How To Improve Your Run Cadence | Triathlon Running Tips
58 Comments


– Run cadence, one of the
most talked-about areas of technique in running. – So, what’s the deal with it,
and why is it so important? (relaxed music) – Let’s take a look at Mark running here. He’s running at 160 strides per minute at his comfortable, steady running pace, and you can see that he’s ever
so slightly over-striding, putting his heel out in front, and this is sending quite a lot of impact through his extended knee. Now, there’s been a lot
of research into the optimum running cadence. The magic number is considered to be 180 strides a minute, and that’s the average
among the elite runners. That means that each foot
must touch the ground 90 times per minute. Rather than increase Mark’s cadence to 180 strides per minute straightaway, we’re just going to up it by 5 to 10%. So, here he is, running at 170. His foot still lands in the same way, but now he’s not extending
his leg out so much, so there’s less impact
going through his knee. If you think about it, the more steps you take per minute, the less time you spend in the air, meaning a softer impact on landing. This looks far more
efficient, and comfortable. (relaxed music) – It’s pretty hard to count every stride to calculate your strides per minute, so to make things a little bit easier, you can count either your
left or your right foot, how many times it strikes, double it, and that is your cadence. Or, if you have a fancy watch like me, you may be able to set one of the screens to show your live cadence. Now, mine is currently displaying
my cadence for one foot. So all I have to do is double that to get my strides per minute, then after this run I can sit down and analyse all the data. I can see my average cadence, and even how my cadence
changes for different speeds. (relaxed music) – Also, matching your running cadence to the cadence of the
bike can help minimise that jelly-leg feeling
coming out of transition. So, if you’re cycling at
90 revolutions per minute, and you start running at
180 strides per minute, that should equal the same turnover speed. (relaxed music) – Now, there’s more to it than
just moving your feet faster. You’re actually changing the positioning of where your feet land. They should land almost underneath you underneath your centre of gravity. This naturally decreases
your stride length and increases your turnover. (relaxed music) – So, here are just a couple of tricks to help you improve your run cadence. Doing some short sprints downhill will force you to
improve your run cadence. These are a good exercise to put in at the end of your run. Accelerate into your
sprints over 150-200 metres. (energetic music) Position yourself ready to run, but you’re gonna run on the spot, as fast as you can, getting
your knees up to 90 degrees, and the idea is to run as fast as possible with your feet touching the
ground as quickly as you can. You’re gonna do this for
about 20 seconds, rest, and then go again. (relaxed music) If running has been your
weak link in triathlon, working on your cadence can help you see a significant improvement
on your running speed in a really short space of time. So if you want to see more videos from GTN don’t forget to click on
the globe to subscribe. – And to see a running skills video just click up here. And to see a cycling how-to video just click down here.

58 thoughts on “How To Improve Your Run Cadence | Triathlon Running Tips

  1. I'd have guessed that cadence was connected to height (leg length). Does the research show that it is not height dependent?

  2. Is that an Assos logo at 1:17?
    Triathletes wearing cycling socks even while running, are you trying to break GCN's stereotypes?

  3. The point about steady incremental adjustments is key in my opinion. My natural cadence on bike is 88-90, but running is low at 160-165. I tried to bump the running cadence up to 180 and was gasping for air with a maxed HR after about 2 miles. Definitely something I want to work on, but a longer term goal for me.

  4. Great video ! Finally seeing this stuff becoming mainstream. I had to change a lot in my running style …well everything actually … and increasing my cadence was one of the biggest factors in the whole process. Shortly after making this change I actually knocked 4 minutes of my 10k time (44min -> 40min) !

  5. Could you do a video on how to sea swim during a race e.g against/ across waves, breathing, stroke, negotiating bouys and a running start from the beach. I've got a race coming up. Thanks.

