5 Tips for increasing your running cadence
The Stride of a Champion
Imagine this: You're out on your routine run, the sun is casting its warm, golden rays on your path. You're in your zone, your feet rhythmically hitting the pavement, your heart pumping enthusiastically. Then, you spot a fellow runner ahead. Their stride, unlike yours, seems effortless, their feet barely touching the ground before they're back in the air. You can't help but wonder, "How do they make it look so easy?"
The answer is simple: cadence.
What is Cadence and Why Does it Matter?
Running cadence, also known as stride rate, is the number of steps you take per minute (spm) while running. It's a crucial aspect that influences your running efficiency, performance, and even risk of injury.
Optimal cadence varies among runners, but a common goal is 180spm. Achieve this, and you'll find yourself running like our effortlessly swift friend from earlier!
Here are 5 tips to help you increase your running cadence:
1. Understand Your Current Cadence
Before improving, you need to know where you stand. Here's how to calculate your cadence:
- Run at your comfortable pace for a minute.
- Count the times your right foot lands.
- Multiply by two.
You've got your current cadence. Now, it's time to step it up.
2. Set a Cadence Goal
Target a 5-10% increase from your current cadence. If your initial count was 160spm, aim for 168-176spm. Don't rush to reach 180spm. Gradual progression is key.
3. Use a Metronome App
Metronome apps can help you maintain your target cadence by providing a rhythmic beat to match. Initially, it might feel odd, but with practice, it'll become second nature.
4. Shorten Your Stride
Here's a secret: increasing cadence doesn't mean running faster. It's about taking quick, light steps. Try to land your foot beneath your body, not ahead of you, to avoid overstriding.
5. Practice Regularly
Just like any skill, improving cadence requires consistency. Include cadence drills in your training, and gradually increase the duration as you get comfortable.
Is Increasing Cadence Always Beneficial?
Not necessarily. While a higher cadence reduces injury risk by minimizing impact forces, pushing too much can lead to other problems like increased heart rate. Remember, the magic number 180spm is not a one-size-fits-all. Listen to your body and find your personal optimal cadence.
Ready to Increase Your Cadence?
You've unlocked the secret to a more efficient running stride. With these tips, you're well on your way to enhancing your running performance and enjoying the rhythm of your run. It's time to hit the road and make every step count!