Stepping stones pacing: I decided to do... - Bridge to 10K

Bridge to 10K
11,431 members14,957 posts

Stepping stones pacing


I decided to do something different today and tried the stepping stones podcast with Laura. I did it once before a few months ago and found it a bit strange. Today it was still strange - the starting ten minutes at 150 felt really slow and even the final 'fast' 5 minutes at 160 was slower than my usual pace. However it was quite interesting to do as an exercise and kept me concentrating rather than drifting off.

I took run the map with me and so I could look at distance and splits. Overall my pace was slower than usual and I covered in 4.2k rather than almost 5 that I would normally do. What I didn't expect was the splits - I expected that I would be slower with the slower pace and faster with more BPM. However the stats show hardly any difference in pace between the six 5 minutes blocks at different BPM or each of the kilometres - very consistent. Has anyone else found this - and what might be going on!

10 Replies

I don't get on with the c25k+ podcasts at all, never have, for lots of reasons but I also find them very slow and they make my form really suffer. Even Speed is slow, ironically enough. I think if you have naturally higher cadence than the bpm (I'm not unusually small at 5'5 but my cadence sits around 170 in training pace, I must have short legs) you have to bring it right down. I end up lolloping and bouncing along in slow motion to get the footwork matching the beat. The whole thing ends up looking and feeling pretty weird. I know lots of people love the podcasts though—think it's just another case of there being no one size fits all approach!

(this is in no way scientific of course, just what I figured made sense for me when mulling it over after trying the podcasts several times and getting frustrated with them.)

in reply to Sqkr

Thanks - yes I found speed a bit slow as well. I am 5'3" and have never been accused of having long legs. I suspect that my ' natural cadence' is more like 165-170 although I don't have anything to measure it with. It was interesting though that although slowing it down felt really awkward - whether i was running at 150, 155, or 160 during the exercise seemed to make no difference to my speed - I was just consistently slower than usual!


If your times are staying the same when the bpm is changing(assuming you don't have a mental disconnect) then you must be shortening your stride as the bpm increases.

I was the opposite to Sqkr, I never really got on with these as I being 6'3 and of quite long legs have quite a slow cadence so it felt like it was less stepping stones and more belting it. I have returned to these podcasts more recently i.e yesterday and found the speed and stamina ones a lot more useful for me now as i'm actively trying to increase that slow loping cadence. If you have found stepping stones too slow try the speed one as that is intervals at 155 slow and 165 quick x 6. Failing that do your own thing with some bpm aligned music.

That's interesting - there is no way that at any of the BPMs on stepping stones that I felt that I was belting it - presumably that is the difference that an extra foot in height makes! The speed one also felt a bit slow to me. I am currently using Sami Murphy and her music which seems faster paced and suits me better - but have no idea what BPM it is.

However - one of my past sport is Korean Karate which is pretty fast paced and strength based - and to be fast takes less strength than to be slow and powerful - so I won't dismiss the benefits of being forced to slow things down once in a while...

Totally agree. I am under 5 feet tall with little legs and naturally high cadence. The stepping stones was ridiculously slow for me and I only covered just under 4K myself, about a 10mibute km. my splits were about the same too. It’s weird!

in reply to JennyH10

glad to know that it is not just me - it was definitely weird!


I haven’t done this one but did the speed one. I found the speed intervals challenging! That was about 6 weeks ago so might give it ago again now.

Do you have Garmin or similar? In the stats on that it shows your cadence. My average is about 178 and I’m a short arse at 5’2”! Tbh Im not too knowledgable on all that. 😊

I am pretty new to this running lark - so I don't have anything as sophisticated! I could try and count - but not sure that I could keep up. Interesting though that you are a similar height to me - google says that average height for men is 5'10" and for women 5'5" - so maybe that is the difference. I need something tailored to a 59 year old 5'3" woman - if it doesn't exist it should!


I’m not sure what you mean. I am 5 ‘ 3” and 60,and I love stepping stones

It’s not all about fast running. Slow running builds legs 💪👍😃

If you try the three you’ll be challenged 😤😀

Don't misunderstand me - I find them all challenging in different ways - and I am quite happy to believe that they will do something for me in the long term in ways that I don't understand yet. I am new to running and just a bit bemused at the moment. The slow cadence felt hard and really slow - but turned out to cover the same ground in the same time as a faster cadence which felt more natural - it seems counter intuitive - but I am willing to believe that over a longer distance a slower cadence might be better if I could get used to it. Just trying to understand what is going on - not trying to judge!

You may also like...