Running Cadence seems to be getting a lot of press these days, and rightfully so! It’s very easy to measure and it’s an excellent gauge for how efficiently you are running. A big part of running well is minimizing how long your foot is on the ground with each step. An ideal cadence (approximately 90 steps/minute) will directly impact your ground time with each stride. Most runners naturally run with a cadence that’s too low, which is usually a function of hip and foot weakness. In order to cut down on injuries and improve your performance, working to get your cadence right will be extremely helpful.
Does each person need to run with exactly 90 steps/minute? Some experts say yes, but I question whether that’s truly sound. My advice is to be in the 85-95 neighborhood and you’ll be sitting pretty. Since there is quite a variability to runners’ bodies, there certainly ought to be variability to what’s considered ‘ideal’ as well. So rather than try to fit too neatly into an arbitrary box, consider your running cadence to be your body’s natural running rhythm. This will depend on how quickly it takes your entire body to land (with all the moving parts!), gather itself, and push off again. As you develop your strength and running skill, it’s highly likely that your ideal cadence could shift around as well. So please don’t get too fixed on any given number, rather focus on a range, and more importantly, how effectively and efficiently your body is going through all the motions.
As always, please let me know any feedback you have and please share with a friend who may find this useful. Run fast friends!