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Know Your Running Form - Cadence

This week we're talking more about running form, specifically cadence.

What is Cadence? Cadence is the amount of time your foot strikes in the ground in a minute.

Why does Cadence Matter? A lower cadence (less steps per minute) has been associated with higher forces being placed on the body, which can lead to injuries or loss of performance.

Small changes in cadence from 5-10% have been shown to reduce forces that may improve performance or decrease risk of injury.

Who might benefit from changing their cadence? There is no ideal cadence. If you have had injuries like shin splints, Achilles Tendinopathy, Stress Fractures, knee pain, or IT Band syndrome and have a low cadence, you may benefit from changing your cadence. At Omega Project, we determine this using 3D gait analysis. In addition to cadence retraining, there may be other cues that would benefit you more than changing your cadence. However, cadence retraining is a relatively low risk change to try.

How do I measure my cadence? Count the number of times your foot hits the ground in 1 minute (it's easier to count just the left or just the right) and then multiply that by 2. You should expect a number between 150-180.

How do I change my cadence? You will want to increase your cadence between 5-10%. Multiple your current cadence by .05-.1 and add that to your current number. You can set a metronome to this number or have Spotify play songs that matches the beat. Garmin watches also have a vibrating metronome to help you set your cadence. The goal is to maintain the same speed while you increase your cadence.

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