Should You Be Increasing Running Cadence? A Runner's Guide.

Once upon a time, there was a runner named Sam. She was a passionate, dedicated runner but always felt like something was off. She couldn't put her finger on it. Then, one day, she came across a term she had never heard before: "running cadence".

The Mystery of Running Cadence

Running cadence, or stride rate, is the number of steps a runner takes per minute. The magic number often thrown around is 180; elite runners tend to hover around this number. Sam was intrigued. Could this be the missing piece in her running performance puzzle?

The Potential Benefit: Efficiency and Speed

Improving running cadence could lead to better running efficiency and speed. It could also reduce the risk of injury. Sam was sold. She decided it was time to figure out her running cadence.

How to Measure Running Cadence

The first step to improving running cadence is figuring out what your current cadence is. Here's how Sam did it:

  1. She set a timer for one minute.
  2. She started running at her comfortable pace.
  3. She counted the number of times her right foot hit the ground.
  4. She multiplied that number by two.

Voila! Sam had her running cadence.

The Question: Should You Increase Your Running Cadence?

Now, you might be wondering the same thing Sam was at this point: "Should I increase my running cadence?" The answer is... it depends.

Increasing running cadence can benefit runners who have a low cadence and overstride. Overstriding is when your foot lands too far in front of your body, which can increase the risk of injury. If your foot lands under your body, you're likely running with good form and may not need to increase your cadence.

However, if you're like Sam and your foot tends to land in front of your body, increasing your cadence could potentially help.

How to Increase Running Cadence

To increase running cadence, Sam followed these steps:

  1. She found a song with a beat matching her desired cadence.
  2. She ran to the beat of the song, syncing her steps with the rhythm.
  3. She gradually increased the beat of the music (and her steps) over time.

After a few weeks, Sam noticed she was running faster and with less effort. She was also experiencing less pain after her runs. She couldn't believe the difference a simple change in her running cadence made.

Final Thoughts

Running cadence is a personal thing. What works for one runner may not work for another. It's important to listen to your body and do what feels best for you.

If you're curious about your running cadence, give it a try! Measure it, see if you can improve it, and observe the effects. You might be pleasantly surprised, just like Sam was. So, should you be increasing your running cadence? Only one way to find out. Happy running!