Cadence Drills - Six Gray Drill Bits
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For runners looking to enhance their performance and efficiency, cadence drills have become a popular training method. By focusing on increasing the number of steps taken per minute, cadence drills aim to improve running economy, which directly impacts a runner’s overall performance. Let’s delve into how these drills work and the benefits they offer to runners of all levels.

Understanding Running Economy

Running economy refers to the energy cost of running at a specific pace. Essentially, it is how efficiently a runner can use oxygen and energy to maintain a certain speed. Improving running economy means becoming more efficient in utilizing oxygen and energy, which can lead to better performance and reduced fatigue during runs.

The Role of Cadence in Running Economy

Cadence, often measured in steps per minute, plays a crucial role in running economy. A higher cadence means taking more steps within a given time frame, which can lead to a more efficient running stride. When runners have a low cadence, they tend to overstride, which can result in braking forces and increased energy expenditure. By increasing cadence, runners can reduce overstriding and improve their overall efficiency.

Benefits of Cadence Drills

1. Improved Efficiency: One of the primary benefits of cadence drills is improved running efficiency. By increasing cadence, runners can optimize their stride length and reduce energy wastage, leading to a smoother and more efficient running gait.

2. Injury Prevention: Cadence drills can also help reduce the risk of injuries. By focusing on proper form and reducing overstriding, runners can alleviate stress on their joints and muscles, decreasing the likelihood of injuries such as shin splints or IT band syndrome.

3. Enhanced Performance: As running economy improves, runners may experience an increase in speed and endurance. By becoming more efficient in their movements, runners can sustain faster paces for longer durations, ultimately leading to better race performances.

Incorporating Cadence Drills into Training

When incorporating cadence drills into your training routine, it’s essential to start gradually and focus on proper form. Here are some tips for integrating cadence drills effectively:

Cadence Awareness: Begin by monitoring your current cadence during runs. Use a running watch or app to track your steps per minute and identify areas for improvement.

Progressive Drills: Start with short intervals of cadence drills during your runs. Focus on increasing your cadence by 5-10% for a specific duration before returning to your natural rhythm.

Form Check: Pay attention to your running form while performing cadence drills. Maintain an upright posture, engage your core, and ensure your feet land under your center of mass to avoid overstriding.

Consistency is Key: Incorporate cadence drills into your training routine regularly to see improvements in your running economy over time. Aim to include them in your workouts at least once or twice a week.

Stay Mindful: Remember that increasing cadence is not about running faster but running more efficiently. Focus on maintaining a quick turnover while keeping a steady pace to reap the benefits of improved running economy.


Cadence drills offer runners a valuable tool for enhancing their running economy and overall performance. By focusing on increasing steps per minute and improving running efficiency, runners can experience benefits such as improved speed, endurance, and injury prevention. Incorporate cadence drills into your training regimen, stay consistent, and watch as your running economy evolves, leading to a more enjoyable and successful running experience.