Why Increasing Your Cadence WILL Make You a Better Runner: Part 1

Last time I mentioned that elite runners tend to have a foot speed of 180 beats/minute or faster, while most recreational joggers have a much slower turnover rate. Some may think that amateurs shouldn’t try to emulate runners at such a high level, but I know from experience that “normal” people can improve a great deal by adopting a faster cadence. I’ll explain why it really does improve running efficiency.

When people run with a slower cadence, they tend to take longer, more awkward steps that cause them to land heel first in front of their body. Here are a couple of examples:Image    Image

The second picture is me from about 3 years ago, and my form was so bad, I’m striking with my heel and stepping off with the other foot at the same time. Wow, I sucked. Anyway, you can see from both pictures that by sticking the heel out like that, the runner actually creates a slight braking action with each step. Some people believe that the force of the heel strike also causes injuries.

Part 2 will show the right way to do it.

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