Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pacing Drills

At my TEAM run on Saturday morning, Coach had us do some pacing drills.  We ran around the parking lot and counted how many steps we took in a minute.  My first was 144.  We did it again and I got 162.  After the two tests, Coach gathered us together to tell us about a how to pace better.

He told us about a study by Jack Daniels--no, not the one in the bottle.  Basically, the scientific best turn over rate (number of steps per minute) when running is 180.  When running, we get the best efficiency of our oxygen and energy when we take 180 steps per minute.  Coach warned that this does not mean running faster.  It means taking shorter strides.  Coach had us do one more run around the parking lot.  Most of us saw our turn over rate increase, very close to the 180.  Mine improved to 176.

When I got home, I read more about the method.  Something that makes running easier and more efficient?  Sign me up!  I found and read the science and I was amazed.  Daniels studied Olympic athletes and lots of runners all alone the speed spectrum.  Every time, the most efficient turn over rate was 180.  What if I want to get faster?  Daniels says to keep your turn over the same, but increase the length of your stride.  Over time, runners stride gets longer and that makes them faster, will keeping the efficiency of the 180 strides per minute.  Daniels also says that a turn over of 180 steps per minute decreases injury.  This is because you spend less time in the air, decreasing force when you land.

I really like this study and plan to implement it in my running. I plan to take a minute or two and count my steps during a run every week our so.  What do you think of this study?

A dream is a wish...



  1. Have you seen Usain Bolt in the 200m? They counted his steps and for that distance he runs 41 steps. From start to finish, 41 steps. Just really fast 41 steps. LOL!

  2. You can also use a metronome (Seiko makes a small clip on one) that you can use to keep your pace. There is a great section at www.chirunning.com on how to use a metronome to slowly increase your "natural" turnover rate to 180.

    The only drawback is that if you are out for an early morning run and you are ticking, you get some funny looks! (Bet there is a smartphone app that will work through my headphones) :-)

  3. I have the app and it's great!

  4. That's very cool! What a neat concept!! I'm going to have to count my steps next time! :0)

  5. thats such a cool idea that ive never really thought of! i love the quote about focusing on how far you've come also. thats so true!! it's all about progress! thanks for sharing!!! SPALOVE

  6. Wow! I didn't know this! I'm gonna count my steps next run!