Cadence is one of the most critical parts of running as it improves the running technique by lowering the stress on ankles, knees, and feet thereby reducing injury. Cadence, also known as stride rate, is the number of steps a runner takes per minute (SPM). To simplify Cadence is how often your feet touch your ground but it has a significant impact on your running form.
Generally, a turnover of 90 strides per minute is optimum for most people. For starters, if your cadence is higher than 90 you are on the right track but if the count is lower than 90, you have to change your cadence. Although your cadence may vary depending upon your speed or the surface or terrain you are running on.
Following are some extremely helpful ways that can help you improve your running cadence:
- Focus on smaller steps than running faster. You will be able to adapt to it over a period of time.
- You can use a metronome which will set the pace for you. A metronome app for the smartphone is cheap but be sure to verify the efficiency of the app.
- Run on a treadmill to improve your cadence. Practicing your new stride rate on a treadmill could be useful as you can set the speed to stay the same.
- Download 10-12 fast-paced songs. This will help you accelerate leading to a faster cadence.
- Increase your cadence by 5% at a time. Once you have run 5 km in your SPM, add another 5% and repeat the process.
According to conventional thinking, your cadence should be around 180 steps per minute (spm). However contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing is an ideal running cadence. It depends on your conditioning, weight, pace, workout etc. These factors mean what works best for one runner may not work for all.
Runners of all abilities, from beginners to professional can work on their cadence. While at first, adjusting your stride may feel a little uncomfortable but with time, you will be on your way to becoming a faster and a less injury prone runner. All the Best!