Running Cadence: What’s Your Number?

running shoes runner's world runner's knee physical therapy metairie

Up to 80% of recreational runners experience a running related injury (RRI) every year. The most common RRIs occur at the knee and below in areas such as the leg, shin, ankle and foot. Increasing one’s cadence while running can reduce the load to these regions of the body that are most frequently injured.

Your run cadence, or step rate, is the number of foot contacts made per minute while you run. Most recreational runners fall between 140-180 steps per min. Cadence is affected by multiple factors and will differ between runners.

How do I calculate my running cadence and what should it be?

After a quick warm up, start running and count the number of times your right foot hits the ground for one minute.
Multiply this number by two to get calculate your step rate.

If you fall on the low end of the cadence spectrum or are experiencing some discomfort while running, try increasing your running cadence by at least 5% with a goal of 10% at your preferred speed. Find your current step rate and multiply it by 1.05 and 1.10 to establish your 5-10% window.

Current Step Rate x 1.05 = 5% Window
Current Step Rate x 1.10 = 10% Window

Why should I increase my cadence?

Increasing your cadence by 5% above your preferred rate, while maintaining the same preferred running speed/velocity, will reduce the energy absorption (or load) by up to 20% at the knee joint, which is the most commonly injured area of the body in runners. Another advantage of a higher cadence includes a wider step width. This will help reduce strain to the iliotibial band (IT band), the most prevalent cause of lateral knee pain. “Shin splints” or medial tibial stress syndrome is also affected by an increase in step rate as runners typically adopt a flatter foot strike affecting load to the lower leg. These are just some of the benefits that may occur with a cadence change.

How do I increase my cadence?

An easy way to start to alter your cadence is to run to a beat. Set an audible metronome to your desired step rate and match your foot speed to the beat. Metronomes are found in apps on smartphones and are available on some running watches. RUNCADENCE is an app that can help to identify your current cadence and determine your new cadence window. It is also equipped with a metronome to use while training. Another way to affect your step rate is to increase your arm swing while running. This should cause a reciprocal increase in foot speed.

How do I start?

Practice your goal cadence during your run workouts. Remember, if you run a 9 minute mile pace, keep your 9 minute mile pace, just increase the steps you take per minute—think of “turning your feet over faster”. Start with a 5% increase above your preferred step rate. Practice your new step rate for 30 second intervals and work up to 1, 2, 3 minute bouts over a training session. Give yourself at least 6 weeks to master this task!

Increasing your step rate while maintaining your preferred running speed has been shown in the research to reduce loads to the areas of the body most often injured with running. Cadence alteration is just one of many tools that can be incorporated into a running treatment plan. Learn more about how to improve your run form with a one-on-one Run Assessment.

Do you know the difference between soreness and pain?

The attached article describes the difference between soreness and pain. People often don’t seek help until they are experiencing pain that limits them from participating in their fitness regimen of choice. We can help you stay injury free on your path to becoming the best version of yourself.

Our bodies move in the path of least resistance, meaning if you have limited range of motion in one area of your body, another area will pick up the slack. This is often referred to as a compensatory movement pattern. Over time with increased training loads and volume this can lead to injury. By having a movement assessment performed prior to starting a fitness program we can help you restore movement patterns and decrease your injury risk while improving your performance.

Call us today to schedule your movement assessment and let us guide you to optimal performance. 504.324.8345

http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/soreness-vs-pain-whats-difference

Understand Your MRI Results

shutterstock203524102Getting MRI results can sometimes be intimidating. Big words and diagnosis’ that can be scary. Here is a GREAT article that is certain to ease the anxiety of MRI results.

http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/you-are-not-your-mri-results

Tasty Tuesday: Water, Taste Great!

With the summer heat approaching it is very important to stay hydrated for outdoor activities! Please drink your water! Here are some ways to make your water more interesting. The better it taste, the more you will drink!!
HAPPY TASTY TUESDAY!!

 

 

http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/50-ways-to-make-water-taste-better/

Snacks That Hydrate: For The Beach & Other Outdoor Activities

beachhydration

Packing snacks for the beach? Plans to do anything in the hot weather? Ditch the chips! We all know we need liquid hydration while soaking up the rays and building sand castles with our families, but there are also some foods that actually help keep you hydrated. I came across a small article today in a local publication that shares a few “Nutritional Hydration” foods. Here is the article!

http://www.healthfitnessmag.com/Health-Fitness-Magazine/April-2015/Nutritional-Hydration-Help-for-the-Beach/

 

Food For Thought Friday: Make A Simple Change

Today’s Food For Thought Friday is simple. A simple challenge to make one healthy food swap for a week. Perhaps carbonated water instead of a diet soda. Stevia instead of sugar or sweetener packets. Brown rice instead of white rice. Anything you chose, just one swap for one of your favorite unhealthy foods or drinks. Let us know how you feel next Friday!! That’s it!
HAPPY FOOD FOR THOUGHT FRIDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!!!!

Weighing In On Wednesday: Eating Well One Step At A Time

It has been said time and again that diets do not work! Short term goals can be met, but long term health is not. It is important to develop a way of eating that is both nutritious and easy to follow. This means you will most likely need to take baby steps and make small subtle changes over time. Doing it this way increases the likelihood that you will be successful! Meet with your doctor, discuss your specific dietary needs, and put your plan into action! The following is a fantastic article that explains how to make changes over time that will change the way you feel about “dieting”.

HAPPY WEIGHING IN ON WEDNESDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

http://www.aunaturalenutrition.com/articles/the-non-stressful-way-to-a-healthy-diet

Movement Monday: Start Your Mornings Right

Running from the bedroom to the kitchen to pour a hot cup of coffee is not the ideal way to start your day. We think it is, and I can’t go more than five minutes of being awake before pouring the first cup. But after being sedentary for our hours of sleep, we should start our day with a few stretches, deep breathing, and hydration to get our bodies and our minds ready for whatever our day will entail. So instead of reaching for the coffee first, have some water and do these simple stretches to start your day off right and healthy. You can have your coffee afterwards!
HAPPY MOVEMENT MONDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=rise_and_shine_8_stretches_you_should_do_each_morning

 

Food For Thought Friday: Carbohydrates, Good or Bad?

In the last few years there has been some confusion created around carbohydrates. Several fad diets have been created telling us to kick the “carbs” but in actuality our bodies depend on carbohydrates to make the energy (or fuel) we need for body system support and energy. So “carbs” are actually very important to our health. With this being said, there are carbohydrates we need to avoid. Simple Carbohydrates are high in sugar and low in fiber, they can create an unhealthy glucose balance and unnecessary fat storage. Complex Carbohydrates are unrefined and filled with fiber. These keep our glucose levels in check and provide the energy we need when eaten properly. Educate yourself on the differences, read food labels, and know what you are putting into your body. Here are a couple of articles that give good examples and explanations of carbohydrates.
HAPPY FOOD FOR THOUGHT FRIDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!!

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/carbohydrates?page=1

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/101/nutrition-basics/good-carbs-bad-carbs.aspx