Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

How Do Step Cadence Changes Affect My Running?

February 1, 2023

In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we are often asked about cadence by our running clients and patients. A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effect of cadence training on running economy in a group of well-trained female runners. The authors looked at the runners oxygen consumption at a self-selected running speed. Then, one group underwent step frequency training for 15min over a 10 day period with a goal of increasing step frequency to 180 steps/min. At the end of the 10 day training program, they retested both groups and found an 11% decrease in oxygen consumption in the athletes who were trained to run with a higher step frequency (1). They also found that these athletes had adapted lower step lengths and also decreased their heart rate running during the test (1). Stride frequency training can be effective in making runners more efficient and also plays a role in the ground reaction forces encounter when running . We often consider cadence when looking at running biomechanics in clinic .

Are you looking to maximize your running performance or are you recovering from an injury and hope to get back to running? Schedule an appointment with one of our running specialists to get an evaluation. Curious about exercise routines that can help improve your running, visit our YouTube page and check out our playlists directed at runners. Read about running on our blog


1. Quinn TJ, Dempsey SL, LaRoche DP, Mackenzie AM, Cook SB. Step Frequency Training Improves Running Economy in Well-Trained Female Runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2021 Sep 1;35(9):2511-2517. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003206. PMID: 31306391.