I ran past a couple of women last year and they shouted after me for a few tips. My overiding impression as we passed each other was that their style of running seemed really hard work
There certainly wasn’t any joy in their faces about being out for a run on such a lovely evening. Their stride length was long, their up and down movement was huge and their steps were ponderous and slow.
I was running with a metronome set at 180 bpm in my hand and had passed them easily with little pitter-patter steps.
I am no running guru, far from it, I have a lot to learn and my biggest change has been to increase my cadence to 180bpm and significantly shorten my stride length.
The best way of doing this is using a hand held metronome. My first one went crazy one morning and I couldn’t shut it up until I hit it with a brick. My second has a vibrate mode which is really useful when running early morning, it is amazing how far the sound can carry when there is nobody about.
I set mine at 180 bpm and concentrate on geting my arms moving at that speeed. whatever my arms do, my legs will follow.
I know that if I run at this cadence with short strides, I have taken a significant step on the path to barefoot technique. Click here to have a look at the model I use.
After a while I took my metronome out for a run with my dad. He is 68 years old and has been running many years. It was amazing, he runs at exactly 180 bpm with little short strides and always has, I have just never noticed.
In fact that isn’t true. I have always been proud of my power running, loping stride compared to my dad’s choppy pitter-patter. I have spent much more time out injured than he has over the years. I now watch people running all the time and often see people who already have the secret and have been living amongst us all along. I want to run like them and stay injury free into old age.