Runner's Web
Runner's and Triathlete's Web News
Send To A friend Know someone else who's interested in running and triathlon?
Send this Runner's Web Story's URL to a friend.   Follow us on Twitter   Follow us on Facebook
Visit the
FrontPage for the latest news.   |     View in Runner's Web Frame

Subscribe to stories like this  

Posted: March 10, 2016  :

(IAWR) Athletics: Perform This One Easy Exercise and You'll Run Faster

When you increase your stride rate (also called turnover or cadence), you increase your forward movement and speed.

You'll discover an easy way to increase your turnover in only 3-4 weeks, leading to faster running and racing - regardless of your current pace.

To run faster, you need to move forward economically and efficiently, minimizing wasted energy. When you take quick steps, you spend less time in contact with the ground and more time moving forward. By taking quick steps, you also reduce your vertical bounce, which is wasted energy. To increase your cadence, you have to step lighter. As an added bonus, you reduce the impact transmitted to your feet and legs, which reduces injury risk too.

Many elite distance runners have stride rates near 180 steps per minute, regardless of distance raced. 180 is the generally accepted turnover target to aim for.

How to Measure Your Stride Rate

During an easy paced run, after warming up, time yourself running at your natural pace for 60 seconds. Count the number of times that your left (or right) foot touches the ground. Then, multiply by two.

If your turnover is significantly less than 180, don't despair. You'll be striding right in only 3-4 weeks.

Five years ago, after a layoff from serious straining, Bennett's turnover was a sluggish 144 steps per minute. Less than a month later, his turnover was a spritely 170 and he was running faster as a result.

How to Increase Your Cadence

Bennett increased his turnover from 144 to 170 by slightly modifying one easier paced run per week.

Here's how: for 60 seconds, keep your upper body relaxed and imagine yourself running on hot coals. You'll touch the ground lightly, minimize your contact time with the ground, slightly shorten your stride and increase your turnover. Pump your arms a bit faster and your legs will move faster in unison. Count the number of times that your left (or right) foot touches the ground. Then, multiply by two.

Repeat once every five minutes. Towards the end of the run, see if you can maintain your faster cadence. You new habit will take root in 3-4 weeks.

Many of you who are racing this spring are seriously training for your race. Now is the ideal time to incorporate this workout into your schedule. In 3-4 weeks, your faster turnover will become the "new you". Faster stride rate = faster running and racing!

© 2014 Savvy Runner Inc.

Bennett Cohen and Gail Gould are the Founders and Presidents of the International Association of Women Runners. For access to resources to help you reach your goals for running and racing, visit

Subscribe to the Runner's Web Weekly Digest
Check out our FrontPage for all the latest running and triathlon news.

Top of News
Runner's Web FrontPage