Kapil Arora

No one is born with a perfect body; if you analyse thousands of runners at the start of any marathon, everyone's body, the running style will vary and will look different. We can’t change our body composition but can train our body to be a better and faster runner. There are many factors involved. Today we will discuss one such factor.

10 Questions and Answers

1. What is Cadence ?

In running, Cadence is often defined as the total number of steps you take per minute. One easy way to measure your Cadence for running is to count the times your feet hit the ground in 60 seconds. Good runners usually have a higher cadence because they usually go faster than beginners.

2. Number of Srides Vs Length of a Stride

Your Cadence rate depends on your Body type, height, running style and many other factors. Eluid Kipchoge avg Cadence was 185 steps per minute when he created the World Record by in Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:01:39, September 2018. But then another key parameter is stride length - Kipchoge stride length is average 1.9 meters whereas an average runners stride length is .8 meters. Both Stride rate and stride length will be critical. The scope of this article is, however, limited to the number of steps per minute, ie. Cadence and not length of the stride.

3. What is a good Cadence Number ?

The average runner will have a cadence of 150 to 170 Spm (Steps Per Minute), while the fast long-distance runners are up in the 180 to 200 Spm range.

4. What is Perfect Cadence ?

There is nothing called perfect Cadence or number that fits everyone, but one can still work on improving this number.

5. Should one focus on improving Cadence ?

If you are looking at running faster, and efficient, than even a slight increase in Cadence yields a much faster pace.

6. How to understand and measure your cadence level ?

Generally, this measure is available on all Running Apps and watches. My fav is Garmin 935 Watch and Garmin App. If you are right in counting, you can record yourself running for one minute and then count the number of steps.

7. How much to improve ?

It's a slow and gradual process. Don't jump in. If you have been running for a while, it will take time for your body to adapt. You need to monitor and measure your cadence level and target improving 5% - Example, if you are currently at 160 per Minutes, the first target will be to improve to 168, i.e., 5% increase. For an average runner, It can take 1-6 months or even more time, but the idea is to focus and measure this factor after every run. If on the other hand, you are already at an average 180-190 cadence levels than a critical improvement parameter would be to analyse your stride length.

8. How to Improve – Drills

Create a "speed up" run for 60 seconds. Please note this is not all-out sprint but 80% effort. Follow these drills during your easy runs. Example - if you are running 1 hour easy, every 15 minutes create a "60 seconds bust" or speed runs.

9. How will this help ?

Purpose for Running faster for 60 seconds in between your easy runs is to create your leg speed and faster strides. Also, ensure you are lighter on your feet. You can evaluate this by observing the foot strike sound; it should not be Hard or Loud. Make sure you are landing light on your foot. Best place for this drill is on the race track, where this burst of speed can be fast.

10. Does Strength training help ?

Yes, focus on Hip Stability exercises. Include these four workouts during your core training or strength training schedule. 12-15 reps four sets each with light or without weights.

1. Bulgarian Squats

2. Reverse lunges

3. Explosive continuous lunges

4. kettlebell swings

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