Need to reduce vertical oscillation/ bouncing



  • Hi,

    I should receive my new Garmin 920xt within a few days. Cannot wait to get the running dynamics. I only have cadence with my old HRM. I have a pretty high cadence (185/190 while running very easy, around 200 at marathon pace, and 206 measured yesterday as average value on a 10K race). Once I'll have some data for VO ans GCT, I'll post here and also I can give you some training tips I used to improve cadence over time.

  • ParisRunner - I had the same issue, and my physio reckoned it was what led me to injury so put me in touch with this 'running school' guy. Do you get tight calfs after running? I had a couple of calf tears then more recently a hip flexor strain, which was down to being too 'bouncy' and overworking my calfs and hip flexors, and my hamstrings and glutes weren't doing enough.

    Anyway, I signed up to this 6 session course which I finished on Saturday. It was lots of work on muscle activation and retraining muscle memory by running with this exaggerated technique on the treadmill, stuff like that. It's really worked well and the before & after video is really interesting. I've been doing extra strength work too and really notice the difference now. The tight calfs have gone now too.
  • @JackHarris87 - it sounds as though you and I experience the same issue, probably with a similar cause. I'm not sure whether or not the 'running school' guy you mention is anywhere local to me but if the course helped you I'd be interested in getting in touch with him. Would you be able to either post or PM some details over?

  • I think the op needs to practice whats called 'running diagonals'

    I think a lot of recreational  runners really underestimate how much you have to think about your running when your running. It takes years to get a smooth stride pattern even then its something that is can still be adjusted, similar to the swing in golf. Every run I do I am thinking about my posture. It means that I never have that beatific smile on my face, rather a grim look of deadly purpose.

    ...and woe to the poor sap who interrupts my run....yes dog walkers I'm looking at you




  • If anyone finds any other good material/observations on this subject I'd be keen to hear.

    I average a tad over 200spm, 6.4 VO, 215 GCT.

    One thing that I do notice on 5K Park Run (and a recent 10K) that most people are still running with lower cadence and appear to maintain a more consistent pace relative to the gradient they're running on. So, after a short while in a race you're normally with a bunch of people of similar pace to you, then a hill comes along and with my style of running I try to maintain constant energy input so the hill slows me down but I normal significantly speed up relative to the people around me with even a little slope downwards. You can see the effect of this here (with 3 little spikes in pace where I go from ~8m/m to around ~5 - 6m/m).

    Over all my pace is nothing special, I'm a "veteran" (AKA old git), but I'm guessing that small changes might help me to tweak things just a little more.

    I thought some of those articles linked in posts above were food for thought and I wonder if my cadence is perhaps a bit on the high side (although it feels good to be like that to me & seems to cut down on injuries significantly compared to my heel planter days).

    I've been running quite a while with the 620 and find I have largely ignored all the stats that the marketing obviously sold me on. I am still curious how to use this to help myself. It would be interesting to hear of any simple ways to tweak things for the better.

  • I think the focus should be on vertical ratio, not vertical oscillation in cm. As you go faster, stride lengthens and bounce tends to increase. What is important is the distance your travel compared with the distance you move vertically, hence the ratio. The lower the ratio the better. I find my vertical ratio improves dramatically when I increase my cadence, speed and stride length.

    For example today running at 4:30/km pace,1.30m stride,170cadence, vertical ratio was 6.8%

    Running at 3:50/km pace, 1.41m stride, 184cadence, vertical ratio was 5.5%

    That's 15% faster, 8% increase in cadence, 8.5% increase in stride with a 23% reduction in vertical ratio !! So something magic happens when I pick up the pace, the bounce gets lower relative to how far I travel by a large amount!! That's improved running efficiency.

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