  6. I find running to music is the easiest way to improve my cadence. Pick a song with whatever bpm you want to match your cadence to and off you go. I find 180 quite awkward for me, I assume its to do with my unusually long legs, but 170 is great for me, making Ed Sheeran's 'The A Team' one of my running favorites, despite very rarely listening to it any other time 🙂

  7. I read about running candece, says: if You are a bigger person your cadence decrease a little… But how much? I AM 191cm

  8. In the Berlin Marathon 2 days ago i noticed, that the African elite runners had notably lower cadences than the Japanese elites, even though the africans being slightly faster. Doesn't that interfere with your statement, because all the elites have a forefoot strike.

  9. Instead of counting tour strides per min just find a song that has 90bpm or 180bpm (lose yourself by Eminem or demons by imagine dragons are close enough) and just run in time with it… Much easier and you tend to do it naturally.

  10. I saw this video today and went out for a 5k run to try out a higher, 180 spm, cadence. I broke my best 5k's pace by 14 secs; from 5:00/km to 4:46/km. Best part is how rested I actually felt after finishing the race. I so much appreciate this video and have already shared it and will continue sharing between my friends who are also beginners. Keep up the good work with the running videos.

  11. Small steps to the Big Victory! The way to go! Thanks for sharing the knowledge.
    Reducing the time of the ground contact is one of the keys. But since I resumed running for cross-training purpose, I hope not decorating my self with another smartwatch just to measure that contact time – will stick to the natural feeling.

  12. Hi guys! Loving your content – cool to have another Global ' ' Network. extra cool to feature running, swimming and cycling. Quick #torqueback ?? How to train for a marathon. Maybe just an outline/framework?

  13. Best option for keeping up with the cadence is… Spotify. You can choose "Running" category in Browse folder and there you can choose the cadence you want.

  14. Careful about "improving your cadence". I did, and shortened my stride so much that the net effect was slowing down…

  15. If he's running at 160spm and you increase it by 10% that's 176spm. Don't know about you but I'd say that was pretty much 180.

  16. A good way to aim for a 180 cadence is by counting three foot strikes per second, in a continuous loop of six, left-right-left, and then right-left-right.

  17. What happens if your cadence is 190-200? All well and good tips for increasing but should we be concerned about decreasing from these numbers?

  18. Where do you offer advice on how to increase your cadence?  This video should be called "How to count your cadence" or "What is cadence".  I suppose just having awareness of your cadence can help you increase it, but the video title is still very misleading.

  19. There is no need to deal with cadence. Cadence and stride length are a result of the speed you choose to run. Let your body dictate the correlation between cadence and stride length. The faster you run, your cadence and stride length increase. The slower you run it decreases. Elites have 180 plus cadence because they run at speeds of above 20 km/h. They also have 2m stride. When they jog they don't have 180 cadence. So don't shorten your stride to get a higher cadence, just run. There is a big misconception about cadence.

  20. im always puzzled by this topic of ideal cadence. imo cadence is a product of your speed. if u want to go faster you turn your legs over faster. the ideal cadence of 180 doesnt seem to apply to the averge runner as the ideal cadence is taken from elite runners running alot faster than average runner. at their (elites) pace, of course their cadence is going to be high. i think a better approach might be to run at a cadence that comes naturally to your speed/pace.

  21. I love this channel, keep up the good work and try this to improve your Run Cadence 🙂  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1sJoCYeomE

  22. I am runner and i want to switch to triathlons because it is boring for me to just run laps at the track.
    I was racing middle/long distance on track a lot and coach was saying to me that it is better to do longer strides because you cover more ground at the rack when you have spikes. But when i see all triatlonist running they have shorter strides with higer cadence. Is i because they cycled already?And do you think its better to workout on track or strava because i am a lot slower on strava without spikes 🙁

  23. I must be completely weird, but my preferred bike cadence is between 90-100 (short cranks) and my run cadence is around 160 if I'm not training on the bike (long legs). Once I add in bike workouts to my schedule, my run cadence naturally improves. I tend to run faster off the bike than I do in a running race of the same distance. It's like magic! I've actually considered bringing a bike to warm up on in my running races…

  24. Spent the weekend trying to consistently maintain a 170+ cadence and I've seen nearly minute off my mile pace at the same perceived exertion. So that's awesome. Thank you for all the awesome content!

