Running cadence

Is there such thing as optimal running cadence and what is the best : heel- strike or midfoot-strike running ?

"Hi Marius!

I have some questions regarding running technique issues:

1. What is your opinion on heel-strike vs middle/forefoot-strike running? More spesifically, can you recommend "The Pose Method of Running"?

2. What is the optimal running cadence?

Med vennlig hilsen

Erlend Rennemo, MD"

Answer: Hi Erlend, I've read pretty much everything when it comes to running economy and the fact is - there has been done a great number of research on it (especially in the former Eastern European countries - I've read those as well) and the conclusion is that :

1) you cannot "think" your running form/changing your running by merely focusing on some aspects of your running form. In fact, studies that have tested this shows that you run less economically by doing this, not more.

2) the more you run (if you look at elites etc), the better your running economy in % of max becomes.

Now, there are some studies that shows that plyometrics does improve running economy (a very good Finnish study where a certain % of easy running was replaced with plyos + a control group. They then ran a 5k with measurements of contact time on the ground - and the plyo group improved both the time + had less time on the ground in each step)

So what I normally recommend is to :

1) Run more and do it with a well balanced program to get the maximum elastisicy out of your muscles/tendons.

2) Not think about running cadence but instead do some plyos and in addition to that : add in there some treadmill work.

I've seen all the discussions concerning Pose but I still haven't seen any real proof on it done independenly and the theories around it can certainly be discussed.

I'll probably write another piece on this in-depth at a later point, it is a very interesting discussion !

I wish you all the best with your training,

kind regards, Marius

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