The last couple of weeks, Jeremy, one of the founders of my run club, Las Vegas Runners, has been working with us on some drills to help us improve our running. Today he taught us a little about cadence. With respect to running, cadence is how many times your feet touch the ground in a specific period of time (usually measured in one minute increments). After we had finished our speed work for the day, He had us all line up at the 200 meter line and start running at our 5k speed or greater (whatever speed we had been running at during our speed work session). He then told us when to start counting our steps (each time a foot hits the ground), and then told us when to stop. He had us count our steps for 20 seconds and then we could multiply by 3 to get our average cadence per minute. The majority of the elite runners have a cadence of 180 – 210 steps per minute, so for our 20 second time, we would want to be in the 60 – 70 range. If we were below that range, he told us to increase the number of steps by shortening our stride length. If we were above that range, we should work on elongating our stride length to decrease the number of steps. Your cadence should hold true for any pace, so if you are out on an easy slower run, you can take shorter steps to maintain that cadence.
I have been working on shortening my stride length for a few weeks after some advice from Jeremy that I would be more efficient by doing so, and I was pleased to see that in that 20 seconds I took 67 steps, which is right in the range where I want to be.
It was very informative and I think everyone at the run club is really enjoying all the education that our run club leaders give us to help us all become better runners.
If you’re looking to improve your cadence, this article from Runner’s World has some great tips.
Have you ever measured your cadence? Also, don’t forget my Pocket Fuel Naturals giveaway is still going on!