Running Cadence

Running Cadence


In running, cadence is often defined as the total number of steps you take per minute. One easy way to measure your cadence for running is to count the times your feet hit the ground in 60 seconds.

Running cadence can also be defined as the number of steps one foot takes per minute. For example, in Polar products, a running cadence of 180 steps per minute is shown as 90.

So, if you want to go faster, you have two options: either you increase your cadence – your stride rate – or you take longer strides.

Running cadence is one of the two factors that make up a runner’s speed. The other is stride length.

Good runners usually have a higher cadence because they usually go faster than beginners. Top marathoners typically run with a cadence above 90, whereas most beginners will run at 78–82.

Determine Your Cadence

On your next run, count the number of times each foot strikes the ground. To make it simpler, pick either your right or left foot, count the number of times it strikes the ground in a minute and multiplies that by two. This is your training cadence.

Or you can use GPS sports watch which shows live cadence.

There is a difference between a training cadence and a speed workout/racing cadence. Generally, your speed workout/racing cadence will be faster. Determine your cadence for both types of runs.

Improve Your Cadence

Improving cadence is not difficult, but it does take time. Give yourself six to eight weeks for your body to adapt to your new turnover. There are several ways to introduce a faster cadence into your runs. The top three are highlighted below.

Use a Metronome

A metronome is a device that produces a predetermined number, beats or clicks per minute that enable you to train by keeping a constant rhythm your body can recognize. Metronomes are great because you don’t have to count the number of steps you take per minute. Just set your desired number of beats per minute and run to the rhythm.

You try Metronome app from Play store or app store.

  1. Monitoring your cadence will help you avoid overstriding.

If your cadence is low, it could mean that you’re taking long strides, landing heel first and effectively braking against your forward motion.

You should aim to land your feet closer to your centre of gravity. Increasing your running cadence is one way to do this, but in the long term, you should address the root cause and increase muscle strength in your legs.

  1. Varying your cadence will improve your running.

Variety is the key to improvement.

You can use running cadence to guide you during training sessions. Run sections of your workout at different cadences, low and high, so that your body has to respond to different exercise stimuli. Over time you’ll notice an increase in strength, coordination and speed.

  1. Changes in running cadence can indicate room for improvement

You can also use your running cadence as a diagnostic tool.

During a long run, you’ll get tired and that’ll affect your running technique. Most often you won’t notice the changes yourself because your body will try to maintain the same pace automatically.

You can also use your running cadence as a diagnostic tool.

Go for a run and keep an eye on your cadence. Does it change as you begin to tire? If you notice that your cadence begins to fall, it’s a sign that you cannot sustain your current running form long enough and need to add variety to your training.