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Running: Cadence

Are you thinking of embarking on your first 10km/half marathon, or want to improve your running biomechanics? One of the most important factors to improve your running form and prevent injuries is to gain optimal cadence.

Joggers/runners tend to overstride and run with a slow cadence. It is generally accepted that 180 strides per minute is optimal cadence. This for the weekend jogger can be difficult to obtain. However, even modest increases in cadence will reduce lower limb shock loading and improve your running efficiency.

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There are numerous ways of increasing your cadence including downloading metronome apps to use on your smartphone. However, if you enjoy running in peaceful solitude, one of the simplest techniques is to actively “chunk” when you run. This requires short periods of repeated concentrated movement correction. On your next run, once you have warmed up and have a relatively flat period of terrain ahead of you. Start the process by slightly increasing your step rate, without increasing your stride length and speed for 50m (one power pole).  This is followed with 200m (four power poles) of returning to your normal cadence. Initially repeat this cycle every second km 2-3 times depending on how far you usually run. As you gain confidence, start increasing the distance you increase your step rate for. For example, try 100m. Your running cadence will gradually increase the more you repeat these intervals.

Running is so much more fun when you are not getting those niggly injuries and are able to get to the start line.

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