FAQ

What is running cadence?


Running cadence refers to the number of steps taken per minute. It is also referred to as step frequency.




Will changing my cadence make me a faster runner?


Running speed is an equation of stride length and cadence. You can take many smaller steps or fewer larger steps and run at the same speed, covering the same distance. In other words, both 3x2 and 2x3 equal 6. This video demonstrates a runner at a 180 cadence at a 12 minute mile pace and a 5 minute pace. Regardless of your running pace, an increased cadence encourages more efficient form and injury free running.




Why 180 bpm?


Most recreational runners have a cadence that is around 160 steps per minute. Increasing your cadence decreases your likelyhood of overstriding & reduces the impact upon contact with the ground, among other benefits. These natural bi-products reduce the risk of injury, while increasing efficiency of body use. Because 180 bpm is faster than the cadence in the average recreational runner, it was chosen as the cadence for this project.




What is overstriding and why should I avoid it?


In running overstriding occurs when your foot lands extended in front of your knee. This results in a high impact on your body and creates a "braking" effect with each step that you take. When your foot lands underneath your knee, closer to your center of gravity (rather than in front of your body), you allow your skeletal system to function more optimally. Consequently, this reduces the strain on your muscles and allows you to move more efficiently. This website by Harvard University includes videos demonstrating the impact footstrike position on running.




So why cadence?


Cadence is ideal because it gives you something concrete to focus on, rather than being fixated on finessing your form.




How can I tell if I am overstriding?


I recommend that you have a friend tape you running on a straight path. Review the video in slow motion and oberserve where your foot hits the ground (forefoot, midfoot, or heel) and where your foot hits the ground in relation to your knee and hips. Additionally, there are apps available that can provide additional external feedback, such as the Coach's Eye.




What types of injuries can be caused by overstriding?


Shin, knee, and hip pain can all be attributed to overstriding. While there are additional causes, it is worth analzying your cadence and stride if you experience any of this pain.




Is there a difference in form between sprinters and long distance runners?


Yes, please be aware that the majority of information on this site is dedicated to distance running. This video by Kinetic Revolution provides slow motion footage of elite athletes - both sprinting and distance runners.




How do you recommend I transition to a faster cadence?


Your cadence is a very significant part of your running form. Our bodies function as a unit, and so as you adjust your cadence, you will likely feel your body using other muscles. To prevent injury, make the transition to 180 cadence gradually.




Where can I learn more? What research supports these ideas?


There is a lot of research surrounding running and running form. To see some of the research we have examined, check out the resources on the science page.





© 2015-2019 by Annaka Hogelin

info@traininggroove.com

Consult a medical physician before beginning any new exercise program and for consultation for your target running cadence.
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