180 spm & run faster

All the runners want to increase our race pace but however few are the ones who dedicate part of their training to optimize their race cadence.

The 180 ppm (steps per minute) are considered an ideal race-frequency pattern. Most runners have a cadence between 150 to 170, and only a few can reach 180 steps per minute

Professional racers do not usually lengthen the stride as we do the popular runners (stretched leg making contact with the ground with the heel), if not throwing the leg and pick it up just before the foot lands in the vertical near the center of Severity).

For a given race rate, if we increase the steps per minute will decrease the stride length and the support is shorter and closer to the optimum avoiding landing of heel. And the loss of efficiency that this implies.

The velocity of displacement depends however on several factors, such as stride amplitude and stride frequency.

To understand this relationship let’s put the following example with two different profiles of runners:

Corridor one. Bottom runner. Mean cadence of 180-190 ppm with a stride length of 1.00-1.20 meters

Corridor two. Speed Racer. Mean cadence of 230-240 ppm with a stride length of 2.00-2.50 meters.

As you can see at a higher speed it will be

The Stride amplitude

It is the distance that runs through the corridor in each stride. This in turn will depend on other factors such as the length of levers, the Felxibilidad, the force-power and our driving muscles and/or the race technique. Topics that we will address in the following post.

Race frequency

It’s the number of steps the runner takes per minute. This in turn will also depend on other factors such as the speed of transmission of nerve impulses, aspect that we can not train or improve and the speed of contraction of the muscle that depends on each runner but that if we can train and improve.

How to improve your career cadence

According to some studies, the magic number is 180. The experts have established this cadence as optimum by observing first level runners.

But this number is not worth all of us. We must find ours.

We must try to establish a reference cadence for each of our workouts or race rhythms.

The Cadence Reference 180 is a reference or starting point. I recommend using a metronome or timer for a few months until you learn to bring your optimum cadence in a intuittiva way. Eventually your body will be looking for your optimum cadence.

There are some clocks, metronomes and external devices that have the functionality of measuring cadence.

Our recommendation is to use a device that emits acoustic signals in vibrations to be able to configure it to emit the signal each a certain number of steps. When running you will have to step on the foot while the beep sounds or notes the vibration. The sound or vibration will enter our ears and our brain and our legs are automatically synchronized with it. This will help you to work on your target cadence as it is really easy to follow the pace of set step without having to watch the clock data

Here we propose some solutions.

Digital Metronome

Simple, economical but useful multifunctional digital metronome that among other things allows us to set the desired cadence by emitting a programmable beep.

More information

HIIT Timer

In our case, however we have done tests with a timer used in HIIT trainings. In spite of not being a device designed to work the cadence but to establish the duration of the series and repetitions in our circuits of work, we can also take advantage of this device so useful and versatile to work the cadence without needing Have more than one device.

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180 ppm?

In fact there is no ideal cadence for all runners since each one has a disntintas conditions.

It is normal that novice or untrained runners deplete the Traajar with cadences around 180 ppm achieving just the opposite of what we pretend is nothing other than minimizing energy expenditure. On the contrary, for an expert racer 180 ppm can be a short figure.

The terrain also influences

The cadence also varies depending on the terrain level. Thus, the Optima rate of 180 ppm could hardly be applied to mountain corridors where the conditions of the terrain are changing.

And then what is your optimum cadence?

You must experience and find your ideal cadence.

Bio2fit proposes a method to know your current cadence.

On the treadmill it starts to run at a smooth pace increasing periodically, for example every 1500 meters until you reach your training rhythms. At that time, count for 15 seconds your strides (including the strides given with both legs), multiply that number by four and the result will be your current cadence. You can also do this test on the track of athletics or outdoors in continuous race.

Now what?

Well, you know your usual cadence for a certain career rate, for example 173 ppm. Should I begin directly to work at cadences of 180 ppm?

No. Working the race at 180 ppm is just a medium, not an end in itself although a good starting point.

We must find that cadence that makes us more efficient in our careers. But how to do it?

Do not worry.

Program for the training of the cadence

Bio2fit has developed an eight-week program to start training your cadence. Download it for free by clicking on the link below.

Free download