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How to Increase Running Cadence (and Avoid Injury)

You want to increase your running speed and decrease your time but aren’t sure where to start. Many of us have experimented with changes in steps per minute. But the simple fact is that how many steps you take in a minute has a complex relationship with training and performance.

Running cadence is the frequency of your strides or steps. There are conflicting opinions about the ideal race: some say “Higher is better” And others encourage. “Whatever feels comfortable.”

So which one is it? In this article, discover how Running cadence And performance Connected and how to effectively adjust your cadence.

What is an ideal running cadence?

It was Jack Daniels. – of Elite Running Coach, No other which famously saw Olympic runners with cadences above 180 steps per minute (SPM). Since then then, Attached to the cadence effective performance His takeaway was tea.The more times your feet hit the ground, the faster you will run.

You’ve probably heard of the magic 180 to aim for. Of courseCoach Daniel’s interesting observation has been taken out of context and promoted as a one-size-fits-all quick fix. It will do It would be great if we could break our personal record Bus Increasing our numbers to 180 Steps per minute. But this is not a realistic goal for everyone.

So how can we increase our steps per minute? We want to Take a closer look at the relationship between running cadence and running performance.

How do I measure my cadence?

Before you start working on increasing your cadence, you need to know how to measure it accurately. Here are two simple ways you can measure your cadence:

How do I measure my cadence?

Low technology: Count each right foot strike for 30 seconds and multiply by 4.

Advantages: Simple technique for one-time measurements
Cons: Distracts you from your race and is not the most accurate.

Hi-Tech: A variety of pods and watches are available with accurate cadence sensors. The Adidas Running app also shows cadence. (iOS only)

Advantages: Accurate, continuous measurement for anytime analysis
Cons: Wearable tech comes at a price.

Common Cadence Mistakes to Avoid

1. Accelerate your run

It takes time for your body to adjust to the new cadence. While most of us will benefit from more running, targeting a stride rate that doesn’t match your training level or anatomy can increase your risk of injury and cause a temporary decline. can Your running economy.(1)

2. Ignoring your running pace

Most runners naturally choose a cadence that is as low as possible. A lower cadence means a longer stride. Long strides mean more heel strike impacts and an increased risk of injury.(2)(3) however, Increasing cadence toward maximal can improve running economy and injury-related ground reaction forces. wAppropriate adaptation.(4)(5)

Factors affecting running cadence

Here are some determining factors to consider if your goal is to increase your running.

Height and leg length

Cadence is determined by several factors, including height and leg length. Tall runners have a long stride. And Therefore Is Low cadence. That’s good to know, BThis is not particularly helpful since we cannot change our height or the length of our legs.

Muscle fibers and training history

History of training, severe fatigue, And even Major muscle fibers Type has also been suggested as a factor influencing running cadence. SSome evidence showss Those fast-twitch muscle fibers work best at a high cadence, alIt’s unclear how this affects performance, though.(6)(7)

The running piece

more than that Food, Fitness, or motivation, is the running speed Important and clearly defined factorOf A key determinant of running cadence.

A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology demonstrated exactly that. Researchers measured the cadence of 25 elite ultramarathoners during a 100km race. As expected, athletes clustered around the mean. Of 182 SPMapparently supporting the notion that 180 is the holy grail of cadence.(8)

However, the same study also demonstrated wide variation in individual step ratessfrom a minimum of 155 to an incredible 203 steps per minute! The study showed that Cadence was not related to fatigue, weight, sex, age., or training history of athletes.

Apart from height – over which we have no control – The only factor related to cadence was running speed. As runners increased speed, cadence increased. As they slowed down, Their The wave subsided.(9) In other words, runners are not fast because they take 180 steps per minute. They take 180 steps per minute because they are running fast.

The point is, you can’t choose a magic cadence No And run towards him with eyes closed. Your cadence is specific to your anatomy and speed, even if you’re running. A half marathon or half an hour.

Watch the running speed closely

To put this into perspective, let’s compare the cadences of elite athletes running at different speeds. At a pace of 5:20 per mile (3:20 per kilometer), the runners took about 175 steps per minute. At a pace of 3:50 per mile (2:23 per km), this increased to 200 SPM. According to research, a runner will take six extra steps per minute to increase his speed by one meter per second.(10)

If you’ve ever tried to run at that pace, you know how fast it is. And, more than likely, your number was around 180. Speed ​​dictates cadence, not the other way around. around

4 Tips to Increase Your Running Cadence

Forcing a high cadence is a questionable strategy for improving performance, and as we’ve seen, cadence is largely determined. How fast do we run?. Having said that, most of us naturally opt for a lower than optimal cadence and benefit from retraining at a higher rate.

Here are our tips for increasing cadence safely and effectively:

1. Know your cadence.

To keep track of For every speed you drive. Remember that when racing, you are likely to run faster than normal with a higher cadence. Over time you will learn how your cadence correlates with your running.

2. Focus on fitness.

Cadence is determined by speed. As your fitness improves you will be able to maintain a faster pace with a higher cadence. If you can run a 5 minute mile (1.6 km in 5 minutes), your cadence will almost certainly be above 170 SPM.

3. Make small changes.

Preventing injuries And setbacks from increasing your stride rate too quickly. A gradual adjustment of approx Five Steps per minute will give your body time to adapt without injury or affecting performance. This is the goal. Raise your cadence to a set pace.Did not hit 180 on every run.

4. Monitor your heart rate.

Recent research has shown that heart rate can be used to identify optimal cadence. [11] Record your HR. For comfortable (below threshold) speeds at varying step rates between 150 and 200. Whichever step rate gives the lowest HR is the most efficient! Allow a few minutes for your HR to stabilize at each new cadence.


running Cadence is not something you can manipulate for instant results. But as you Fitness improves And as your pace quickens, you should see a natural increase in stride rate.

It doesn’t matter to you ability level, Most choose runners. A cadence it is More or less. So increase Your Cadence is a good idea for any speed.

Remember aGradually adjust your cadence and take advantage of wearable technology for accurate step rate analysis. Over time, you’ll find the perfect cadence for your chosen activity and enjoy the rewards of better running economy and lower impact force. –JThere is another reason to run.


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