A higher running cadence can help your feet hit the ground closer to mid-foot. This can reduce some slow-down caused by heel strikes. It can also reduce stress on your knees, hips, lower-back and skeletal system in general. I’ve been focusing on some running cadence training with two goals in mind:
- Training for a closer-to-mid-foot strike
- Adding cadence variety to my runs. Running parts of your run at low cadence and then other parts at high can have the effect of increasing coordination, speed and strength.
Training With Faster BPM Music
For the first goal of training for a mid-foot strike, I find that higher cadence helps massively. I lean slightly forward when running. This forces my foot turnover to increase to keep my balance. This leading of my body feels like it really gets my feet ‘rolling’ underneath me.
At the same time I try to prevent myself from overstriding.
It’s very easy to forget about all of this while running, so I find that listening to music (on my aeropex aftershokz) at a high BPM of around 180 helps me keep my cadence up.
Here are two great 180 BPM music playlists that you can use if you’re using either Amazon Music or Spotify:
Cadence Variety Training
Adding variety to your runs can help increase your coordination, strength, and even speed by forcing your body to react and adapt to changing stimuli. Don’t aim for a high cadence just to get speed. Remember your speed is going to come down to your cadence and stride length.
By increasing your strength, endurance and reducing the chance of injury, you’ll be better equipped to maintain a higher cadence which should result in overall faster running.
A technique I’ve started using is to run my usual ‘normal feeling’ cadence, and then kick it up into a faster cadence by switching playlists for a bit.
Using these techniques, I am seeing small improvements to my average pace over time. The hope is that with running cadence training I can imprint better techniques, getting them to become second nature. This should have the overall effect of faster, more efficient running over the longer term.