For the past four weeks, I’ve been piloting a cadence-based training program. By cadence-based, I mean that each workout in the program streams through my headphones as I run (and walk) to the beat of the music while I learn and put into practice how to run with better form. And throughout the four weeks, the tempo of the music got incrementally faster, causing me to move my legs faster with, and without, the audio cues.
I capped off the training program a few days ago by competing in my first road half-marathon in fifteen years and beat my PR by two seconds. And this was after tripping over a piece of plastic in the road, falling hard on my left knee, getting up, walking a little, and then finishing the race. I focused throughout on quick cadence and I believe it helped me make my PR, especially after the fall, when I didn’t have a lot of strength in my left leg.
Greg McMillan just posted this great blog post on the subject of cadence that I feel I could have authored myself! But since Greg already did it, I though I would pass it along to you.
Cadence: Is 180 the ultimate goal?
by Greg McMillan
A few years ago, it was stated that pro runners have a cadence (steps per minute) of 180 and so all runners should run at a cadence of 180. Additionally, it was stated that a low cadence caused injuries (due to over-striding) so another reason to run with a higher cadence was to reduce injuries. And lastly, many running watches began to display cadence so runners became more aware of their cadence. This all led to a new focus on cadence with 180 being the target number.
If you know my thoughts on most things running, you’ll not be surprised to read that I’m not sold that every runner has to run at 180 steps per minute. (I actually find 170-190 to be the sweet spot for most runners.)
But, I do think that runners with a lower cadence (under 170 steps per minute) would be well served to experiment with a faster cadence more frequently in their training. Higher cadence running (for runners with low and even “normal” cadences) pays big dividends in many aspects of performance running (running economy, finishing kick, etc.),…click to read the whole post.
Leave a comment and keep running to the beat!