Daily Archives: August 9, 2013

Gimme the Beat, Boys, and Free My Soul?

[beep] [beep] [beep] [beep].

That is how the day started and it didn’t “free my soul”. Today I thought I would try running with a metronome set to the 194 strides per minute (spm) that i calculated the other day. Very interesting.

Firstly, it seems that during a normal run I must vary my spm quite a bit as I found it hard to maintain the regimented beat throughout the entire run. When I was going uphill or feeling a little weary then I naturally slow my cadence and elongate my gait.

Secondly, I believe that when I did the test to measure my spm that I must have exaggerated my footfalls because it was hard to do a normal run at that pace. It felt like I had to reduce the length of my stride to make the footfalls in that time.

Thirdly, because of concentrating on the beat I was unable to keep all the other techniques inline. I guess that isn’t surprising. I think I was running on my mid-foot but not falling back through my heel correctly, and I definitely wasn’t pushing my foot backwards for the lift, my breathing and arm swings were also out of whack.

But this was the first time I’ve tried it. I think I shall start with a slightly slower spm next time (perhaps 185) and see how that feels and see whether I can workout where I really should be.

I used the application called SilverDial on the iPhone as it is a simple and elegant interface that seems to have all the features I need. Plus the beep sound was nice and gentle (the ‘digital’ tone set). It was free which is the best price of all and it has no adverts. I will eventually adjust it to indicate the breathing pattern that I should use (set a 5/4 time signature) but I think I’ll try to get used to running with it first. I switched off all downbeat indication and display artefacts as they aren’t needed for this situation.

To use this, set you metronome up before you start your running tracker app.

My pace today slipped to 7:36, but that seems to happen whenever I introduce another technique. It will be interesting to see how this can be integrated over time.