Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trying out the Garmin foot pod for Cadence

I apologize for the lack of blogging. My training was hindered due to work and weather related issues.
On a positive note I did receive my foot cadence pod from Garmin. That is a neat little device. You can use it for running in doors when you can’t receive a GPS signal, the foot pod will estimate your running distance as well as giving you your cadence. You can also use it out doors just for the cadence and still use the more accurate GPS signal on your watch.
I made it out once last week in the Vibrams with foot pod. I went three miles straight with a brief stop to stretch and hit the track for a quick quarter mile. The highest cadence I got was 85 (per foot or 170 for both). During a normal jog it drops to about 70 or so. I am feeling better and better in the Vibrams. I am doing about ½ pavement and ½ grass running. I feel good and my heel tenderness has not hindered me, as a matter of fact the tenderness seems to be subsiding. The only issue that tends to be there in the background is my IT band on my left leg. To be honest my entire left leg is my down fall. My left foot tends to angle outward about 5 degrees or so and that leg has much less flexibility than my right leg. I probably have some sciatic nerve problems because that leg tends to ache from my back to my ankle. Especially when I have to drive for more than a few minutes my entire left leg just starts aching. Man I feel like a geriatric sometimes! Isn’t that what old people do? Talk about their ailments! By the time I hit 80 I will have so many things to complain about my grand kids will probably shoot me to put me out of my misery!
Back to running. I ran 9 miles Sunday in my Nike’s. Those are probably the best shoes I have had in a while. I can’t remember the names of them at the moment but they feel good. I felt great through 8 of the miles but on mile 9 I really slowed down. The last mile was mostly uphill against the wind. I know what you are thinking but I am not copping out, it really is mostly uphill. I am continuing to add to my long runs once per week. I want to start increasing my speed more too. I have been reading about doing more intensive training. I was reading today in a magazine about doing high intensity runs for 30 seconds, then cooling down for a minute or so and doing another high intensity run and repeat at least six times. I am going to incorporate those high intensity runs into my workout once per week.
My training goal is to do one long run, one tempo run, and one speed workout per week. On my off days I play racquetball. I know that playing racquetball is not the ideal way to “rest” my legs. I love playing racquetball but it really wears me out. My friends and I usually play for about an hour, either singles or cut throat, maybe even some doubles. By the end of that hour I can barely move. I am sure that racquetball adds to my increasing list of injuries. The funny thing about racquetball is it is so intense that you don’t realize you hurt something until later in the day.
Now that I have my Garmin foot pod I have been checking my running cadence. Last week due to the rain I had to hit the treadmill. I wore my Nike’s with the foot pod. I could maintain 85 foot strikes per minute on an 8 minute per mile pace. As I increased the speed I stayed at 85 until I got to a 7 minute mile. As I tired my cadence dropped off. I am imagining that as I tire my stride length increases to compensate for my reduction in cadence. Interesting enough I maintained the 85 cadence through most of the run through variations of speed from a 9 minute mile to a 6 minute mile. Just near the end of the run my cadence dropped off to about 78-80. I am also going to incorporate increasing my cadence into my routine.

If anyone is reading this out there please let me know your running cadence. Does it vary with speed or do you maintain 85 or so throughout the run? I can’t imagine running a 95 cadence.

March 20th is the Milliken Earth Run 5K. It will be my first race in the Vibrams. It is a cross country and I am really looking forward to it. I ran it in 23:08 last year. I would like to beat that this year. That may show me if these Vibrams are helping me out. Anyone else running the Milliken?
Have a great week!


  1. What data field did you use to see the cadence per minute? Also what garmin do you have?

  2. I have the Garmin 310xt paired with their foot pod. As a recent Vibram five finger convert, I too have been monitoring my cadence. In general, it hovers around 85, but I''m shooting for closer to 95.

  3. Great post there, I like your post it is so interesting. Keep up the good post.

  4. I am a walker, got my pod on a FR305.
    Yesterday my average cadence was 73 at 7:34/km.
    I peaked at around 83.
    Race walkers can hit around 115. So I have a way to go.

  5. I use my Garmin Forerunner 50 with foot pod to monitor my running cadence. I run at a 90. I maintain it throughout my run. I run about 7:15 minute miles. If I am doing speed work, like 6:00 miles, I run at a 95 cadence.

  6. Hi. I googled "garmin footpod and run cadence" and came across your blog. I ran 12 miles yesterday and averaged 11:26 min/mile and 78 spm run cadence. I use a Garmin forerunner 305 with the small footpod. I'm trying to increase my cadence, would love to get up to 85.

  7. Hi, I was google searching to find out if I buy the foot pod for cadence can I still use the GPS for location, so thanks for being more comprehensive than the Garmin User Manual! :-)
    I also happened to read that your foot angles outward by five degrees. I had my foot do that too, and it was creating much heel tenderness. It's called a 'heel strike', and it's a quite common problem. My physio showed me how to stretch my glute, and I only do it for the leg that is skewed. To stretch my right glute, I put the right side of my right ankle on a bench and slowly lower my body by bending my left leg. Your calf should stay perpendicular to your torso, although you shoudl be careful to position your leg to ensure it actually stretches your glute and doesn't hurt your knee as was the case with me. Really though you should visit a physiotherapist to get professional advice. My physio has sorted me out with just two weeks of stretching. No 'hell' heel tenderness anymore! :-)