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This blog post was originally written for Altra Running

Running cadence or how many steps per minute (spm) you take is a hot topic in medical research at the moment - often looking at gait changes as rehab for specific injuries. The running form improvements that running at a higher cadence encourages are just as important, or even more important, in avoiding injury in the first place though. Retrospective research looking at injury prevention however, is strewn with issues, so most of the work taking place looks at changes post injury. Obviously as athletes we would rather avoid the injury in the first place though if possible! 

So what should we be aiming for? You will often hear people say that 180spm or above is the ideal cadence, but we are talking about a highly individual thing here with a whole range of contributing biomechanical and environmental factors, so no number will ever fit everyone. 

An interesting study on how changing cadence affects uninjured runners was carried out by Bryan Heiderscheit and his team in 2011. They looked at both increasing and decreasing cadence and found that a cadence increase of 5% decreased energy absorption at the knee and that a 10% increase decreased energy absorption at the hip and knee. 

Looking at the data in this study, the mean baseline cadence was 172spm. Compared to most recreational and club runners that I see in clinic this is quite a high start point - so I would assume the sample was made up of experienced, decent level runners. This could mean that increasing the cadence of an average recreational runner may have an even larger effect. 

Many of the benefits found from running at a higher cadence come from preventing over-striding - you simply don't have time to reach too far in front of yourself with each step. This results in landing with a softer knee, allowing you to absorb shock more efficiently, amongst other things. 

If you are a health professional wanting to learn more about gait retraining then check out Kinetic Revolution, who run a fantastic weekend course on the subject. 

Pt. 2 will cover how to practically and sustainably increase your cadence and integrate it into your running. 


 


Comments

08/11/2015 7:30am

So what should we be aiming for? You will often hear people say that 180spm or above is the ideal cadence, but we are talking about a highly individual thing here with a whole range of contributing biomechanical and environmental factors, so no number will ever fit everyone.

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Jack Loveday
09/11/2015 11:40am

Hi Gail, thanks for your question. If you aren't injured, then don't change anything. If you feel you have issues potentially related to cadence then read on to part 2 for a practical way to build an increased stride rate into your running. The number 180 came from Jack Daniels, who observed Olympic finalists. He also observed that in his college athletes, he never once saw a runner with a stride rate >180 - this part is seldom ever mentioned!

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According to my research, running is the most effective manner in all exercise. It has something to suffice with your breathing, the circulation of blood and many more. Having a regular exercise routine will also help our daily lives especially our productivity. I don't really exercise because I'm not into going out I always want to stay at my house, or if I think of going out it's just because I want to buy something.

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19/12/2015 5:33pm

I was very happy to discover this web site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to check out new stuff in your site.

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Of course cadence is important.

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17/02/2016 10:42am

Looking at the data in this study, the mean baseline cadence was 172spm. Compared to most recreational and club runners that I see in clinic this is quite a high start point

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04/06/2016 12:30pm

Many thanks for uploading this information. I simply intend to allow you understand that I simply look into your website as well as I discover it quite intriguing as well as useful.

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22/09/2016 11:54am

Use of powerful words on wrong place do not show quality of a writer. Though use of simple and meaningful words can make your article worth.

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01/12/2016 11:11am

Running cadence or how many steps per minute (spm) you take is a hot topic in medical research at the moment - often looking at gait changes as rehab for specific injuries. It is really helpful for the people who seek mental cure as well as physical. Loved the blog.

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13/03/2017 1:24pm

These basic are very essential. It's important to remember them. I know how important is running cadence.

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29/05/2017 6:09am

Nice post, thanks for sharing.

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31/05/2017 7:40am

Thanks for sharing this post.

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Thanks for sharing this post.

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