To The Beat of Your Own Drum

A few weeks ago I went to a running clinic and cadence was something that was talked about, ALOT!!  Then today I read an article in runners world about “Chi Running” and this highly emphasized the importance of cadence while running as well.

This spurred me to do some research before reporting what I had read and heard.  Ideal cadence ranges are reported between 170-180 steps per minute when counting both feet (85-90 if only counting one).  The idea behind the importance of cadence is:

  • You will have less steps if you are over-striding
  • You will have more if you are under-striding

Both of these scenarios can be problematic as far as injuries go.  So the cadence itself isn’t really what you are concerned with, it is what the cadence indicates which is what your stride length is like.

How to use this:

  • For the first few runs, the Runner’s World article suggested using a metronome to count off your steps which I think is a great idea.  However, the author continued to use this for a long time (which would drive me nuts eventually)
  • After a few runs, return to whatever you were used to during running (musics, audiobook, etc) but every five minutes or so, block off 30 seconds to count your strides.  So if you count your left foot only, you want to be between 40-45 steps.
  • As you start to learn how it feels, maybe just start out your runs being conscious of the steps and counting them out for a minute and then continue along your run.




I have always been concerned with my stride because I’m so short, it was great to have a way to monitor what I am doing and what I should be doing rather than trying to measure out each stride (thats just nuts).

If you are in Charleston, come meet for the Lululemon run group on King Street at 6:00, I’ll be leading the five mile route and this is a three mile option as well!  Happy running all!!

3 thoughts on “To The Beat of Your Own Drum

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