Cadence

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TheBrolympus
TheBrolympus Posts: 586 Member
So how many of you actually run with a cadence around 180-190 spm?

I have read about and understand the benefits of running with a higher cadence. So I have been working on getting my cadence up. However, I am 6'2" with long legs and it feels like I am tiny baby steps when I am running right at 180 spm. Does it become more comfortable as you get used to it or will it always feel weird?

My wife (who is 5 foot tall) was laughing her *kitten* off at me last night as I was running on the treadmill. She kept saying "So, that is what I look like when I run".

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  • scott091501
    scott091501 Posts: 1,260 Member
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    Unless your cadence is abnormally slow I'm not a huge fan of messing with it too much. If you run with correct form than your cadence should take care of itself.
  • camrunner
    camrunner Posts: 363
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    I'm also 6'2''-ish. What feels good to me is about 150 or 160. I played around with it on a treadmill and the only way I felt comfortable at 180 was when I was running 8.5 mph or faster.
  • thebiggreenmachine
    thebiggreenmachine Posts: 66 Member
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    Unless your cadence is abnormally slow I'm not a huge fan of messing with it too much. If you run with correct form than your cadence should take care of itself.

    Exactly^^

    Don't worry about your cadence, it's not important. You body will determine what the proper cadence is. According to my Garmin, my cadence for my normal training run is around 170ish but when racing it gets into the mid 190's. I tried messing around with it for a few weeks just to see what would happen and while I increased it about 5%, my training runs got noticeably slower.
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
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    If you have decided to adopt the "Chi Running" method then you should worry about cadence, otherwise I wouldn't worry.
  • scottb81
    scottb81 Posts: 2,538 Member
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    I worked on mine 2 years ago. At 6'0" it is 170 to 176 when running easy (depending on how tired I am and how closely I pay attention to it). When running tempo pace or faster it is around 180 to 184 and when sprinting it is above 200.

    Getting it up to 180 on easy runs makes my heart rate increase so I just try to run comfortably without letting the cadence drop too much.
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
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    I believe they do say that increasing your cadence decreases your stride somewhat, which can be helpful for preventing injuries. That said, I am a bounder and I have never tried to change my normal cadence. In fact, I think when I go faster I just push harder and have bigger strides.
    Yeah, I am no help.
  • natalie412
    natalie412 Posts: 1,039 Member
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    I have been able to increase mine from the 150s to the 170s or so. For me it has helped a little with my plantar fasciitis, and it helped me get to a faster overall pace with less perceived effort and a lower HR. Running in 0 drop shoes has helped me increase my cadence too. I think. A long easy run, I tend to have a 168 cadence, and faster runs, 174 or higher. Still working on it!
  • ATT949
    ATT949 Posts: 1,245 Member
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    So how many of you actually run with a cadence around 180-190 spm?

    I have read about and understand the benefits of running with a higher cadence. So I have been working on getting my cadence up. However, I am 6'2" with long legs and it feels like I am tiny baby steps when I am running right at 180 spm. Does it become more comfortable as you get used to it or will it always feel weird?

    My wife (who is 5 foot tall) was laughing her *kitten* off at me last night as I was running on the treadmill. She kept saying "So, that is what I look like when I run".

    I do.

    "180 per minute" (unlike 8 glasses of water per day) actually has real value.

    About a month ago I made a conscious decision to increase my turnover and I've dropped at least 10 BPM at the same pace. Really, it's made that much of a difference.

    It's not just about turnover, though.

    The original 180 per minute was reported by an author named Jack Daniels in his book "Daniels' Running Formula". He and his wife were observing the 1984 Olympics and they noted that all of the medium and long distance runners were turning over that fast.

    Fast forward to the internet age and all of the sudden "You should be doing at least 180 SPM!".

    Bunk.

    We vary our SPM and stride length due to a variety of factors including desired speed, incline, fatigue, and footing. I've seen footage of runners who vary their stride length and turnover to engage different muscles for the finishing kick. And I even found a site that will plot a chart of your estimated stride length at various speeds. Very cool stuff and it allowed me to feel comfortable that I was doing fine turning over 160 and 164 on easy runs.

    And then I decided to change my stride length and none of the justification mattered. What I saw was that my HR plummeted when I increased my SPM.

    As you're experiencing, if you increase your SPM and use the same gait it feels and looks strange but upping SPM is not the desired goal.

    The reason that folks push 180/minute is to force runners to take shorter steps so that their foot lands closer to the center of gravity//closer to being under the body.

    When I started running two years ago, I was a forefoot striker and I've had to force myself to land further back on my foot. For the past few weeks when I've turned up the SPM, I'm taking very short steps and, until I figured out what was going on, I actually was wondering if my heart rate monitor was malfunctioning.

    My suggestion:
    1 - get rid of the shoes with a big fat sole and tall heel. Take your time with the transition, though. If you're a typical American, you've been wearing shoes all of your life and you've been wearing big fat sneakers for a long time so going to or toward a "zero drop" shoe will take some time.

    2 - speed up your cadence. Add 5% to 10% and see how it feels (you're doing this already).

    3 - shorten your stride length so that your foot lands flat as close to "under your body" as possible (you cannot get your feet directly under your CG without falling on your face…)

    4 - change you gait so that your leg is bent when it makes contact with the ground. Never, never, ever have your leg extended, straight, and "locked" when your foot is about to strike. This was a huge "aha" moment for me - I saw a picture of Ryan Hall running and, during a freeze frame, that's what hit me. I've seen lots of footage of runners but when I saw that, it changed my running entirely.

    5 - land so that the entire sole of your foot strikes the ground at the same time. Many sites recommend that the ball of your foot should strike and then allow your heel to touch before you push off but, based on my reading including Noakes, Hutchison, Danny Arbshire (the owner of Newton Running) as well as advice from a running coach, I've been landing almost flat foot for about a month and it feels great.
  • TheBrolympus
    TheBrolympus Posts: 586 Member
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    Thanks everyone for the info!!!

    It helps me so much to hear from real people.
  • ATT949
    ATT949 Posts: 1,245 Member
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