What is cadence? Running statistics explained.

May 10, 2016

Cadence is simply a measurement of how often your feet touch the ground while running. If you have a cadence of 180 that means you are striking the pavement 180 times each minute.

Runners pay special attention to cadence because it is one of the primary indicators on how efficient they are running. Efficient running is important because it directly translates to better times and less injuries.

What is a good cadence?

If you are looking to improve your cadence, shoot for 180. Elite runners have a cadence of around 180-184.

One thing I found interesting is that cadence should remain the same for all distances. So if you are running a mile or a marathon then elite runners shoot for that 180 range for the entire distance.

Mine has been around 169 – 173 on my last few runs. Granted, I am only currently running a mile. Either way I was surprised that it was that high.

How I track my cadence

I track my cadence using my Garmin 225 watch. As you step your body jars as your foot impacts and meets the road. The watch uses that movement to measure your steps. The Garmin tracks cadence fairly well using its internal accelerometer. I found an article where someone used five different devices to measure his cadence. Afterwards he setup a chart so you can see which devices were more accurate for tracking cadence.

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