Champion Form

By now you’ve heard the news…earlier today, through freezing temps, driving rain, and a strong headwind, Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. And since I recorded the entire event, I thought it would be fun to watch some parts in slo mo and pause the recording periodically to study and analyze her running form. After all, at five-foot-two, she doesn’t exactly the longest legs I’ve ever seen, so I wanted to know how she did it. Continue reading “Champion Form”

How to train with Strava segments

How do you know if you are improving as a runner?

When I was growing up, the best way to do this was to get a fancy running watch, like a Timex Indiglo (I had two!) with a lap feature, and use it to track your time running laps around the block in your neighborhood. Of course, after your run, you had to write down your lap times in a notebook or type them into a spreadsheet if you wanted to be able to compare your performance over time!

Timex IndigloNowadays, we have a huge variety of running apps we can use on our smart phones, as well as some sophisticated pieces of hardware we can wear on our wrists. But believe it or not, many of these do not have a simple “lap” feature.

Enter “Strava Segments”.

If you’re not already a Strava user, I suggest you download the free app and log in with your Facebook account, if you have one. Then check out the segments feature. This handy tool makes tracking your performance over time a piece of cake, without having to use a lap feature of any kind. Once a segment is created, you can literally “set it and forget it!” This is because every time you happen to run the same segment, the app will track you speed, pace, etc. without you having to do anything. Then, you can review your performance over time.

Here’s an example of a segment I have run a few times at the North Jupiter Flatwoods Natural Area and how the app displays my performance. You can also change the view to show how your results compare to other men and women who have run the same route. And watch out, you may just be crowned “King of the Mountain” if you get the course record on that particular segment!

Strava Segment 1Strava Segments 2

And creating a new segment couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s how it works. Simply go for a run in one of your favorite locations and track it using the app. Then, log in to strava.com on a computer and click on the activity (from Training/My Activities). Once you are viewing the activity, click on the small wrench icon on the left and select “Create Segment”. This will bring up a map of your activity. Once you do this the instructions on the page will tell you exactly what to do but here are some tips.

  1. Change to Satellite view and zoom in.
  2. Click on the green and red start and end points on the slider at the top, and you will be able to pinpoint exactly where you want your segment to start and end.
  3. Click next, and give your segment a name that makes sense not only to you, but to other Strava users who may also run along that same route. (Uncheck “make the segment private” box.)
  4. Click Create.

And that’s it! From this point on, every time you run over that segment during any of your runs while using the app, it will record your performance. Oh, and your past performances will show up too, as long as you recorded them with the app. And viewing your performance over a segment is really easy to do using the smartphone app too.

So give it a try..what do you have to lose, except maybe a course record if someone faster than you tries it too!

Keep running to the beat!

Jeanette

Measure Twice, Cut Once

These are words to live by, for sure! But do they apply to the world of digital publishing? I’d say yes!

Test Twice, Publish Once!

I’m so happy I was able to publish my first running workout album on all of the major music sites, and from all of the preliminary reports I’ve seen, it’s doing well out there in the market. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can purchase it on iTunes, stream it on Spotify, or download it for free from my website for a limited time.

But now that the album is done and “out there”, the more I listen to it, the more I want to tweak it, modify it…edit it. But what’s done is done! That’s why I’m taking even more time to “test twice” before I publish my next one. And I could use some help.

The Cadence Booster Core Program

I’m currently working on a 4-part workout series that’s designed to teach the fundamentals of running form and cadence. I’m calling it my “Cadence Booster Core Program” and I plan on releasing it in April (2018). As you can imagine, there are many components that go into creating something like this, not the least of which are the music tracks that guide the runner to stepping at the right cadence (steps per minute).

running in sand
Sometimes you have to drop your cadence while running on different types of terrain, like sand.

My original idea was to have three basic levels: Beginner (166–170 BPM), Intermediate (171–175 BPM), and Advanced (176–180 BPM). But as a result of testing, I’ve determined that I should create a fourth level. So now I’m adding a new level to my plan that will be called “Expert”. The music for the expert level will be in the 181–185 BPM range. This is because most expert runners run at this cadence during longer runs, and I want to ensure I am providing a level for anyone who wants to try the program.

You might be saying to yourself, “But why would an expert runner need a core training program?” and to that I’d say, “That’s a great question!”.

The reason is because a lot of runners I know have never received formal training. And what you’ll learn in my program are the fundamentals of good running form, and a lot about running cadence. And , running cadence is really important, and not a lot of people know about it! So the information that I’ll provide in my program could help just about anyone, no matter how expert!

Drop Your Cadence!

One more thing I should mention. Sometimes your cadence will drop, meaning, you won’t be able to take as many steps-per-minute as you normally would, if the terrain is particularly challenging. So if you’re running up a steep hill, over technical terrain, or on soft, sandy trails, your cadence might slow down a little and this is normal. But that’s another reason I am providing several different program levels. If you normally run at the Advanced level, you may want to use a track from the Intermediate level if you plan on running on a softer, technical trail.

A Little Testing Goes a Long Way

If you know what your typical running cadence is, post it in a comment. below If you don’t, just count your steps the next time you go out for a run for thirty seconds and double what you get.  Then let me know.

And if you’d be willing to test out some of the music files, you can download them here. You can follow along with the program development on Facebook by following @cadenceboostertraining and joining the community! I hope to see you around.

Keep running to the beat!

Jeanette

Speed Work, without a Track?

At least once a week for the past few months, I’ve been running speedwork sessions, without going to a track. I’ve been using my Cadence Burst workouts, (that are now available on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, and many other music distribution services). These workouts are great, and they are really helping me run faster! All you need is a somewhat flat and firm surface, like a sidewalk, road, or non-technical trail, and you’re all set! Continue reading “Speed Work, without a Track?”