Running cadence isn’t a new topic. Many of us have experimented with changes in steps per minute. But the simple matter of how many steps you take in a minute has a complicated relationship with training and performance. Opinion on optimum cadence swings between “higher is better” to “whatever feels comfortable”.
So which is it? In this article, discover how running cadence and performance are connected and how to effectively adjust your own step rate.
THE MAGIC NUMBER
It was Jack Daniels (elite running coach – not the other one) who famously observed Olympic runners with cadences above 180 steps per minute (spm). Ever since, cadence has been positively associated with performance. “The more times your feet hit the ground, the faster you will run.”
You’ve probably heard of the magic 180 as the number to aim at. Unsurprisingly, Coach Daniel’s interesting observation has been taken out of context and promoted as a one-size-fits-all quick-fix. Wouldn’t it be great if we could break our personal record just by increasing our cadence to 180 steps per minute? Not so fast. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between running cadence and running performance.
Avoid these common cadence mistakes: