How to find the optimal stride rate?
The ideal running cadence
The cadence cannot be too high. As an example: I started my marathons with a stride rate of 180. To keep the pace constant, I increased the stride rate to 210 strides per minute at the end, because I flew a little less far at each push-off due to fatigue. So the running speed depends on the flight phase and the step cadence. If you are really just “bouncing” in front of you during a run, you would have to try to take some more space-grasping steps again.
At stride frequencies below 160, you simply take steps that are too long. Of course, this is also somewhat dependent on the body size, but usually the momentum at such a low step rates act in such a way that overloads occur in the medium term. For understanding I always take the time of the pillar builders for comparison. The rich built their houses on a hundred pillars, the poor only on four. If a violent storm came, the houses of the poor were of course all gone. Running is similar: If I run my training distance with 10,000 steps, the strain on the musculoskeletal system is much less than if I cover the same distance with only 8,000 steps. You can increase your stride frequency by means of running drills and frequency exercises. Both should be regularly incorporated into your training.
Be careful when running with music
With regard to stride frequency, all those who like to listen to music while jogging must be careful. The reason: most songs are played at less than 160 bpm (beats per minute). Hip hop and rap usually have 60-110 bpm, house and disco music 120-135 bpm. so you might have the benefit of the music, but at the same time you usually take steps that are too long or you run with a step frequency that is too low if you run in sync with the beat.
Professionals, as already mentioned, increase the step frequency when they start to get tired. With the amateur athlete, the exact opposite usually happens. The more tired he gets, the longer his strides become. Probably because he thinks that with longer steps he will reach his goal faster. But the truth is: The longer the steps become, the faster you end up with an injury at the physiotherapist!
This Blog Article by Swiss marathon legend Viktor Röthlin was made available to us by Fit for Life. Fit for Life is the Swiss magazine for fitness, running and endurance sports. Would you like to read such articles regularly? Then Click here.