Running Cadence: Everything in balance.
When it comes to running form, there are many different factors to consider. One of the most commonly discussed aspects is cadence, or the number of steps per minute. While cadence is an important factor to consider, it's important to remember that it's not the only thing that matters.
One important consideration when it comes to running form is foot strike. Foot strike refers to the part of the foot that makes contact with the ground first when running. There are three main types of foot strike: heel strike, midfoot strike, and forefoot strike.
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion around the idea of landing underneath our body mass when running. The theory is that by landing underneath our body, we can reduce the impact forces on our joints and improve our running efficiency. This is where the conversation about cadence often comes into play. When we run with a higher cadence, we tend to take shorter strides and land more underneath our body mass.
While it's true that a higher cadence can help us land underneath our body mass, it's not the sole factor to consider. In fact, some runners are naturally inclined to land more towards their forefoot or midfoot, even with a lower cadence. Additionally, factors such as running speed, terrain, and fatigue can all affect our foot strike and cadence.
So while it's likely advantageous to pay attention to our cadence and strive for a higher number of steps per minute, it's also important to consider our individual running form and what feels most natural and comfortable for us. Experimenting with different cadences and foot strikes can help us find the best form for our individual needs and goals.
Finally, the shoes we wear can have a significant impact on our biomechanics when running. Different shoes can affect our foot strike, stride length, and overall posture. For example, shoes with a lot of cushioning can encourage a heel strike, while minimalist shoes may encourage a midfoot or forefoot strike. Similarly, shoes with a high heel-to-toe drop can encourage a longer stride length, while shoes with a lower drop may encourage a shorter stride. It's important to choose shoes that are appropriate for our individual running style and goals, as well as for the terrain and distance we'll be running. Properly fitting shoes that support our feet's natural abilities can help improve our running form and enhance our overall performance.
In conclusion, running cadence is an important factor to consider when it comes to running form, but it's not the only thing that matters. By paying attention to our foot strike, experimenting with different cadences, and choosing the right shoes for the run, we can find the best form for our individual needs and goals.