#36alive 76: Running Cadence

After yesterday’s post about starting off slowly with your running practice, today’s post relates to the same subject, this time running cadence.

Running cadence is the amount of steps taken per minute. A mistake people often make when running is over-striding thinking that the longer and less strides they take the better when in fact the opposite is correct.

There is no right or wrong amount of exact strides to take per minute, everybody is different, however most running coaches advise that people take at least 180 steps per minute. This may seem like a lot, when I first read this in the book Chi-Running I thought it was way too many, and felt a bit stupid the first time I tried it resulting in a much IMG_2097shorter stride but I noticed the benefits almost immediately. I started to run faster, my runs got easier and there was less wear and tear on the joints as I was not pounding the pavement so hard with each step.

An easy way to calculate this is to count the number on one foot for 15 seconds and divide this 4, you’re aiming for 90 plus on one side, with a total of 180 plus. I found after doing this for a couple of runs that my legs automatically moved at this stride as if it was the most natural thing for them to do.

Another way to practice is to run with a metronome, setting it at 180 keeping time with it. You can even do this on the spot to practice. Also, if you use Spotify, there are actually playlists set up containing songs that have 180 beats per minute which makes it easier to stay on track.

Give it a go and let us know if you notice any difference.

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