Running cadence: how to avoid injury & increase speed
Cadence is Simple.
Answers to the questions most people ask about the buzzword that tends to cause a lot of confusion.
1. “So what’s cadence again?”
The measurement of how often your foot hits the ground while you’re running. It’s determined in steps per minute. Runners pay attention to cadence because it indicates running efficiency. Optimal running technique translates to better times and fewer injuries. It’s a straightforward concept with enormous benefits, yet often goes overlooked. If you're starting to run and it feels like you’re slogging through quicksand, your cadence is likely too low!
2. “And what determines cadence?”
Fitness level, height, weight, and running pace. Simple as that!
3. “What’s the downside to a lower cadence?”
If you have a low cadence, you likely also have a longer stride. When you over-stride, you lock your knees and slam your heels into the ground on every step. This not only slows you down, but creates a choppy, bouncy running style. This puts extra pressure on joints, making you more susceptible to injury. Yikes!
4. “What’s the upside to a higher cadence?”
When you increase your cadence, you limit the force with which your body hits the ground. If you have a low cadence, you’re spending more time up in the air. As a result, you hit the ground much harder. The more steps you take per minute, the less time you spend in the air, equaling a softer impact on landing.
5. “Wait, does cadence really prevent injuries?”
Yep!! 56% of recreational runners sustain a running-related injury each year. 50% of all running-related injuries occur at the knee, most often due to incorrect form. Form makes a huge difference! Luckily, it’s easy to change by running in sync to Weav’s music. More on that later though…
6. “How do I find my cadence?”
Weav Run measures your cadence for you. If you’ve taken at least one run, you can look at your ‘steps/minute’ rating in the statistics tab. It’s that simple!
7. “Now what’s my ideal cadence?”
Cadence is NOT one-size-fits-all. If you are looking to improve your cadence, shoot for 170-180 steps per minute (SPM). Elite runners hover around 180-184 SPM. If you want some personalized tips, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help!
8. “How do I optimize my cadence?”
Use the “Fixed Tempo” mode in Weav Run to incrementally increase your cadence by 2-5 SPM per run. You should be able to reach your desired cadence in about 7 runs! You should maintain a steady pace by making sure your feet always land on the beat. Don’t worry - the music will work for you! It feels kind of like magic the first time you do it, but it’s actually a simple concept - run smarter, not harder.
9. “How much faster will cadence make me?”
Hard to say, but you’ll immediately notice struggling less. By using less energy for each stride you conserve oxygen and breath. This increases endurance, and provides you with more reserves for when you need to push!
10. Now we get to ask a question! What does cadence mean to you?
We’d love to hear from you! Can share your experience in the comments below to help others?
Interested in learning more about cadence? Shoot us an email at email@example.com, or read any of the related articles below!
Weav Run is a new music running app that adapts songs to match the rhythm of your feet.
Use our adaptive music to optimize your form, which decreases injury risk and boosts performance.