I may not be doing much any running right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it, right?

{In case you don’t know, I’m sidelined with a running injury– my IT band revolted against me. I might have possibly mentioned it once or twice or a billion times.}


One of the things I’ve been working on is shortening my stride when I run. Apparently a long stride can stretch your IT band and aggravate it, causing it to rub in all the wrong places.

Intentionally running with a shorter stride feels wrong and unnatural. Part of the joy of running is being able to let go and just let your legs do what they want. But since I can currently run a grand total of 50 seconds before the knee pain kicks in and stops me in my tracks, I’m willing to try anything.

But shortening your stride has an upside– injury or not.

Did you know the fastest runners have the shortest strides? Sounds backwards. But it’s because a shorter stride allows for a faster cadence.

Cadence is the number of time your feet hit the ground in a certain time period. Elite runners keep a cadence of 85-95, regardless of how far they’re running.

running speed

How to Speed Up Your Running

1. Count your steps. How many times does your right foot {or left} hit the ground in one minute? {You might want to hit the treadmill for this one.} You can also count how many times one foot hits in 15 seconds and multiply it by four.

2. Don’t overstride. Keep your steps short. Shortening your stride helps keep you on top of your feet, which helps you hit mid-foot {instead of heel-striking} and keeps your momentum going forward.

3. Keep your feet close to the ground. It should almost feel like you’re shuffling- your feet barely leave the ground.

4. Practice. If you don’t naturally run with a high cadence, it’s going to feel strange. During each run, spend a little bit of time counting your foot strikes- try to achieve a cadence of 85-95.

Ironically, running with a high cadence shouldn’t be as tiring as running with a low cadence. I’m still working on that one…..


What do you do to speed up your running? Do you incorporate running drills into your workouts?