Monday, 4 July 2016


This is my first post which I think I’m going to cringe at in the future due to my lack of knowledge, especially when I finish my sport science degree.

Cadence, when used in running terms, refers to how many steps you take each minute, and seems to be a topic of conversation in the majority of long runs I do with other people, as everybody as differing opinions. According to ‘Garmin Connect’ and my running coach 180 steps a minute is the magic number and the majority of top runners, from track, road and trail all have a high cadence. Which is a reason to aim for a high cadence right? If all the top runners are? But the reason my coach suggests a high cadence is to prevent over striding and heel striking, as he believes that the heel acts as a brake and slows you down. I only seem to hit that magic number (or close to it) when I’m running at 5km pace (usually less than 4min/km), but when I go for long runs or easy runs, I’m no-where near it.
This is a tempo run and clearly shows the slower I go, the slower my leg turnover is.

The only time when I'm able to get close to 180 steps a minute is when I'm running at about 3-4 min/km pace. How do I continue to keep a high cadence when I'm going slower?

This is a trail run, as you can see as my pace drops, so does my cadence. It does remain fairly consistent over the course of the 11.5kms though. 

I feel like I’m not heel striking when I go for those runs though. I don’t know if this is a problem or 
not, everyone has a different running style and I guess only time will tell. I’m working on improving
it by pedalling fast on my bike just to encourage a faster leg turn turnover. I’m sure I’ll be able to 
figure out if cadence is a problem for me in a couple years’ time but until then, who knows. 


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