Sitting in the stands at the 1984 Olympics, now-renowned running coach Jack Daniels observed distance runners as they raced past him. But he wasn’t just some idle spectator — he was counting the runners’ steps. Daniels noted that, on average, the runners were taking 180 steps per minute.
Due to Daniels’ findings, the number 180 took on an almost mythical quality in the following years for aspiring runners who believed that running at that cadence, or steps per minute, would vault them to elite glory.
Recent research has somewhat disproved the number’s clout, but running somewhere around 180 steps per minute is still believed to be the cadence sweet spot.
So what is cadence? And is it really that important to your running?
Like the research, the answers are a bit murky.
Cadence is not one-size-fits-all
If cadence is defined as the number of steps you take per minute, and stride length is the average length of one step, you have two choices if you...
You want to run fast. You want to run far. You also want to look amazing as you run along the trail or down the street. Maybe you have heard that you are born with your running form. Maybe you have heard that running more will naturally fix your running form. This is only somewhat true and somewhat misguided. The truth is you can improve your form. Running is a skill that you can train. Today we are going to discuss the concept of cadence and how it is important, but that one size does not fit all.
Running is a skill that comes naturally at first
Living on hard surfaces and in shoes has adjusted our natural form
Just because you can run, does not mean you are maximizing your ability
The importance of cadence
The pitfalls of overstriding and shuffling
The “magic” cadence number of 180
Why it is difficult to think your way to better form
A simple method for increasing your...
Enter your name and email address below to be added to our private Facebook group with Real Life Runners like you!