Cadence during intervals

20 messages
26/05/2011 at 12:19

I was out last night doing intervals. I did 12 sets of 200m at 6:00-6:30m/M. This works naturally with the time I had available and the terrain and distance and wasn't taken from any training program. Pretty good I thought when compared with McMillan for my aim of a sub 2hr Half.

The odd thing when I look at the run data is that my cadence was up close to 100. When I normally run I'm at a cadence at around 88 for the majority of my runs.

So what should I be aiming for. Is it right to be running faster on the intervals by upping my cadence or should I do it by lengthening my stride? What is the actual purpose of the intervals? What exactly am I trying to achieve physiologically?

Will lengthening my stride really get me a 6m/M speed when my usual runs are 8-10m/M?

26/05/2011 at 12:43

Have you run any race to find out your paces?  Are you just going for an idealistic goal of a sub 2hr half or have you run near this already?

What was the purpose of the intervals?  After all, you did them...  What were you trying to achieve physiologically?  As far as I can tell you were somewhere around your 400m race pace for what, 45s each?  I have no idea what you were trying to achieve physiologically.  Burn out?

Your usual runs are also faster than your goal race pace.

I wouldn't worry too much about your cadence.  I would concentrate on slowing down, running gradually further, and ignoring intervals for now unless you have a good background in running and understand what you want to achieve with them.

If you wish to worry about your cadence, try to keep it where it normally is even when you slow down your training.

26/05/2011 at 14:32

In the last 2 years I've run 5 halves with a pb of 2h3m and 4 10ks with a PB of 52m.

I've got 2 halves and a 10k lined up in the next 8 weeks. The aim is to go sub 2h on the halves and if possible sub 50 on the 10k.

The runs I do will be different lengths at different paces so a 4mile with a 2mile section at 8mins or an 8m/M with a 2 mile at 9m/M or a long slow run at 10m/M. All with a similar cadence.

The idea of the intervals is to add some speed work but I suppose my question is really; by what mechanism do intervals make you faster?

26/05/2011 at 14:34
Ratzer wrote (see)

If you wish to worry about your cadence, try to keep it where it normally is even when you slow down your training.


It's more of a question about speeding up the cadence when running faster.
26/05/2011 at 15:25

TimR

If your easy run cadence is 88 per foot you're fine and it's not something you need consciously worry about when you go faster.  Cadence tends to sort itself out at faster paces as long as you have it mastered at slower paces.  Some people experience slightly higher cadence the faster they go - certainly all the "rules" go out of the window at 400m pace.  It's not something you should consciously encourage or consciously hold back on at faster paces.

As Ratzer implied it's impossible to answer the interval questions without knowing what sort of intervals you are doing.  Intervals can improve your aerobic threshold, anaerobic threshold, vo2 max uptake, glycolytic system, alactic system depending on which the type you do - each system improves in different ways.

Your 200m workout for example, which without further data appears to be effectively 400m pace for you, would train your lactic glycolytic system.  Absolutely vital for 800m racing but relatively pointless for HM running - in fact some would go further than that and say it was counter productive.  It's what I call a "club classic" - i.e. the running club mentality that anything you do improves your fitness as long as it fucks you up.

Edited: 26/05/2011 at 15:26
26/05/2011 at 15:30

On the basis of your 10k PB a sub2 HM is on the cards, but your conversion over distance is poor.  You should increase your easy mileage, not concern yourself overly with speedwork - you're looking in the wrong direction for a way to increase your pace.  Based still on your 10k PB your long slow pace is more proportional, so include more runs at this pace.

8m/m is your 5k pace.  A two mile section at this pace would be good when closing in on a 5k race and needing to get a feel for the pace.  On its own though it achieves you little apart from tires you out almost as much as racing.  800m to 1m intervals at this pace would achieve you more because the lower intensity will allow you to recover better and therefore train more fully on following days.

The mechanisms by which intervals make you faster fill first year sports science degree textbooks (probably).  Overall they can improve your biomechanics/economy, your VO2max, your lactate threshold, and your pace judgment.  Used indiscriminately they can also fatigue you, lead to overtraining, and injury.

TimR wrote (see)
Ratzer wrote (see)

If you wish to worry about your cadence, try to keep it where it normally is even when you slow down your training.


It's more of a question about speeding up the cadence when running faster.

Honestly, your natural cadence is good at 88-90.  Yes, it will probably increase when running faster, and yes, your stride length will probably increase also - at least one of them has to.  Again, you seem to be looking at things the wrong way around.  Try to maintain the form that you use when running faster into your slower running, not worry so much about what you have to do to run faster.  Running faster will happen, (and does happen when you increase the effort).

EDIT: classic x-post.  And pretty similar!

Edited: 26/05/2011 at 15:33
26/05/2011 at 15:31
Interesting Moraghan is there a perfect interval for the marathon?
(how longs a bit of string question)
Often read about runs at varying tempo paces, yassos etc
Would be interested as Im about to start training for a mara soon
26/05/2011 at 15:41

goldbeetle:  nope!

Most could run their best current marathon off 10k pace intervals as their fastest quality session, plenty of mileage and marathon pace runs.

Yasso's 800s are a bullshit gimmick and bring me out in a froth.

