How to increase your cadence when running
Increasing your cadence may be a bit unfamiliar at first, but it's possible to do it gradually and adapt your body to the new running technique.
A good cadence for running is usually between 160 and 180 steps per minute. When you take a lot of small steps instead of taking long strides, you land softer on the ground and don't strain your legs as much. Higher running cadence can also help you run faster and longer.
To manage and run at a frequency of about 180 steps per minute with OK stride length, you should have some running experience, because such a frequency requires strength in the running muscles, especially in the calves and in the hip flexor. But first of all, you need to know what kind of cadence you have today.
Here are some tips to increase your cadence:
- Focus on lifting your foot off the ground faster: Lifting your foot off the ground faster will cause you to land faster on the next foot, thus increasing your cadence.
- Shorter stride length: Increasing your cadence doesn't mean you have to run faster or harder, but rather having shorter stride length. Try to take smaller steps, but with a faster frequency.
- Run with music or a metronome app: Having music or a metronome app playing music at the right pace can help you increase your cadence gradually, and you can then work your way up to a higher frequency.
- Focus on technique and not pace: When you start increasing your cadence, it's important not to focus on your pace, but rather on your technique. Try to have a good posture, look straight ahead and land softly on your foot.
- A good help in increasing the frequency can be to run intervals on a gentle downhill, where you get natural help to increase the frequency.
- Be patient and increase gradually: It takes time to adapt your body to a new running technique, so be patient and work gradually to increase your cadence. Try to increase by 5-10 steps per minute per week and you will gradually get a higher cadence in your running.
Cadence and uphill running
It's important to work on increasing your cadence regularly, but also not overexerting your body. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort while increasing your cadence, you may want to take a break and allow your body time to adjust to the new running technique.
Uphill running is therefore a good way to help improve your cadence and at the same time improve your running technique in general. Uphill running forces you to take shorter strides and increase your frequency to maintain momentum, pace, and power in your running.
Uphill running strengthens the muscles in your legs and increases endurance, which in turn can help you run more efficiently and with a better technique.
High cadence takes time to get used to
It doesn't take much to increase the frequency of running, but it does require you to consciously get used to fast steps when running.
The time it will take to increase your cadence and get a proper cadence can vary from person to person, depending on your current running technique, how much you train and how much you work to change steps. Some take it quickly, but for others it may take longer.
With a gradual approach and a little patience, you too can learn to increase your cadence in a matter of weeks or months.