Rewind to Kona 2010 and you and I saw how Macca broke the back of Andreas Raelert. I will never forget seeing his acceleration on the descent of Hualalai Road. It was here where Macca threw the 'battle axe' and broke his opponent.
Most do not think of attacking on the descent of a hill, but that was what Macca did and it proved successful.
Rewind to last Saturday and that was what Glen did to me at the Run the Creek 5K. It was fun trying to hang with him in the first 1.5 miles. The pace hoovered in the mid 5s, but the legs still felt the Corporate Cup from the previous weekend.
All that being said, it was on the descent of Beauvista Drive that he accelerated down the hill and my legs could not replicate his TURNOVER.
Please take note of that key word - turnover. My friends, the more I observe this critical metric the more I see value in it. In fact, I see this as more important then my threshold pace in general.
In other words, it is all fine and good to be able to run your 400 m to 800 m efforts at 5:10 or 7:15, but what is your leg turnover for those efforts?
That is the key question.
Are you averaging 80 strides per min? Are you averaging 95 strides per min?
Rewind back to Kona 2010 and this metric once again slapped me in the face. Watching Miranda Carfrae work the lava fields was inspiring to say the least. As I watched the race from the couch I counted out a stride rate of 95. Her little legs were turning over like a hamster on a hamster wheel. Check out this ultra quick clip of her running up Palani Road:
I counted out a 96 stride rate, which is sick for this hill. I was forced to walk it in 2007.
My point is this. If you can teach your body to become more 'neuromuscularly fit' you will be able to out race and out perform your competitors...guaranteed. Its not all about pace in and of itself, but rather the variables that promote sustainability at high end speed.
There is too much to cover in just one post so I will come back to this again to elaborate further.
Train smart friends,