Drills to increase Cadence?

by Tom
(Arlington Heights, IL USA)

Everywhere I've read mentions that the "ideal" stride rate for a runner is between 180 and 190 steps per minute. Also, I've had coaches and friends tell me my stride is too long, and that I bounce too much. I've read that a too long stride rate can contribute to bouncing too much.


When I count my stride rate, I'm pretty much locked in at 160 per minute. I'm 44 and have been running since the age of 16. During a 1/2 Marathon race last weekend, I counted my cadence a few times during the race and it was between 160 and 164 each time. Even doing interval work I've counted my cadence and I can't get above this 160-164 barrier.

Can you recommend any drills to help increase my stride rate?

Thanks much,

Tom


Answer by Dominique:


Hi Tom,
Thanks for your running training question about increasing stride rate. Great picture again of you and your son!

You are right, the usual number quoted is 180 - 190 steps per minute. Elite runners will have that stride rate. Us mere mortals usually have a lower stride rate.

Changing your stride rate is pretty tough, because you will need to change your natural way of moving. And you have been running in a certain way for the past 30 years, probably your whole life, so you need to understand that it will take a few frustrating months or even more to develop a faster stride rate.

A good exercise to increase your stride rate is to do quick short strides after each run. You could make them bursts of about 30 metre each in which you take very quick steps. Try to lift your knees up high and make those legs move as fast as you can. Repeat at least ten times in a session.

Another exercise is to run with a metronome. I used one when I was playing the guitar in a former life. I had to practice a piece with another guy. We studied separate from eachother most of the time, but we each used a metronome which dictated how fast we should play to make sure we were studying it at the same pace.

So run with the metronome and set it to 180 bpm and then try to keep up with it. This can be fairly frustrating and exhausting in the beginning. What can be easier is to not start with 180 bpm but say 166 bpm. Once you have done that a number of training sessions and you are getting used to that, go to 170 bpm, etc.
You can pick one up at your local music store at about $15 - $25.

I have to warn you: this type of training can be rewarding, but also extremely frustrating. It will take a decent period for you to adjust your stride rate.

Also see this page about running cadence.


Best of luck.
Kind regards,
Dominique

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Training Helpline.



Like this page:


Share this page:


Like this site:


[?] Subscribe To This Site

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!

Helpful
Resources

  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!




What's New?

  1. Pyramid Training - What's the Deal?

    Could you please explain pyramid training for different zones? I have seen it in running programs before and I actually didn't understand the method described

    Read more

  2. Best Tips to Start Running - Six Beginner Running Tips That Will Help You Get Started With Running

    Want to start running but wonder how? Check out these six best tips to start running and get off with a running start!

    Read more

  3. Running in the Morning and Bike in the Afternoon

    I am currently trying to work-up to running a 5k but also lose weight. I run 3 times a week and bike 3 times a week. I want to increase that so I do

    Read more

  4. Improve Running When Over 50 Years Old

    Hello, My name is Roger age 56, I have been running for over 25 years and before this I played local footbal Saturday and Sundays in the season. 20

    Read more

  5. How Many Kilometers Can I Run With My Running Shoes?

    Hello, there is one question I'd like to know. I run three to four times a week and my actual shoes are Nike Vomero which I really like. Is there any

    Read more