If I was pushed for one really good workout it would be:

3m easy, 3m steady warm-up || a continuous run alternating MP  w / a faster pace || cd

e.g.  5:00 @ MP / 5:00 @ HMP for 60:00  or 5:00 @ MP / 5:00 @ tempo (1hr race pace) for 50:00 

26/05/2011 at 15:45
Wasn't that BR's interval session from Hadd?  It was either that or he alternated MP with MP+15 for the majority of a 2hr run.  Great pacing session!
26/05/2011 at 16:03

A couple of continuous alternate MP / faster than MP sessions I've, er, tried are:

1.  w/u then 10 miles, alternate miles @ MP and HM pace.  I found in reality that it was extremely difficult to get back up to genuine HM pace after what would be a relatively comfortable MP mile.  (Tended to be about 5-10 secs/mile short IIRC.)  That was running with a small group as well.  Maybe easier to do 2M @ MP, 1M @ HM, etc and build up to it?

2.  A Frank Horwill session on the track.  25 laps (10k) alternating laps @ MP and 5k pace.    Again, in practise very difficult to hit 5k pace after MP so it ended up being more like 10k pace.  Also if I was to do this sort of session again I'd probably do two laps at a time rather than one (or maybe 800m @ MP, 400m @ 5k); with only a single lap at supposed MP in reality the first 100m involves getting your breath back after the harder lap, so it takes a while to feel like you're genuinely into a MP rythm. 

I definitely think these sort of sessions are useful for making MP seem easier, especially from a psychological point of view because during the session the MP sections almost feel like recovery.

26/05/2011 at 16:04
Moraghan wrote (see)

e.g.  5:00 @ MP / 5:00 @ HMP for 60:00 


Sorry, yeah - the first session I mentioned would be similar to this, more or less.  Pretty tough!
26/05/2011 at 16:15
Moraghan wrote (see)

goldbeetle:  nope!

Most could run their best current marathon off 10k pace intervals as their fastest quality session, plenty of mileage and marathon pace runs.

Yasso's 800s are a bullshit gimmick and bring me out in a froth.

If I was pushed for one really good workout it would be:

3m easy, 3m steady warm-up || a continuous run alternating MP  w / a faster pace || cd

e.g.  5:00 @ MP / 5:00 @ HMP for 60:00  or 5:00 @ MP / 5:00 @ tempo (1hr race pace) for 50:00 


 cheers.

The other thing is frequency I would presume a session like the ones above would be once a week throughout the say 16-20 weeks of a mara build up would you in the last 3-4 weeks before the event or taper even, increasing the amount of speed sessions and reducing milage ? Would shorter intervals of  be any benefit. Or is it one of those if it kills you it must be doing good idea

26/05/2011 at 16:31

No need to do them once a week for 16 - 20 weeks, best have a bit more variety than that.  I'd definitely reduce the mileage for the taper, but keep in some faster work although in much lower quantities.

Depends what you mean by shorter intervals.  Remember the taper isn't to develop fitness it's to allow the fitness already developed to shine through, to rejuvenate and to do the bare minimum to maintain fitness.

26/05/2011 at 16:35

So consistency throughout is the key? some programs have you chopping and changing weekly.

26/05/2011 at 16:37

Consistency of what? Chopping and changing what?

Not being awkward but your last post didn't seem to bear any relation to my last post, sorry!

26/05/2011 at 16:48

Sorry

In relation to speed /training for the marathon some training programs I have looked at just seem to have different workouts at different paces and distances thrown in almost at random.I was thinking back to your refernce earlier (didnt make it clear again) about running clubs "any kind of speed training is good as long as your tired at the end".

26/05/2011 at 17:07
Ah, yes - totally agree.  I think most schedules have a list of every possible running workout and go out of their way to ensure they are all included.
26/05/2011 at 18:23

Some great info there, thanks. It'll probably take me some time to digest it.

My conversion over distance is probably poor because I'm running too conservatively in the early stages of my Half Marathons. My 13mile LSR on a Sunday is done at 10m/M easily. On the 2h3m race I felt I had too much left at the end.

Ratzer: 8 m/M is my 10k race speed isn't it? Not my 5K. Or do you mean my 5K training speed pace?

In another thread Moraghan suggested I run longer distances mid week so I've started doing an 8 mile hilly trail route Wednesdays and Fridays. I was short on time yesterday so just went out for an ad hoc 4miles with the 'intervals' thrown in.

I wasn't quite sure what Moraghan means by different types of intervals. MP/HMP sounds like a sensible idea what should be the shortest interval I should try. I was just taking a single session from a Marathon training schedule I had from last year - which seemed to have every different pace under sun in it..

26/05/2011 at 21:38

Your 10k in 52 mins is 8:22 per mile.  Your 5k pace is around 15s quicker per mile (with a good conversion) so 8:07 per mile.  I don't know what a training speed pace is, but if you mean to approximate your training paces off your known results then it's a training pace, also known as 5k pace, and is pretty much what you'd be expected to race at.

Again, to confirm from what you've said, you'd be better off training more around your HM pace to get used to it rather than higher paces.  You'd also be better off working up to your HM distance and eventually over, to understand the distance and get a feel for it.  Not exclusively, but as a session or two.  That way you won't misjudge so much.

26/05/2011 at 22:42

I tend to run 13miles every Sunday and once a month 15miles. I run these 'slowly' at 10m/M. The distance is not a problem, the difficulty is working out what the correct pace for hem should be.

I thought at one stage I was running those too fast. I'm averaging 80% WHR or 85% MAX but they feel very comfortable.

My 8 milers are averaging 9m/M.

Currently Wed: 8 mile hilly trail 9m/M, Fri: Same as Wed. Sun: 13/15mile hilly road 10m/M. I've seen a big improvement over the last 2 weeks following this. So I'm going to stick at it for another 2 weeks and re-asses.

I'll drop the idea of intervals and go back to the 4mile steady run but at 8:30m/M if I'm short of time again. 


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