Running to a Steady Beat

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Lately I have noticed how much my metronome has been helping my running technique. I have participated in several races the last few weeks and I usually end up running with someone. Sometimes I remember my metronome and other times I ran without it. If I was running with someone whose running cadence was a lot slower than mine, I would unintentionally slow my cadence down. Consequently, I would tire faster and my running technique would feel off. But if I remembered my metronome, and allowed the steady beat to become a part of my background, then my running felt more efficient and I seemed to have more energy.

I had the opportunity to test this on a multi-looped trail race, where I ran with different people throughout the day. The first loop, I ran with several people and, though I had my metronome on me, I didn’t turn it on. Near the end of the five mile loop, I was not feeling the running love, and was a little concerned, since that should have been an easy distance for me. Part way through the second loop, I found myself running with a ChiRunning buddy, so I turned on my metronome to check my cadence. It was a bit slower than what I usually run at, which is 90 spm. I left it on and soon my stride was matching the beat. My body started to feel better and the running seemed to get easier.

I’ve learned my lesson not to leave my running partner (the metronome) at home. But I’m human and sometimes forget it. In that case, I keep the beat in my head and let my body dance to it. I’m a much happier and more efficient runner when I keep a steady beat!


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