What is running cadence & why should I care?

What is running cadence & why should I care?

Blog #5

Once again, the idea for this blog has come from my experience within the physio clinic. Whenever I assess a runner on the treadmill I will always assess their running cadence. More often then not I get a puzzled look on my client’s face asking, ‘what is cadence?’.

Your running cadence can be described as how many steps you take per minute when you are running. You will be surprised to learn that everyone’s cadence varies and will influence the amount of ground reaction force & impact on your body. This variation is often subtle with the naked eye but for experienced runners, physiotherapists and running coaches it can be identified easily.

Why should you consider your cadence? Because this relates to ground reaction force on the body which can have a direct correlation on injury and efficiency. Research shows an optimal range is between 160 and 180 steps per minute. That is almost 3 steps per second! Therefore, if I ever assess a runner in my clinic and their cadence is under 160, we need to work on strategies to increase that number.

I often reference The Running Clinic and this time I highly recommend you watch ‘Explaining Cadence – The Running Clinic’ on youtube. It is the simplest way to explain the importance of running with I higher cadence. Let me know what your experience has been like with either changing your cadence or ignoring it completely.

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