trying to increase my cycling cadence and move more into being a spinner rather than a masher.

The way to set up the Footpod and GPS is as follows: Connect your GPS signal then let it detect the Footpod. Once you get the “Footpod detected use indoors” question just say no. It will use the GPS for pace and Footpod for cadence, pretty easy huh!

The next step it dig out my Footpood and see what sort of numbers I can generate on the street…I am such a data junkie!


  1. SLB,
    I have been wanting to get one of the Korg MM2 "Metrognome" earpieces to help with cadence. It fits over the ear so that you can hear it and anyone close to you won't.
    You can change it to beat to anything you like.
    Check it out:

  2. to get faster you have to increase cadence. Now I just need to buy a foot pod so I can actually measure my running cadence

  3. Yes, higher cadence means a faster pace. When it comes from bike to run, the faster cadence on the bike keeps your legs fresh for the run too. No mashing!!

    Lengthening your stride is a bad idea as that means you are probably going to strike on your heel, which puts stress on parts of your leg that aren't used to it.

    Which Garmin does the footpod work with? LOL...

  4. too cool! Like you, i'm a data junkie as well! i'll have to put the footpod on my new shoes now, since I also thought it was strictly for indoor use, and was pleased to not have to use it yet... since i use the treadmill mostly in the winter! Good info! Thanks!

  5. I never even knew there was a way to measure cadence! Interesting...

  6. I got myself a hand held metronome for this very purpose... to increase cadence. It is such a great tool - but it makes my runs tough - so sometimes I need to go without. PLUS - it is super annoying for anyone running around you to hear that continual beepbeepbeepbeep.
    Anyway - see you sunday.

    Jes (from TRC).

  7. If only my Garmin were accurate for pace...

  8. Funny you mention the foodpod. I just picked one up a few weeks ago. Given it was only $30 on Amazon, it seemd to make sense as a way to get cadence into my data.


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