Cycling Cadence and Running Stride Rate

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tony, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. Donald Munro

    Donald Munro Guest

    Tony wrote:
    >> Thanks, interesting stuff. I'll be counting strides some to see what my
    >> rates are.


    Donovan Rebbechi wrote:
    > A note about this: I've gradually gone from about 180/min to about 186/min.
    > But this involved a good year of consistent training including good milage and
    > consistent speed work. If you're interested in pushing cadence, consider doing
    > some strides, and focusing on turnover in these. Forcing gait changes in a long
    > run could be harmful or cause injury (partly because this is dealing with symptoms
    > and not getting at deeper biomechanical issues), but doing short technical
    > drills that focus on turnover could improve your economy and gradually address
    > correct weaknesses that could contribute to a lower cadence.


    In the days when I used to run it used to be called leg speed not cadence,
    and doing 20 x 200m with a 100m jog back to the start was considered good
    training to improve it (leg speed) and work on endurance at the same time.
     


  2. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi wrote in message ...
    >On 2004-07-09, Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Ozzie Gontang wrote in message
    >><060720042238267497%[email protected]>...
    >>>Any otherideas on this?
    >>>> - Tony
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>From Peter Cavanagh and Michael Pollock's work back in the 70's one was
    >>>a comparison of Elite and Good Distance runners. See the Marathon in
    >>>Volume301 of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1977 for
    >>>all aspects on the marathon.
    >>>
    >>>Elite Marathoners (Frank Shorter was included in that group) numbered 9
    >>>(mean marathon time: 2:15:52) and good runners made up of 3 with a mean
    >>>time of 2:34:40.
    >>>
    >>>When you are talking about 90 cycles a minute in biking, the equivalent
    >>>is 90 strides a minute which we all know as the 180 steps/minute ideal.
    >>>
    >>>In the research between elite and good:
    >>>Elite: 191 steps/minute SD 10.74
    >>>Good 182 steps/minute SD 8.80
    >>>
    >>>Elite stride length: 1.56 M SD 0.17 M
    >>>Good stride length: 1.64 M SD 0.16 M

    >>
    >> Thanks, interesting stuff. I'll be counting strides some to see what my
    >> rates are.

    >
    >A note about this: I've gradually gone from about 180/min to about 186/min.
    >But this involved a good year of consistent training including good milage

    and
    >consistent speed work. If you're interested in pushing cadence, consider

    doing
    >some strides, and focusing on turnover in these. Forcing gait changes in a

    long
    >run could be harmful or cause injury (partly because this is dealing with

    symptoms
    >and not getting at deeper biomechanical issues), but doing short technical
    >drills that focus on turnover could improve your economy and gradually

    address
    >correct weaknesses that could contribute to a lower cadence.


    My current steps/min seems to be about 170, though on trails I think its
    slower, more like 160. The other day's run I did a much higher step rate
    than normal but I didn't count so I don't know what it is. Then like when
    you change anything in your routine, I was a bit sore the next day. Good
    advice not to push changes too fast.

    - Tony
    >
    >Cheers,
    >--
    >Donovan Rebbechi
    >http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Andy Coggan wrote in message ...
    >"Tony" <[email protected](remove)hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]
    >
    >> "The slower the fibre the lower the threshold for recruitment (the easier

    >it
    >> is to activate the fibre), as well as being more fatigue resistant. As

    you
    >> move up the continuum the fibres recruitment threshold increases, but its
    >> fatigue resistance decreases
    >>
    >> "This plays a vital role in how muscle fibres are recruited. During

    muscle
    >> contraction fibres are recruited in an orderly manner referred to as the
    >> 'size principal'.1 Basically the small slow fibres with their low
    >> recruitment threshold are recruited first and as increasing force is
    >> required the larger fast twitch fibres are recruited along the continuum.
    >>
    >> "As can be seen slow fibres are recruited first, with fast fibres being
    >> recruited when greater effort and loads are required."
    >>
    >> The way I read this is that when a light force is required, the slower
    >> fibres (type I first) are recruited because they have a low threshold for
    >> recruitment. It's the force necessary not necessarily the speed.

    >
    >The speed of movement - or more specifically, the speed of the *intended*
    >movement - does enter into the picture, however, in that it lowers the

    force
    >at which any particular motor unit is recruited. Hence, fast twitch (as

    well
    >as slow twitch) fibers will be recruited during very rapid ("ballistic")
    >movements even if the actual force generated is quite low.
    >
    >> Don't
    >> confuse slow fibres here with relative speed of contraction here.
    >> In the
    >> case of a higher cadence the contraction may be somewhat faster but the
    >> force required is less, and that's why the slow fibres can handle the

    >force
    >> necessary. As the force necessary increases with a low cadence, faster
    >> fibres are needed more to meet the force demand. At some point the

    actual
    >> speed of the contraction necessary may be important, but this does not

    >seem
    >> to be in the case of high-cadence cycling.