  25. Nobody mentions stride length, like it's a bad thing that has to be reduced at all costs. Yet speed (metres/min) = cadence (strides/min) x stride length (metres). Elite runners need a good long stride as well as a fast cadence. In the Great North Run 2018 in which he was the winner, Mo Farah had a cadence of about 180 (counted previously on videos) and a pace of about 4:30 per mile or 2:47/km = 358 metres/min. His stride length was therefore about 358/180 = 1.99 metres. He lands mid to forefoot, a little ahead of his centre of gravity, but directly under his flexed knee. His heel touches the ground momentarily after the forefoot and before the push-off. There is no braking going on. It's perfect form to me. Anyone can get 180 strides/min but only the best can get nearly 2 metre strides!

  26. I just would like to contribute to the cadence topic from my own experience using the Stryd foot pod which provides power, pace and running efficiency data (maybe not 100% accurate but consistent).During my current marathon training, I often run in recompensation pace of 5:40 min/km (ways slower than my target race pace). I have experimented. I use these slow runs to experiment with cadence and other running style elements (arm positions, body posture, cadence, …). Using the Stry pod I found out that cadence makes a substantial difference: with a cadence of of 171, power is 238 watts, with a cadence of 189, power is 230 watts (the latter cadence feels strange to sustain at a height of 6 feet 20 inches but is seems to work). 190 SPM is a cadence I have in 10k and half marathon races. I would not be surprised if elite runners (beyond triathlon) have even higher cadences unless a wide stride becomes more important at very fast speeds.

  27. On my slow days my cadence usually sits at around 160 and on my tempo days it naturally bumps up to 180. Should I make a conscious effort to try and bump my cadence up on my slow days?

  28. Cadence is absolutely a critical factor in running efficiency. I've just checked my Garmin history from when I first started running a year or so ago, and there's a very strong correlation between cadence and race performance. Every time I've set a parkrun PB, my cadence has been around 175. If it drops down to 165 then my performance will typically reduce by at least 3-4%. This has nothing to do with absolute pace because the correlation is throughout my history when I was first running 5k in 30 minutes to my present time of under 23 minutes. Small increases in cadence will lead to a significant improvement in performance regardless of the standard that you are running. The science behind it is not really to do with the cadence per se, rather the point at which your foot lands under your body when the cadence increases. An increase in cadence will inevitably result in you foot landing closer to your centre of gravity (and less ground contact time), and conversely a reduction in cadence will result in your foot landing ahead of your body (and contacting th ground for longer). When this happens, you effectively apply the brakes on every landing. Think of your leg as a lever that must swing through an arc (the pivot point being your foot) – if your leg lands in a straight line in front of your body, then in order to bring your body in front of your foot inevitably means that your body must be lifted vertically as it describes the arc. Consequently, much of the energy that you are expending is wasted in lifting your weight rather than propelling you forward. Go to any track and compare the elite runners against the 'hobby' runners – the elites run extremely 'flat' with very little vertical oscillation. An elite runner could run on a treadmill with his/her head 1 inch from the ceiling without hitting it. I think the ability to run like this is genetically programmed and it's very difficult to consciously adjust your running form. There's just something about how elite runners pick their legs off the ground and manage to quickly bring them forward to the next step that sets them apart from lesser runners. My 12 year old son is a promising runner, and you can even see the difference in the kids at this young age. It takes slow-motion footage to spot the differences in running form, but very subtle differences exist between the leaders and the back-markers. From what I have observed and analysed, the foot contact point in relation to the centre of gravity is the strongest indicator of performance. Anything that you can do to improve your form will make a difference, and cadence is the one that is the easiest to adjust. Get the cadence right, and at least some of the rest will follow.

  29. Your cadence should be the same no matter what speed you run at. A correct lean will increase your cadence and flexible hips.

  30. What abut running a slower pace? Say around 7-8 min/km. Do you still really have to run at 180 cadence/min? In my short tempo run around 5-5:30 min/km, 180 seems natural, but at slower pace, it feels weird.

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