I still can

Sorry for the bad photo, let’s just say I tried to match the quality of the photo with the quality of today’s sunrise: no evidence of it!


As mentioned yesterday, I am working (still) on increasing my cadence. Gareth had spotted a pattern on one of my runs and that was that it goes down over the course of time. I’ve looked at past runs and that is indeed a pattern … same today:


My theory as to why that happens is: To run with a high cadence I still need to focus and concentrate. This drifts off towards the end of the run. My first goal now is to get one of my runs done at an average cadence of over 170. This will probably take me quite a while, but maybe I can use autumn and winter to work on this.

9 Replies to “I still can”

  1. I never had much luck increasing my cadence until I increased my speed. I know you can shorten your stride when you are running slowly to squeeze in 180 spm or more, but I’m not sure it’s necessary or if it really improves your mechanics or run economy. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that. I’ve noticed that when Kenyan runners are running slowly or jogging during recovery they are not anywhere near 180 spm. Some of them, when they are running flat out are way over 180. There’s a great video on YouTube of Moses Mosop running at the Rotterdam Marathon and I believe his cadence is recorded at 192. My cadence goes up dramatically when I increase my pace, if it didn’t I’d have to make a significant increase to my stride length in order to reach my top end. The last time I did speed work my cadence for the fast stuff averaged around 190 but when I’m doing LSD runs it’s usually around 168-170. Love your blog.


    1. Thanks! My cadence increases if I speed up as well. I’m quite torn to be honest … Some people I respect even say ‘don’t mess with biomechanics’.
      I want to try a higher cadence to see if it reduces the impact on my joints and it helps when running across rocks as they don’t shift then. Maybe all I need to do is wait until I get faster though …
      It can be quite confusing and I will try and keep figuring out what works for me. Yesterday I had a brief moment where it all clicked … I was running at 143 hr and 180 steps. I know because I thought ‘I am flying’ and checked the watch … Of course that broke the spell.


  2. I found the higher cadence at any speed helped reduce my re-occurrence of injuries. I seem to recover quicker from fast runs at higher cadence also! Stick at it, just remember not to over stride, shorten the stride up, landing the foot below your center of gravity (or slightly behind), keep smiling & just keep running!


      1. It never comes easy and I am still working on it, I did find that the higher cadence did want me to run a little quicker, but I focused on the shorter stride and found my pace settled and pace has increased over a long base! Last night my cadence was 176 with a length 1.18m (which is actually long), when I first started my stride length was around 1.0m. Stick at it and concentrate th whole run! Its funny my cadence now does the complete opposite to yours and increases as the run goes longer (but my stride gets shorter)!!!


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