fbpx

What Is Running Cadence?

You may run into the term “stride rate” or “cadence“. What are all these jargon about?

Cadence or “stride rate” refers to how many times the feet hit the ground per minute.

What’s an “ideal” stride rate. Is there a magic number? Why?

The short answer, 180 is a “magic number”, as you’re spinning the legs like rotating wheels. At this rate, it’s most efficient and reduces the risky of injury. The world renowned running coach, Jack Daniels studied the most efficient runners, and the stride rates are typically over 180 steps per minute, which is associated with high running economy.

So, should I ALWAYS run at 180 steps per min?

Not necessarily. While 180 is a good number in general, there are so much more to it. The stride rate does fluctuate slightly with different paces.

As you run faster, the stride rate will increase, especially when you get into the anaerobic zone (under 400m), the stride rate can go up to 200 or more, but that requires anaerobic power and will not last long.

On the other hand, as you run slower, the stride rate tends to drop. However, if you let it drop to too low (eg. lower than 170), the form starts to become compromised and the risk of over-stride and injury increases.

If you can, try to keep the cadence over 170 even for your recovery runs, or at least 165.

Cadence for beginners:

It’s not uncommon for a new runner to have a cadence significantly lower (165 or less). It usually takes a while for the beginner to get to a cadence of 170, as the strength and coordination builds up. 

If the cadence is lower than 160, it would be better to work on the running mechanics before doing long endurance runs (half marathon, marathon or longer) to minimize injury.

How can I apply this to my run?

The takeaway…try to reach 180 steps per minute on you comfortably hard runs (such as tempo). For easy/long runs, listen to your body, it can relax a little under 180, but still try not to let it drop too much, so that your body can get used to it. Focus on light and quick leg turnover, reduce the stride length to get the stride rate up. 

Finally, cadence can be an indication of fatigue as well, indicating a loss of form and body mechanic. I’ve seen this happen in runs were I pushed the limit, towards the end I’m exhausted and start to lose form, the cadence drops, and ground contact time all suffer.

 

Learn more about our Signature Coaching Program that Rachel used to make her marathon dreams a reality here: https://learn.sparkhealthyrunner.com/coaching

Related Podcast Episodes:

Episode 159: How to Grow as A Runner with Dr. Duane Scotti

Episode 156: Running Isn’t a Battle of the Sexes with Dr. Emma Ross

 

 

 

Learn more about working with Coach Lu here: https://learn.sparkhealthyrunner.com/lubio

Winter Strong Body Transformation Program!

Spark off your winter running with a 4 month strong body transformation!

1:1 individualized  Healthy Runner Coaching  to grow a stronger, injury free running body so you can get in those stress relieving runs all winter long!

Get the structure, support and accountability from our team of experts in the health and running industry to transform into a stronger runner feeling more confident,  healthy, AND running faster this spring even if you don’t think you are a fast runner!  

Just head to  https://learn.sparkhealthyrunner.com/coaching to learn more and commit to getting stronger this winter!

This week’s show brought to you by: 

Perform from the Amino Company. If you’re interested in learning  more about my 100% Science-Backed Amino Acids Supplements and you would like to give perform a try, we’ve got a special offer for you where you can save 30% by using the code HEALTHYRUNNER. Just head to: https://aminoco.com/healthyrunner and use the code HEALTHYRUNNER at checkout to save 30% + FREE Amino eBook!   Click HERE to be directed to the discount page! 

Click HERE to be directed to the discount page!

 

Related posts

Best Treatment and Prevention for Runner’s Knee
02.18.2022

  Want to know the 5 mistakes runners make to get rid of their knee pain?  These just may surprise you and you will certainly want to stop doing these after listening to this video.   In this deep dive training, I share with you the most common mistakes runners make when trying to get… View ArticleRead More

How to Run Faster without Getting Injured
10.22.2021

Are you constantly suffering a running injury that causes you to stop running and then when you are starting to feel good again and start running you get another injury?    Do you think you are old and slow and have never been an athlete so you wonder if you should even be trying to… View ArticleRead More

30-Minute Follow Along Treadmill Workout
12.15.2023

  Run on a treadmill without being bored with this follow along episode!     In this invigorating session, our treadmill instructor coach Cat from our Spark Healthy Runner team will guide you through a high-energy routine that is specifically designed to help you get in a run even if you have to do it on… View ArticleRead More

“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

Sign up for our weekly blog and podcast in order to help you maintain a strong mind, strong body, & just keep running!