Within the running community there is frequently a great deal of discussion as well as fixation on the running form or method with a lot of beliefs, numerous assertions from guru’s with plenty of dogma but not much science to back up the vast majority of it. The opinions from the so-called gurus and ways in which an athlete ought to actually run are rather diverse and frequently contrary, which often can leave the typical athlete relatively bewildered. There are several issues to the various running methods for example where and how the foot contacts the ground and also the placement with the knee and hips. The one that a short while ago had a lot of interest was the cadence. The cadence is related to how fast the legs turn over, commonly assessed as the number of steps taken per minute.

There are a variety of methods to determine the cadence and there are applications you can use to determine the cadence. It’s just a matter of counting the number of strides the runner normally takes in a time frame and after that calculating that to 1 minute. There was clearly just recently a growing pattern advocating for athletes to shorten the step length while increasing the rate which the legs turn over ie raise the cadence. The dogma is that when you can obtain the cadence close to 180 steps/minute then that is for some reason a crucial method to reduce the probability of injury while increasing performance. This particular 180 steps/minute was popularized by the well-known athletic coach Jack Daniels. Daniels primarily based this on his observations of runners and their step cadences during the 1984 Olympics. He widely promoted this being an perfect for just about all athletes to focus on.

Consequently, the research has shown us that the cadence in runners is normally quite variable with a few as low as 150-160 yet others are more than 200 steps a minute. It does seem like it is a really personal thing without any one ideal cadence. It can seem that every individual will probably have their own ideal cadence and will also differ between runners. Shortening the stride length to raise the cadence can appear to have some gains and that is supported by a number of scientific studies, but what isn’t supported is raising it to that particular mythical 180 which has been widely proposed. It might help with runners that are overstriding and help them learn not to reach too far forward when running. It does seem to help runners who have difficulties with their knee joints since it could reduce the loads there, but it will on the other hand increase the loads elsewhere, so any alterations needs to be completed slowly , carefully and step by step.

What exactly is most significant with regard to runners to be familiar with is that this is particularly individual and it is an issue of working out all on your own or through the help of a skilled running technique mentor what is right for you as the individual. One point that comes out on the subject of most of the buzz around cadence would be to not be enticed by the most recent fad or guru and search for the a lot more balanced and considered opinions.


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Craig Payne Author
University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger, dad.