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How To Run Properly: What’s a Good Running Cadence For Me?

Correct running form is important to avoid injury and is simply defined as “maximizing running efficiency by working with gravity.” Cadence, the number of times per minute your feet touch the ground, is part of proper form. Cadence of 180 is considered ideal. If your cadence is wrong you will almost certainly have sore feet and legs, at the very least.

A recent analysis of Olympic trials showed that all runners had a cadence of over 180. Galen Rupp, Olympian and world record breaking runner, comes closest to that magical number with a cadence of 187.

A slower cadence means the runner is taking a longer stride and therefore is higher off the ground. If the runner is higher off the ground, when the foot comes down it hits the ground harder and when the foot hits the ground harder, the risk of injury is increased. A recent study of runners who decreased their stride length and increased their cadence by only 10 percent significantly decreased their risk of injury.

To measure your cadence, run for one minute at your usual pace and count the number of times your right foot hits the ground. Then multiply by two. Do this several times to be sure you correctly calculate your average. If your cadence is less than 180, your stride is too long. You should practice taking shorter strides to increase your cadence. If over 180, you are in good shape.

Getting Professional Treatment

It is always our express intent to recommend that you take no chances with foot pain, ankle or knee pain, or injuries. Professional treatment to relieve the pain is available from doctors such as Delray Beach’s Dr. Ian Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry, who has provided us with this blog. If the pain continues, a podiatrist with Dr. Goldbaum’s experience should be consulted. You must get proper treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Our Staff writers are freelance writers with higher education related to, or experience researching and writing for, medical blogs; with education or experience equal to under graduate and graduate degrees in the fields of medicine. photo credit: mhs72reunion via photo pin cc

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