Couch to 5K

Thank you TurboTortoise and Bazza. Your tips on cadence worked!

You both posted recently about how to improve cadence so I tried your tips on today's run and they worked!

My cadence has sat around the 169/170 mark since I've been running and I have read that it's better to have a higher cadence, preferably 180, to minimise contact with the ground and therefore potential strains and injury. So I thought why not try the tips?

As Bazza suggested I pretended I was a POW escaping and although it felt weird to begin with I got into a rhythm with it and could hardly hear myself! ( well I did have one earphone in). So far so good.

Then I recalled what TurboTortoise said in her post about taking shorter strides to increase cadence. So I tried that too. It took some practice and I made a real effort in the second K which I think shows in the results, so that worked really well too.

These are my spm on 5K before and after:-


1K 171

2K 171

3K 170

4K 169

5K 169


1K 174

2K 181

3K 176

4K 173

5K 178

A bit erratic but it'll take a bit more practice and I will definitely do it again. My overall time was similar so I'm not going faster, just quicker turnover.

Thank you ever so much Bazza and TurboTortoise! Way to go.

11 Replies

How were you measuring your cadence? Did you notice/feel any difference? Better? Worse? More /less comfortable?


On the Garmin Bazza. At the time I thought " oh I'm going too fast I'm going to get tired too quickly" but this passed after a while and I got into a nice little rhythm and then I felt really light on my feet! It wasn't harder, just different. I felt my legs turnover more quickly which is the point I guess!

I did have to concentrate on running differently but hopefully with practice this will be automatic.

I'm going to try music with 180spm and see what that feels like, but thank you for the advice!


OK - didn't realise that Garmin produces cadence data - what model of Garmin is it??


It's Forerunner 220 Bazza.


wow that sounds really good, and I so love the POW focus, sounds like fun :)


Bazza's idea, but it worked!


Glad you found it useful, IP. I am not consistently at 180 yet, it does take a while, but I am getting closer. I find the higher cadence particularly helps on hills - you kind of tiptoe up them and strangely it feels much less gravity-bound than plodding slowly. I was actually just about to post about my run last night with a Garmin snapshot of my cadence... write-up on its way...


Yes practice, practice! But definitely better than before. Thank you!


Does anybody have any links to videos etc about the cadence thing and/or the POW running type scenario?

I can't quite get my head around it, and the ways it would affect my running "style". It would help to see an example of what to aim for.

Faster, shorter strides seems to result in something that is more like Peter Kays "Dad running" than anything else.


I'm sure Bazza will come up with something Peter. I have looked but couldn't find anything decent. I have also read that you should imagine your legs circling from your hips in a bicycle motion. Once you consciously think about all the tips it does work. I'll keep looking to see if I can find a decent clip.


This isn't bad Peter. Some useful tips.


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