100 Days of Running Phase 1: Stride Rate

Nowadays, I became more committed to the thing that I love the most; yeah it’s running. It takes more determination to stick to the running program at the time of summers. But thank God 100daysofrunning came to rescue.

The idea of running 100 days in a row, without missing a single day was intriguing to me. I took rest before it started, went to meet as much family and friends as I could and told them about it. The challenge started on 29th April 2017 and I traveled back to Chandigarh- my new home.

Now the task ahead seemed difficult, I mean 100 days of running without missing a single day when I have run the maximum of 10 days in a row. So while traveling in the bus, I broke it down into 10 phases of 10 days each. At a time my focus is only on the current phase; this way it looks simpler. In each phase, I’ll focus on one flaw that my running has and will try to improve it.

This idea fascinated me. So the first focus was cadence or stride rate. This is basically the number of steps taken in a minute. My previous stride rate was averaging somewhere around 160 strides a minute and they say that ideally, it should be 180 steps a minute. So I went for the cadence of 180.

The theory behind it says that- the more steps you take in a minute the less time your foot will be in the contact with the ground; resulting in less weight on the foot and less chance of injury. I read it at many places and this time I thought of implementing the same.

Before believing in anything one should have to implement it. I’ve already tried to run with 180 cadence, it surely felt light on the foot. I mean there are many things written about running… you should do this, you should do that. But, what I realized that everything doesn’t suit everybody. So instead of blindly following any advice, implement it on yourself and observe how it is impacting your body- positively or negatively.

How to calculate the cadence

You might be thinking how to calculate the steps while running. Well, there are many ways to do so.

First I used metronome app when I had a smartphone. You need to set the number of beats in the app and then it will produce the sound of tic, tic…. for that many times in a minute. With each sound hit the ground with one foot.

You might not be running with your smartphone or maybe you are like me who is no more using any smartphone. In that case what I did was- as soon as the GPS watch signaled that 1km is over, I start my stopwatch (on my phone) and start counting my right foot steps manually. It goes 1, 2, 3….. When I reach 90, I stop the stopwatch and look at the time. If it’s more than a minute I got to know that I need to increase the stride rate. This way I kept checking on every km and kept adjusting it as per need.

In last 5 days, I haven’t done anything and just tried to focus on running. I only check stride rate once I reach home and I’m glad to see it more than 175 each time. That means it became an integral part of my running. Yes, I felt stronger and stronger after each run when I started implementing this. It means what they say is right. I feel like running more even if my daily target is achieved. I have to force myself to stop the run.

If you are a runner then I highly recommend to give stride rate a try and look the results for you. If your stride rate is less than 150 then I would suggest don’t shoot for 180 directly. Yes, your ultimate target should be 180 but reach there in steps.

Yesterday, when I was running for the 10th straight day, I felt very amazing. I wanted to give myself a treat so I ran easy and then sat on the banks of Sukhna lake while having my favorite ice-cream. Even I skipped my cooldown stretches (I know it’s silly). I sat on the stairs and just enjoyed my life for 40 minutes without any distraction.

After every achievement, no matter how small; don’t forget to treat yourself.

I’m very excited for the next phase, Today was the first run of the second phase and it was awesome. I know running is a very beautiful thing but if we add some targets for ourselves we can take the joy of running to a whole another level.

Summary of the First Phase

I ran a total of 67.1 km in the total time of 6 hours 11 minutes 13 seconds with an average speed of 10.92 km/hr and took total 66203 steps averaging 178.2 strides/minute.

I hope this will help and inspire you. If it does please don’t forget to comment below and let me know your views, thoughts, and suggestions. I’ll be more than delighted to have a conversation with you.

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