As a runner, cadence is essential to understanding your speed and energy output. A “good” cadence is subjective and depends on the runner’s height, speed, terrain, etc., so there really is not a set number that you as a runner should strive for to become faster. However, a runner should be knowledgeable about his or her own cadence and know how to increase or decrease it when it is necessary.
For example, your normal cadence on flat terrain may need to increase to accommodate energy reserve on an uphill incline, or, vice versa, decrease to accommodate stability on a downhill slope. With this being said, cadence is very important in running, but an “ideal” cadence does not necessarily exist. Understanding and maintaining your personal cadence can help you manage your pace, know when and how to accelerate or decelerate, conserve energy, and prevent injury.
Increasing running cadence is a topic of interest for most runners. Increasing running cadence will help runners increase speed, conserve energy, and decrease the risk of injury. In fact, increasing your cadence by 5% has proven to reduce knee stress, and increasing your cadence by 10% has proven to reduce knee and hip stress. Knowing the benefits of an increased cadence, you as a runner are probably asking “how can I do this?” Well, let us give you some tips on how to safely and effectively increase your cadence.
To begin, increasing your running cadence is not something that you should go into with hopes of achieving in minimal time. If you are setting out to increase your cadence, then the best decision will be to set an achievable goal (maybe increase by 5%-10%) and to progressively work at that goal until it becomes natural. To help you manage your pace during a run, try using a metronome and running to its beat.
This is where the support of a professional, top-of-the-line coach can make a huge difference. Look into the training programs and coaching that RunDoyen offers today!
There is no such thing as a universal “good” cadence for running because every runner is different. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, proportions, etc, so why should there be a predetermined cadence that is best suited for all these different types of runners? The answer is there should not be a predetermined cadence for everyone.
Many people agree that a cadence above 170 steps per minute is going to be more efficient than any cadence below that number, but that does not limit runners to a specific number. Generally, a good cadence is one in which your foot lands directly below your center of gravity, i.e. your body. This landing will help you maintain stability, conserve energy, and decrease your risk of injury. A good cadence is also one that you can maintain and keep pace with, increasing or decreasing with control as the terrain or competition calls for it.
A higher cadence typically implies a shorter stride length, meaning that your knees and hips are not enduring as high of an impact as they would under a lower running cadence. A higher running cadence is also very beneficial to runners in a lot of other important areas.
First, a higher running cadence is associated with running faster and increasing your running pace.. The more steps you take per minute will mean that you are moving faster to fit those steps in, propelling you farther in that minute at a faster pace.
Second, running with a higher running cadence means that you can run for longer with a lower risk of injury. As stated before, the higher your cadence the less impact your joints sustain. This decreased impact allows you to run for a longer period of time without inflicting injury on yourself.
Finally, a higher running cadence will allow you to run farther. You may be thinking, “well obviously, if you are running faster, then you will go farther per minute.” But, while that is true, we are not talking about your speed. Remember, the higher your running cadence the shorter your stride length. This decreased stride length helps you to conserve energy throughout your run, providing you with more energy and improved endurance.
As a runner, all of these qualities associated with a higher cadence should leave you asking “how can I improve my cadence?” Well, we can help you with that! RunDoyen offers professional and reliable coaches and training plans for any level. Invest in your performance today and be a champion tomorrow!
Running is a very healthy activity that is great for keeping your body toned and your joints taut, but it has its negative side effects, too. Like anything else, too much running will have detrimental effects on your joints, bones, muscles, connective tissues, etc. So does this mean that we should not run or do other impact exercises? Definitely not!
As we said before, running is very beneficial for your body and can help you maintain overall health as you age, so how can you live healthily without also damaging parts of your body? An estimated 56% of recreational runners sustain a running-related injury related to the high impact forces of running. Increasing step frequency (cadence) while maintaining a consistent speed has been shown to be an effective way to lower impact forces which may reduce injury risk. (2) To do this, focus on taking smaller steps and landing your foot under your center of gravity. Also, it is important to avoid launching too far off the ground while running because this results in a higher impact with each foot landing on your body and putting you at a higher risk for injury.
If you are an avid runner, then we encourage you to look into how you can best preserve the mechanical health of your body while strengthening your cardiovascular health and overall tone.