Chi Marathon Form Focus Day 1 – Cadence works!

Yesterday, I went on Day 1 of Danny’s “Beginner’s 16 weeks Half Marathon Training Program” It was interval training with focus on 2 forms. E.g. 1 minute of the “C” column (alignment of shoulder, hip, and ankle), 1 minute rest. And then at the end, time one mile run. I modified interval training since I only had limited time before sunset. (I preferred to run in daylight) I chose only one form to focus on (since the other one was already natural to me) and the rest interval was only 30 seconds and instead of 30 intervals, I did 20. It worked beautifully.

The reset/repeat was excellent to re-train the stubborn muscle memory. When I read “30 intervals”, I thought “really? over kill much?” Then I realized Danny was right. The repeat was quickly helping my muscle to get into the rhythm much faster and easier.

Now, Danny was all about “taking the time to practice form” (yay for that) I decided that I would still turn on my metronome on iphone. This cadence concept was exceptionally interesting to me. Since I took the class on Saturday, I thought to keep practicing cadence. I dropped my cadence from 180 (on Sunday that resulted in uncomfortable soreness) to 170 yesterday. Phew, I could breathe!

What surprised me were 1) with my modified work out, I ended up with 3.2 miles total distance, which was exactly my goal this week “3 mi” I thought that was phenomenal. Implicit in Danny’s teaching was this innate ability to KNOW where you are.  A bit New Age stuff, right? Well, it turned out exactly what I thought I was without having to “push hard”. I could live with that.

2) I clocked in 13’54” on the mile run. I normally run in the 14’30” +/- mile and then dropping to 15′ as distance increases. And most of the time, it feels like “work”. Well, when I realize I broke 13′, I was shocked! One, it felt easier – I did not have to push harder to break 13′. Two, this was ONLY my second run of the year (still not in tip top condition yet)! My goal of 13’30” on half-marathon day did not look impossible anymore! What a confidence booster!!

I would call my new found “awe” controlled excitement. There are still 4-8 weeks of “technique” training on Danny’s program. I am now very excited on each run as I discover new “aha”. And I’m willing to put in the patience to work on forms. If I only modified the alignment and cadence, I got that much more improvement. I wonder what can be in store in 12 weeks!


3 thoughts on “Chi Marathon Form Focus Day 1 – Cadence works!

  1. I definitely need to work on my cadence and maybe download a metronome, this sounds like an awesome program. My form always needs work maybe Ill check it out!

    • Having a metronome helps great deal. I run with iphone and the free app I use is Metro Timer (search “Metronome” on app store) I did not know about cadence (read about it on Scott Jurek’s book, but never thought twice about it) until I took Chi Running’s workshop. With 170-180 cadence, it’s very difficult to over stride, therefore ensuring a good form. Happy Running!

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