A few weeks ago, I went to a cool little running clinic at Stride Ahead Sports run by New Balance. Under the instruction of a fellow named Ryan Russell, myself and about twenty others learned about transitioning into minimalist running with shoes to try out and a workshop outside. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I went—I’m not actually planning to switch to minimalist just yet and I showed up straight from school wearing riding boots. However, it was a great experience, I got some pointers on how to fix my form, and thankfully we were able to test out the shoes outside. We weren’t pressured to buy, we were just encouraged to learn. I appreciated that.
The Shoes I tried from New Balance
Anyhow, the group went outside and did some exercises. I thought it was interesting that while many of us were told to work on different things like hips, arms, and posture, one thing mostly everyone needed to improve was cadence.Up until now, cadence was never something I really considered. Basically, the slower the cadence, the longer you are in the air and the harder you land. I can see why it’s important for minimalist running, you don’t have much of a crutch when you land and it is important to protect your joints. But if, like me, you are still jogging in cushioned runners, it is still good practice to at least be aware of your cadence.
One way to do that is with an app. We used this at the clinic. Ryan had us run to the tempo of a mildly irritating beep on his iPhone. It was easy to get used to, but I can’t picture going for a long run with that thing ticking in my ear.
We were told a good cadence is 90 steps per minute, or 180 if you count both feet. Many advanced runners I’ve talked to prefer to run without music to keep better in touch with their bodies. Personally, I feel a lot more energized and “pumped up” so to speak with a good playlist. Plus, every time I update my playlist I really look forward to my next run.
Check out the links below of some sites that have compiled playlists for you of songs with approximately a 90 beat per minute cadence. If you have rhythm, trying some out can be a fun experiment. Some are even available on their respective apps. Good luck!