    >
    >Au contraire, it appears that it is quite relevant. To wit: the time
    >available to reach peak force when pedaling at typical cadences is close to
    >that typically defined as a "ballistic" contraction. Hence, the lowering
    >(via disinhibition) of the threshold for recruitment of faster contracting
    >motor units may explain why pedaling at 50 vs. 100 rpm seemingly results in
    >comparable motor unit recruitment patterns, despite that two-fold

    difference
    >in force being generated.


    This could be; I don't know what the threshold is for a ballistic
    contraction. I know when I try to pedal upwards of 160 rpm my legs tire
    very fast. When I ride a slow rpm, about 60, in a big gear, my legs seem to
    tire more quickly than normal, but not in the same way as a sprint exhausted
    160+ rpm.

    - Tony
    >
    >Andy ("don't believe everything Chris Carmichael tells you") Coggan
    >
    >
     
  4. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi wrote in message ...
    >On 2004-07-09, Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> The way I read this is that when a light force is required, the slower
    >> fibres (type I first) are recruited because they have a low threshold for
    >> recruitment. It's the force necessary not necessarily the speed. Don't

    >
    >Force = mass * acceleration. So to send the weight flying, you need a high
    >rate of acceleration. Even if the weight is very light, for example, only
    >60% of 1 rep max, the force required to accelerate it to a high velocity
    >is substantial.
    >
    >> confuse slow fibres here with relative speed of contraction here. In the
    >> case of a higher cadence the contraction may be somewhat faster but the
    >> force required is less,

    >
    >Not true. The peak forces may even be higher. The main difference is
    >probably that you get a less even production of force (much like if you

    lift
    >a light weight quickly, as opposed to lifting a heavy weight slowly)


    Once you get used ot spinning at a high cadence the force seems to be very
    even, but you may have a point here.

    >
    >> and that's why the slow fibres can handle the force
    >> necessary. As the force necessary increases with a low cadence, faster
    >> fibres are needed more to meet the force demand.

    >
    >Could you explain how the "force increases with low cadence" ?


    Of course the overall force will be the same. Pedaling for one minute at 100
    rpm vs. 60 rpm the force required for each pedal rotation is 1/100th and
    1/60th of the total force for that minute, respectively. So what I was
    talking about was the force required for each pedal stroke.

    >
    >> At some point the actual
    >> speed of the contraction necessary may be important, but this does not

    seem
    >> to be in the case of high-cadence cycling.

    >
    >I don't see how you get high cadence witout increasing the speed of

    contraction.

    Of course there is an increase in contraction speed, the question is, as you
    and Andy rightly pointed out, is whether or not the contraction speed of a
    higher cadence forces recruitment of faster twitch or if slow twitch alone
    can handle it. Obviously I don't know the answer to this question. As you
    continue to increase the cadence you'll reach a point where only type IIb
    (the fastest twitch fibres) can handle the contraction speed necessary. So
    it might be a wash, as your comments suggest it might be, or it may offer a
    competative advantage. My experience with higher cadence cycling suggests
    to me it 1) builds less bulk 2) allows you to ride hills more aerobically.

    >
    >Cheers,
    >--
    >Donovan Rebbechi
    >http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  5. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi wrote in message ...
    >On 2004-07-09, Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Sprinting requires both a fast contraction rate and a very high force.

    If
    >> you go beyond a certain threshold of speed requirement, then probably

    type
    >> I's can't handle the speed, but the force required is what determines
    >> whether other fibres are recruited if speed of contraction isn't an

    issue.
    >> Spinning on the bike at 100-120 rpm vs. 50-60 rmp probably won't be too

    fast
    >> for type I fibres to handle,

    >
    >How do you know ?


    Don't know.

    >
    >> but the force requirements per stroke are
    >> clearly greater for 50-60 rpm.

    >
    >The power output is the same each way, so I'm hard pressed to see how one

    way
    >could involve substantially and uniformly less force production (speed
    >*is* part of the force production equation).


    The force production is the same, but which combinations of muscles are
    doing the work is the question. Janssen does not give footnotes and most of
    the bibliography is in Norwegian(?) so I cannot point you to the specific
    studies to back up the claims. The section in his book on pedaling
    frequency is 5 pages long and points out that the pedalling frequency for
    the hour record is near constant throughout history at just over 100 rpm.
    Later he states:

    "If a cyclist trains on an ergometer with a constant workload (e.g., 300
    watts) but at different frequencies, the differences between workouts are
    enormous. With the low frequency, the rider will feel sore leg muscles.
    With higher frequencies, breathing will become more difficult. So a high
    frequency espcially burdens the cardiovascular system, and lower frequencies
    use muscular strength.

    "The training stimulus changes with varying frequencies and a constant
    workload. In other words, a workout with a frequency of 60 RPM at 300 watts
    is mainly a weight-training workout. The same load at 300 watts and a
    frequency of 100 RPM trains the cardiovascular system. Graph 26 shows the
    relationship between workload and frequency."

    This meshes perfectly with my experience so it makes sense to me.

    - Tony

    >
    >Cheers,
    >--
    >Donovan Rebbechi
    >http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  6. Chook

    Chook Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Tony" <qtrader2
    @(remove)hotmail.com> says...
    > Donovan Rebbechi wrote in message ...
    > >On 2004-07-09, Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >> Sprinting requires both a fast contraction rate and a very high force.

