Running cadence is the number of steps you take per minute. It is an important aspect of running form that can affect your performance and risk of injury. A typical running cadence is 170-180 steps per minute.
Benefits of a Higher Cadence
- Reduced impact forces: When you have a higher cadence, you take shorter, quicker steps. This reduces the amount of force that is exerted on your joints each time your foot strikes the ground.
- Increased running efficiency: A higher cadence helps you to maintain a more consistent pace and reduces the amount of energy you waste.
- Reduced risk of injury: A higher cadence can help to reduce your risk of running injuries, such as shin splints, stress fractures, and runner's knee.
How to Improve Your Cadence
There are a number of things you can do to improve your running cadence:
- Pay attention to your foot strikes. Count the number of foot strikes you take in one minute. If you are below 170 steps per minute, try to increase your cadence gradually.
- Use a metronome. A metronome is a device that produces a steady beat. You can use a metronome to help you pace yourself and maintain a higher cadence.
- Do cadence drills. There are a number of cadence drills that you can do to improve your cadence. For example, you can try running in place or jogging slowly while counting your foot strikes.
- Focus on your running form. Make sure that you are landing on your midfoot or forefoot, and that you are keeping your stride short and quick.
Tips for Improving Your Cadence and Running Form
Here are some additional tips for improving your cadence and running form:
- Run on soft surfaces whenever possible. Running on softer surfaces, such as grass or dirt, can help you to maintain a higher cadence.
- Wear properly fitting running shoes. Running shoes should provide adequate cushioning and support for your foot type.
- Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and distance. This will help your body to adjust to the demands of running and reduce the risk of injury.
If you experience pain while running, reduce your speed or distance, or take a break from running altogether. If the pain persists, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist.