Hi all,

I understand that one should aim for about 180 foot strikes per minute when running, but is this at all running speeds?  How are you supposed to speed up and slow down without changing the length of your stride or changing your cadence?  Thanks.

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well the length of stride will change with speed, but not cadence.

personally, i lean fwd a bit, pick my knees up a bit higher and while maintaining the same cadence, i'm going faster. i will also notice my legs will spend more time behind me, like 'heels to butt'.

an example: at 5mph, my foot steps in the snow are only 2-3 feet apart, at 7mph, my foot steps are 4-5 feet apart - both achieved with 23 right footfalls in 15seconds (or 180 strides per minute)

**in cycling i was always told to pick a cadence, speed of leg rotation, and adjust gears to account for load (speed or elevation changes)**.
Good post Terry...

So Mark your saying no matter what HR zone you may be training in your always hitting 23 footfalls in 15 secs...
yes, somewhat recently, my footfalls are the same cadence regardless of my speed or HR.

((note: at speeds approx walking or jogging it's not efficient to move feet so fast, your HR will be higher than it would be at a lower cadence,-- that's how my zone1 is. but after almost 2 mos of practicing this, i can keep that cadence at HRs ranging from zone2-max, and speeds 4mph-my max(which isn't that fast). )) my stride length and time in the air is my 'CVT' (continuously variable transmission).
Hi Terry - It takes patience, but high cadence should be independent of speed. The harder it is for you to run slow, with high cadence, the more you should work on it. Focus on it a little at a time so you do not get frustrated.
Hope no one minds me revisiting this topic, but, recently returning to running, I've been dealing with the same thing. I don't understand how to slow down when I'm maintaining a fast cadence. Seems like the only way to do it is to take baby steps -- so it becomes sort of like shuffling along. Is that right?
Also, I find that a fast cadence is especially hard when I first start running, like I haven't warmed up enough and am out of breath.
There is a video for proper form in the video section. I started there. Concentrate on one foot hitting the ground 23 times in 15 sec. As soon as your foot hits the ground drive the knee forward. Not shuffling, but not driving the knee as much as fast running. You can actually do this running in place. I had a hard time wrapping myself around the slow running but fast cadence. It takes time and conscience thought. Just ease up on the lean.
Should we practice high cadence in our WUs and CDs?

Hi Melinda,

I have been working with Eric's programs for about a year now, and no matter what heart rate or speed I run at, I still tend to keep to 21-23 right footfalls per 15 seconds, even in WUs and CDs.  What you have to do is shorten your stride to go slower, and lengthen it to go faster.  As Eric has said before, the hardest thing to do in the beginning is to run slowly at a regular cadence.  I found that the easiest way for that cadence to be engrained into my mind is to run without music, as unless you find music with that particular bpm (or footfalls per minute), you are going to be speeding up and slowing down to the music.  For some reason, no matter what I listen to now while running, I always keep the same cadence; but I spent 8 weeks without music to start with.




Good to know. I've been doing this but wondered if I was supposed to be.
I never listen to music when I run. I enjoy the peace and quiet. I have a foot pod to track cadence on my Garmin but lately I've been thinking about getting a clip-on metronome so I can stop checking my monitor obsessively! :)
yes, i have used a metronome a couple of times when trying to get my son into running with cadence, and it works quite well.  funny, but when i first started trying to running at slower heart rates in cadence, i kept thinking about this movie called "what about bob," and the psychiatrist's saying "take baby steps."  those short steps always reminded me of baby steps.

Theres always a question about cadence, i guess... 

I've transformed into natural running and now do all my runs at 180 per minute. I find it very easy to keep this cadence at slow and moderate speeds, but when I start running faster, like 4 min pr kilometer, i tend to increase the cadence to 190-210 per minute. 

This feels natural for me, but i guess this pushes my heartrate to the roof faster than if i'm keeping on 180? Should I work on always keeping it at 180 per minute, or is it ok to run at 190-210?

I have the same problem with increasing cadence at higher speeds. I'm pretty sure the objective is to keep cadence at 180 whatever the speed. So to get my cadence back down to 180, during sprints for example, I focus on straightening out my stance leg during push off, driving the knees forward and up, and globally spending more time in the air during each stride.  Focusing on form details at high speeds is a nice challenge !


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