What is running cadence and why does it matter?
Do you ever wake up early to head out for a run, but feel like you have cinderblocks for feet? Join the club.
Luckily, there’s a way to feel light in your body and crisp in your strides. Spoiler alert: it's cadence!!
WHAT IS CADENCE?
Cadence is the number of steps you take per minute (SPM).
A lower cadence means you take fewer steps, and have a longer stride. A higher cadences results from quick, short strides.
Average running cadences range from 150-180 SPM. For beginners, it’s best to have a cadence greater than 160 SPM. Anything lower than this means you're likely over-striding. By doing so, you spend more time in the air and land on your heels, increasing the impact on your joints - a recipe for injury.
For more advanced runners, shoot for 180 SPM or above.
Since our bodies are all different, each person has an ideal cadence - or 'sweet spot' - where you are the most efficient runner you can be. Your height, fitness level, weight, stride, and leg length all dictate this optimal cadence.
Running at your body's ideal cadence reduces injury risk and increases your speed. No brainer then, right?
Unfortunately, cadence often gets labeled as a chore - or goes ignored altogether. Little known fact - you can actually find and optimize your cadence in under 7 runs.