Running Skills: Steps per minute and the 180 workout
First - Test Yourself
1. Find out where you are: Head to your regular running spot. Warm with the daily dozen and ten minutes of light running. Then for ONE minute count how many steps per minute(SPM). The easiest way to do this is count every time your right foot hits and
multiply by 2.
2. Now you have a starting point. If you are at 155, start working up to 165 in your next few runs. The goal is to eventually get as close to the standard of 180 spm.
The purpose of this training is to increase efficiency, reduce impact (braking) and improve running form. In my experience runners using this training tend to correct over-striding, reduce bouncing, improve posture and gain efficiency. The result being more speed for less effort and a reduced risk of injury (due to reduction of impact).
At first, the cadence may seem 'too fast' and many runners will feel aches in core muscles that are being used more as a result of improved posture. It's easy to get out of breath during the intervals, but focus on the number of steps per minute and don't worry about your speed. Once the higher cadence becomes more familiar, speed will follow naturally.
The 180 work out
10min easy running
2 X 2 SPM intervals
For two minutes focus on getting the 180 spm and for 2 minutes run comfortably without thinking about it.
Do this for 5 intervals.