Simple question. Do runners need to try to run 180 strides per minute?
I don’t know the answer. I do know that Jack Daniels did an informal data analysis at the Olympics one year and found that across athletes, events and gender everyone was running 180 strides per minute. Pretty interesting.
But then there is this evidence, from Alex Hutchinson of Sweat Science, that shows that strides per minute is a function of pace run. And for him and others (including Amby Burfoot) it is actually higher than 180 strides per second.
What got me thinking about this topic was an email from an adult runner who is also a triathlete and they used the word “cadences” just like a cyclist would. This person also highlighted that their lifetime 10k PR came after they switched to Newtons…though in my humble opinion those shoes are like any other tool – you have to use them as intended (Newton link). And to add balance to this article, New Balance has a great resource on running as well – check out this video and this site.
I’m working on trying to run 180 strides per minute myself, in part because I know Bart Sessa has had great success making this concept a cornerstone of his high school program. But the flip side is my friend Phil Wharton says I have a 1,500m stride and that makes me feel better when I’m trying desperately to get to 180 strides per minute. Perhaps 180 isn’t the right cadence when I’m running as slow as I am now…which is pretty slow.
Anyway, something to consider and what I am sure of is that one workout that would help with this is a multi-pace fartlek, on where you run three, four, even five different paces in a workout.