For runners of all abilities I imagine most of you have been asked about your cadence by someone whether it be a physio, a friend or colleague.

CADENCE is defined by the number of steps you take per minute when you run. In an ideal world we would like to see this number up around 180 when we run. If there is ONE indicator I get a runner to monitor throughout a run it’s this number.

There is no one size fits all regarding cadence but the general consensus is running with a higher cadence can provide the following benefits:

  • Improved running efficiency due to less breaking forces with each step.
  • It leads to a short stride length meaning our hips stay directly over our feet instead of landing out in front of our body.
  • Decrease peak landing forces at the joints of the lower limb.
  • Lowers ground reaction forces with each step as it utilises the bodies natural springs called the ‘stretch-reflex’ phenomenon.
  • A 5% increase in cadence reduced 20% of joint loading. 


Example of a ‘low cadence’ leading to relative over striding. In an ideal scenario the blue line should line up directly in line with hips and pelvis on foot strike.

Hence we can running more efficiently and reduce our likelihood of overuse injuries.


How do I increase my Cadence?

  • START SLOW – Try sections of your runs and self-assess how you feel
  • LISTEN – Your foot landing should be quiet
  • Use a metronome or smart watch which can give you feedback
  • Use music playlist or run cadence



Written by Patrick Lincoln


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