Runners feel about cadence the way I imagine drunk people feel about traffic laws. They know they’re there and must be followed – but who cares? (Let’s just be thankful that our carefree ignorance of cadence, unlike drunk driving, is not dangerous — oh, and illegal!)
The good news is, the November issue of Runner’s World has a very handy guide on cadence: how to determine yours for different race distances and how to optimize it.
Cadence, need I remind you, is the number of steps you take per minute as you run. All research so far points to 180 being the optimal number, though keep in mind that this is based on runners’ performance at the 1984 Olympics, as the article says. So you’ve got two factors there that are highly impossible for us, mortals, to replicate:
- making it to the Olympics;
- running as fast as those guys who actually do.
Regardless, the story got me curious about my own number. I decided to take one for the team and do a treadmill run so I can most accurately count my steps for several specific speeds.
Sigh. I hate treadmills. Running on one feels exactly like this:
I mean, why bother? I’m not really going anywhere. I dreaded that run all day. Read more