Up your Game: Road Running 101

Cadence

  • Cadence refers to the amount of steps per minute you take while running. Also known as “Foot Turnover”.
  • You can determine your cadence by counting the amount of times one foot hits the ground in a 30 second spurt of running. Multiply this by 2 to get your total per minute, than multiply by 2 again to get your total steps per minute.
  • A cadence in the range of 160-180 indicates good, efficient running stride. Anything lower leaves room for improvement.
  • Working on improving your cadence can improve your efficiency while running allowing you to run faster and further with more ease.
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Speed Work

  • Adding in speed training to your weekly routine can help you greatly in reaching specific time goals.
  • You shouldn’t do more than 20% of your weekly run volume in the form of speedwork. Follow the “80% easy, 20% hard” rule.
  • Speedwork can include everything from unstructured Fartlek training to hill repeats to distance repeats at the track.
  • Your speed training should be proportional to the specific event you are training for and should peak a couple weeks before your event to leave your body enough time to recover from the hard work before your effort at the race.

Planning Your First Half or Full Marathon Tips

1
Set a realistic goal for yourself. Use an online race predictor to find a suitable finishing time for your pace to strive for.
2
Test your hydration and nutrition strategies on your long training runs. You don't want to test anything new on race day.
3
Make a training plan and stick to it. You can end up seriously injured without the proper preparation and build up.
4
On race day, pace yourself. Go out slow, try not to get swept up in the race day excitement. Run your own race, and have a seriously fun time!

Gear

  • Making sure you have the proper footwear is Running 101 but for road running you’ll want to be sure you’re in a road specific shoe. Some shoes have much more cushion than others which can be nice for the joints on long road runs. Every foot is unique, so you’ll have a bit of trial and error to find what works for you.
  • Visibility can save your life. Wether you use clip on blinking lights or wear reflective clothing, being seen by the cars going by will help you stay safe.
  • Carrying water and snacks on your long runs can be tricky. Most road runners opt for small handheld bottles with little pockets to put a car key or snack into or the waist belt style that have a bit more space as they are slimmer and lighter to carry than a running pack or vest.
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