Managing director, Mike Maytham, weighs in at just under 90kg and measures 1.89m. He’s a big guy with an equally big heart for running. But Maytham’s never been a great runner… until recently! The 30-year-old, frustrated by injury and a seemingly genetic inability to run fast, looked at the example of cycling friends and decided to apply the term “cadence” to his running.
Running cadence is nothing new. Physiologists and coaches have been working with it for years, but only recent studies have shown how important having a good running cadence is when it comes to running fast and efficiently, while also reducing injuries. Most elite runners can run at a cadence of 95 or more whereas most amateur runners battle to reach 85. Cadence is defined by the number of strides per minute made, i.e. a cadence of 95 equals 190 foot strikes each minute. Initially Maytham, after a little research, discovered that his average cadence languished around 80 and he vowed to increase his stride turnover. At first the results weren’t good, but as his body adapted to the more efficient method of running and the change in the cardiovascular output, suddenly his running became smoother, faster and less painful.
Friends remarked how easy his running style looked and he made rapid improvement in his overall pace. “It made sense because cyclists focus so much on cadence and a good cyclist is defi ned by his leg turnover,” says Maytham. “It took a little time for my breathing to adapt, but once I’d managed that the change was marked.”
BENEFITS OF IMPROVED RUNNING CADENCE
Essentially, an improved running cadence has the following benefits:
Better Efficiency” Learning to run with a rapid leg turnover means also reducing the braking effect of over striding. That means that all your energy is focused on moving you forwards.
Quick, Light Steps: A high cadence means that your foot spends less time on the ground and reduces the chance of injury from impact.
Better Muscle Usage Keeping a quicker cadence requires you to lift your knees and puts less strain on the hip flexors. Check this out by standing on one leg and swinging your leg from the hip rapidly. Check how much more effort it takes than when you bend your knee and do the same thing.
If you have read the book, Born To Run, you would have read that the Tuhramurhan’s adopt this same running style into their amazing endurance feats..