Tips for Cueing Cadence
Cadence, or step rate, is the number of steps per minute taken by a runner. While not everyone needs to change their cadence, increasing cadence can be a powerful tool to decrease forces on the body and to improve efficiency.
A healthcare professional or coach may recommend that a runner try changing their cadence to help with managing an injury and/or improving efficiency.
Here are 3 strategies to help runners maintain a specific cadence!
1. Use your running watch
Most running watches will measure cadence. (You might have to play around with your display settings so that it shows up.) Some watches will even allow you to set an alarm if your cadence goes out of a specific range!
If you’re going to use your watch for cueing cadence, make sure to take a peek at it during your run. If you wait until the end of the run to look at it, it may not be accurate if you walk during your training.
2. Listen to a metronome app
Some runners really like to have audio cueing, especially when they're in the “learning phase”. There are lots of free metronome apps you can download onto your phone. Set your cadence and take a step with each beat!
3. Try playlists with a specific bpm
This can be a more interesting (but less accurate) way to get audio cueing! Try searching for “running playlist [cadence] bpm”. All the songs in that playlist should have a beat around the step rate that you’re looking for. So run on the beat while you listen to your favorite songs.
- Changing cadence is like learning a new skill. Just like with learning any other new skill, it may seem hard at first - but after a few weeks of practice it does get easier and should feel more natural.
- As we wrote it recently, running with a high cadence is useful, safe and effective for runners who want to reduce the load on their joints.
- This post is for educational purposes only and is not meant to be medical advice. If you’re injured or wondering whether changing cadence is right for you, please seek consultation from a healthcare professional – ideally one that is comfortable assessing and treating runners.