There are many ways we can all improve our running form.

In much the same way that coaches teach swimmers about their stroke & kick and cyclists about their pedalling & balance, better posture and leg-action will inevitably make us more efficient runners thereby reducing our energy needs. This in turn helps us to be less prone to injury.

The area I have been working on in particular over the last few weeks is my cadence.

In the past I never really gave it much credence. I figured my cadence of 160 foot-strikes per minute was close enough to the recommended 170180pm and that it didn’t matter a great deal.

Yet one of the first books I read on the subject of running, Chi Marathon, considered it vitally important.

And then, when I read about it again in another book more recently, I decided to pay the subject more attention.

I still don’t entirely understand why it’s so beneficial. The theory is that the greater number of foot-strikes per minute forces us to shorten our stride.

I suppose the end-result is that we land less on our heel and more on our mid-sole.

And we spend less time in contact with the actual ground each time our foot strikes.

Ignoring any of these factors can often lead to many lower-leg injuries, especially plantar fasciitis, medial tibia stress syndrome (shin-splints), patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and metatarsal stress syndrome.

Although some people debate the need to run at a strict cadence, I must admit that it seems to be working for me. For example, the pain I had in my right foot has diminished significantly.

And I’m confident that as long as I get adequate rest between workouts and keep improving other aspects of my form then I have many years of injury-free running left in this old body of mine.

For more information on the topic of cadence I suggest you read this article.

Kim | marathon runner

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