An interesting article in RW this month questions whether we are risking injury by basing our performance on those of the elites.
We often see quoted the figure that we should run with a cadence of 180footfalls/minute as this is the most efficient method, a fact borne out by studies of the top runners at distances from 800m to marathon and beyond. But if you take into account that the slowest of these runners will be doing approx 5.45min/mile, this means they will be footstriking a little over 1000 times per mile. If you are taking twice that time per mile, you are perforce striking the ground 2000 times to cover the same distance. Multiply that up over any distance and that is a lot of footstrikes. An extra 27,000 over a marathon. If the theory of increased cadence is to reduce the force of the footstrike to reduce injury, does that still bear up if you are doing 27,000 more footstrikes? If the increased cadence is to prevent overstriding, is there a point where you are travelling so slowly that you are, in fact, understriding?
Meb Keflezhig runs with a cadence of aroun 203. He also runs more than twice as fast as me and is a good six inches shorter than me.