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What is Cadence?

By Sydney West Sports Medicine Physiotherapist, Kaitlyn Castillo


One of the most common terms you will hear when talking about running technique is cadence. What is it? And does it really matter?

Cadence is the number of steps that you take in 60 seconds.  A simple way to measure this is to count how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30 seconds and then multiply this number by 4.  For those who have them, many running watches already have cadence features build into them.

Generally speaking, a higher cadence is can better as it will often improve your running technique by stopping you from over striding.  This means that you are applying less braking force to the ground and may reduce your risk of injury.  A higher cadence and shorter step can mean less force through your joints.

It is important to remember that cadence may vary with the type of running or training that you are doing and between individuals.  There is no perfect cadence and it is all about finding the right range for you.

Improving your running technique can be a really helpful way to reduce your times.  Sydney West Sports Medicine Physiotherapy Kaitlyn Castillo works closely with runners in Western Sydney and providing comprehensive assessment and treatment plans.  If you are interested in finding out more, give us a call on 9851 5959.