Cadence vs. Stride Length: What's the Best for Runners?
The sun is out, the days are longer, and more of us are taking to the streets, parks, and countryside for our runs. I'm no expert, but I've logged my fair share of miles over the years. I've also experienced several long-distance events, which has given me the opportunity to experiment with different running styles and find what works best for me.
In this short blog, I'll discuss two running techniques that can help you improve your form and efficiency.
When it comes to running, there are two main factors that determine your speed: cadence and stride length.
Short, quick strides. When you run, your strides should be short and quick. This will help you avoid overstriding, which can lead to injuries.
A high cadence. Your cadence is the number of times your feet hit the ground per minute. A good cadence for runners is 80-100 steps per minute.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which is better for runners. Some runners find that they are more efficient with a higher cadence, while others prefer to take longer strides. Ultimately, the best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment and see what feels most comfortable.
A higher cadence is generally considered to be more efficient for running. This is because it allows you to take shorter, quicker steps, which puts less stress on your joints and muscles. A higher cadence can also help you to maintain a more consistent pace, which can be helpful for long runs.
A longer stride length can help you to run faster, but it can also put more stress on your joints and muscles. If you are new to running, it is best to focus on developing a smooth, efficient running gait with a moderate stride length. As you become more experienced, you can gradually increase your stride length.
How to Improve Your Cadence
If you want to improve your cadence, there are a few things you can do. First, try to focus on taking shorter, quicker steps. You can also try running with a metronome or a group of other runners. The sound of the metronome or the other runners' footsteps can help you to keep a steady pace.
How to Improve Your Stride Length
If you want to improve your stride length, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that you are running with good posture. Your back should be straight, and your shoulders should be relaxed. You should also make sure that you are landing on your midfoot or forefoot. This will help you to generate more power and drive your body forward.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that runners who adopted a forefoot strike had a lower risk of injury than those who overstriding. The study found that forefoot strikers had less stress on their knees and hips, and they were also less likely to experience shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
Another study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that runners who improved their running form by shortening their stride and increasing their cadence were able to run faster and longer without getting injured. The study found that these runners were also able to burn more calories and improve their cardiovascular health.
A third study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that runners who adopted a barefoot running style had a lower risk of injury than those who wore traditional running shoes. The study found that barefoot runners were able to run more efficiently and with less stress on their joints.
These studies suggest that there are a number of benefits to adopting a more efficient running style. By shortening your stride, increasing your cadence, and landing on your forefoot or midfoot, you can reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance.
It is important to note that these studies are just a few examples of the research that has been conducted on running styles. There is still much that we do not know about the best way to run, and it is important to find what works best for you. If you are experiencing pain or injuries, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor or physical therapist. You can book yourself a Sports Massage here
Both cadence and stride length are important factors for runners. The best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment and see what feels most comfortable. If you are new to running, it is best to focus on developing a smooth, efficient running gait with a moderate stride length. As you become more experienced, you can gradually increase your stride length.
Here are some additional tips for improving your running cadence and stride length:
Run with a metronome.
Run with a group of other runners.
Listen to your body.