The best-kept, totally obvious running secret that reduces injuries and increases speed
You know that feeling when you wake up early in the morning, and you know you should run, but you’re tired, and somehow you get out there anyway, but then you feel like you’re running with sandbags on your shoes? And like your blood turned into cement? Yeah, join the club.
But while feeling sluggish might seem insurmountable in those moments, there’s actually a rather simple fix to process to feel like your body is light and your strides are crisp. Spoiler alert: it's cadence!!!
What is cadence?
Simply put, cadence is the number of steps you take per minute. It’s also one of the most effective ways to reduce your chance of injury and optimize your efficiency to hit your goals.
You’re thinking, so if cadence is such a mamba-jamba, why isn’t it talked about more when you’re getting started with running? Great Q. Basically, cadence is the elephant in the running room - everyone knows it’s there, but refining your cadence is often labeled similarly to learning doing chores when you were a kid: you should probably do it, but no one wants to.
A number of factors influence you cadence: height, fitness level, weight, stride, and leg length. For beginners, it’s best to have a cadence greater than 160 steps per minute. For more advanced runners, shoot for north of 180.
While a seemingly simple concept, the benefits of a higher cadence are enormous, and include injury prevention, better performance, and also slipping into the ever-elusive ‘flow’ state more quickly, and thus enjoying your runs more!
How do I know my cadence?
Start by measuring it. There are a few ways to do this manually:
- Count how many steps one leg takes in thirty seconds, then multiply that number by four.
- Run to a metronome
While these are great, they can be a bit cumbersome, and also inaccurate. Better yet, you can:
Take Weav Run out for a short run, and see what your average cadence is! Voila. As long as you have one run in the books, you can look at your statistics for an accurate measurement of your steps per minute.
How do I change my cadence?
It’s best not to change your cadence too quickly - to avoid injury - and increase it by 2-5 steps per minute, or 2% at a time. This can be done gradually, over a long period of time. Most people see correcting their cadence as tedious, and even uncomfortable. What’s great about Weav Run, is you can simply set the desired steps per minute you want to run at, and don’t have to worry about all the manual steps you would have to take otherwise! Now, you can just listen to music, and hit the road.
We are also planning to design a few different ways of optimizing your cadence in our app to make this process not only less painful, but fun. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!