    > If
    > >> you go beyond a certain threshold of speed requirement, then probably

    > type
    > >> I's can't handle the speed, but the force required is what determines
    > >> whether other fibres are recruited if speed of contraction isn't an

    > issue.
    > >> Spinning on the bike at 100-120 rpm vs. 50-60 rmp probably won't be too

    > fast
    > >> for type I fibres to handle,

    > >
    > >How do you know ?

    A few years ago I noted that the Aussi Teams Pursuit team achieved
    maximum power at approx 134 rpm plus or minus 2 rpm. What you have to
    keep in mind it that power is a product of torue (force on the pedal
    times the crank length) times RPM. At he cadense gets faster the force
    on the pedal get less butt he RPM increases. There is a cross over point
    where this maxes out. I suggst it is the 134RPM. Obviously you wouldnt
    want to sustain that cadense for too long. I think it's safe to say tha
    tit's easier to ride at higher cadense than a lower cadense. Keep an eye
    an Lance when he is climbing or TimeTrialing. His cadence is about 100-
    120RPM.

    Chook


    > Don't know.
    >
    > >
    > >> but the force requirements per stroke are
    > >> clearly greater for 50-60 rpm.

    > >
    > >The power output is the same each way, so I'm hard pressed to see how one

    > way
    > >could involve substantially and uniformly less force production (speed
    > >*is* part of the force production equation).

    >
    > The force production is the same, but which combinations of muscles are
    > doing the work is the question. Janssen does not give footnotes and most of
    > the bibliography is in Norwegian(?) so I cannot point you to the specific
    > studies to back up the claims. The section in his book on pedaling
    > frequency is 5 pages long and points out that the pedalling frequency for
    > the hour record is near constant throughout history at just over 100 rpm.
    > Later he states:
    >
    > "If a cyclist trains on an ergometer with a constant workload (e.g., 300
    > watts) but at different frequencies, the differences between workouts are
    > enormous. With the low frequency, the rider will feel sore leg muscles.
    > With higher frequencies, breathing will become more difficult. So a high
    > frequency espcially burdens the cardiovascular system, and lower frequencies
    > use muscular strength.
    >
    > "The training stimulus changes with varying frequencies and a constant
    > workload. In other words, a workout with a frequency of 60 RPM at 300 watts
    > is mainly a weight-training workout. The same load at 300 watts and a
    > frequency of 100 RPM trains the cardiovascular system. Graph 26 shows the
    > relationship between workload and frequency."
    >
    > This meshes perfectly with my experience so it makes sense to me.
    >
    > - Tony
     
  7. miles305

    miles305 Guest

    tony,

    i am a runner also (4:20 mile and 1:58 800m) i am also a cyclist that
    has successfully improved my riding leaps and bounds by changing my
    cadenence from big gears at 70rpm's to spinning at 105rpm's. i have also
    improved my 4 mile cross country race by taking shorter strides up the
    hills. being suited more physiologicaly for shorter flat track races, i
    take short quick strides uphill and and stride out down the hills and on
    the flats making up time on the pure climbers. my strength in
    crosscountry is my kick at the end where i have a disproportionately
    long stride (similar to a sprint cyclist using a 55x11 chainring in a
    sprint finish). this is my opinion based on my experiences.



    --
     
  8. eddy eagle <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> The chirunning.com site leads off with this quote:

    > "A good runner leaves no footprints."
    > ? Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
    > If that be true does that mean that shoe wear would be drastically reduced?


    Shoes leave footprints.
     
  9. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi wrote in message ...
    >On 2004-07-10, Tony <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >[snip]
    >
    >You may be right after all. Take a look at this.
    >
    >http://www.bsn.com/Cycling/articles/cadence.html
    >
    >Cheers,
    >--
    >Donovan Rebbechi
    >http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/


    Thanks, very interesting. Its a hard thing to prove or disprove with so
    many variables, including the variability of individuals, but its very
    interesting that both trained cyclists and trained non-cyclists tend to use
    a similar cadence, which is higher than the one found to be most
    oxygen-efficient in other studies. Some factor is causing the trained group
    to choose this higher cadence. It may be the same reason elite runners use
    a high turnover, though there the biomechanics of running is probably the
    major factor.

    Just experimenting with a shorter stride in a weeks worth of running
    suggests to me that something similar is going on with running in terms of
    muscle recruitment, but this is of course far murkier than is the case in
    cycling. (I know how you love it when people jump to conclusions).
    Seriously though, when trail running and walking up steep sections I used to
    use long slow steps when going up the steep stuff. Shortening the stride
    seems to wear out the legs less for both power hiking and running uphills,
    though I never really thought about that before. I always relied on
    strength when tackling difficult sections before, and while it was natural
    to use that available power, it doesn't work as well for my goal of being a
    more fluid endurance trail runner. That type II power wears out after a
    couple of hours of running, so it seems best to spread it out more, and that
    should make healing easier too.

    - Tony
     
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