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By Grant Hennington

Doctor of Physical Therapy, RRCA Certified Running Coach, BikePT Certified Bike Fitter

Mon Sep 02, 2019

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have many road and trail running races scheduled in the summer and fall months, as the rainy season subsides for blue skies. No matter if you are planning on running a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, or even ultra marathon, you may want to consider evaluating your running cadence before starting your training program. Running cadence is a measure of the number of steps you take per minute while running, with an ideal rate falling between 160 and 180 steps per minute. Not only has this range been linked with improved running efficiency/economy, but it has also been linked with a reduced rate of injury. To measure, simply count the number of steps you take while running at your training pace for one minute, or count the number of steps you take while running at your training pace for 30 seconds and multiply by two. If you are on the low end of the range or fall below 160 steps per minute, you may be over-striding, putting yourself at an increased risk of developing a nagging overuse injury, such as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, which will negatively impact your training. Try measuring it for yourself during your next training run and see where you stack up!

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