What Is Considered A Good Running Cadence

When it comes to running, one of the most important factors to consider is your cadence. Cadence refers to the number of steps you take per minute while running. It is a crucial aspect of your running form and can have a significant impact on your overall performance and injury prevention.

As a runner myself, I have experienced firsthand the benefits of maintaining a good running cadence. In this article, I will delve into what is considered a good running cadence and how it can improve your running efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries.

What is Running Cadence?

Running cadence, often referred to as stride rate, is the number of steps you take per minute while running. It is typically measured in steps per minute (spm). Most beginner runners have a cadence of around 160-170 spm, while elite runners usually have a cadence of 180 spm or higher.

A higher cadence means taking more steps per minute, which can lead to shorter strides. Shorter strides can help reduce the impact on your joints and increase running efficiency. On the other hand, a lower cadence with longer strides can put more stress on your muscles and joints, making you more prone to injuries.

The Benefits of a Higher Cadence

Maintaining a higher cadence while running has several benefits that can greatly enhance your performance and overall running experience. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Improved Running Efficiency: A higher cadence allows you to maintain a faster pace without exerting excessive energy. It helps you take shorter, quicker strides, which in turn reduces the energy wasted on vertical displacement.
  2. Reduced Risk of Injuries: Running with a higher cadence can help minimize the impact on your joints and muscles. By taking shorter strides, you are less likely to overstride and put excessive stress on your knees and hips, which can lead to common running injuries like shin splints or runner’s knee.
  3. Better Running Form: A higher cadence promotes better running form by encouraging a slight forward lean and faster leg turnover. This can help you maintain a more upright posture and engage the correct muscle groups, leading to improved running mechanics.

How to Improve Your Cadence

If you find that your cadence is lower than desired, there are several strategies you can implement to improve it:

  1. Use a Metronome: A metronome is a device that produces an audible beat at a specified tempo. You can set the metronome to your desired cadence and match your foot strikes with the beat. This helps you develop a sense of rhythm and gradually increase your cadence.
  2. Focus on Quick, Light Steps: Concentrate on taking quick, light steps that barely touch the ground. Imagine running on hot coals or eggshells, which encourages a higher cadence and promotes a more efficient running stride.
  3. Gradual Progression: It’s important to gradually increase your cadence over time rather than trying to make a dramatic change all at once. Start by aiming for a cadence 5-10 strides per minute higher than your current baseline and gradually build up from there.
  4. Strength and Flexibility Training: Incorporating strength and flexibility exercises into your training routine can help improve your running efficiency and increase your cadence. Focus on exercises that target your lower body muscles, such as squats, lunges, and calf raises.


In conclusion, maintaining a good running cadence is essential for any runner looking to improve their performance and reduce the risk of injuries. A higher cadence can lead to improved running efficiency, reduced stress on the joints, and better running form. By implementing strategies to increase your cadence gradually, you can optimize your running experience and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.