Loading Rates: Cadence vs Footstrike

Loading rates: How we run determines the amount of impact forces acting on our body

Introduction to cadence and footstrike

There are an almost countless number of factors that can be measured with respect to an individual's running mechanics and performance. Some factors are more important that others, with cadence and footstrike being two of the biggest

Cadence is a measure of how many steps taken per minute. Footstrike looks at the angle of the foot at ground contact. For this paper, they were only focused on heel strike vs forefoot strike. 

The 2019 research paper (here) looked at the change in loading rates between increasing running cadence vs transition from a heel strike to a forefoot strike. The results indicated that changing footstrike was more effective at reducing loading rates than changing cadence


Reduction in vertical average load rates:

Forefoot strike: 49.7% 

Faster cadence: 16% 

That's a 3x times the reduction in loading with a transition to forefoot strike.


Reduction in vertical instantaneous load roads

Forefoot strike: 41.7%

Faster cadence: none as the change was not statistically significant 


How does the PR1 Footstrike Trainer fit into this?

The PR1 is designed to help runners develop a consistent forefoot footstrike. The ability to maintain this form over the course of your run, regardless of conditions is the PR1's greatest strength. With repeated use, you will learn to run with a controlled forefoot strike without having to think about it, the sign of real motor learning.

The graph below shows the consistency in forefoot strike in a runner using the PR1s (green line) vs a runner without. 



Start running better today with our PR1 Footstrike Trainers. Feel free to drop us a line if you have more questions. We're here to help!

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1 comment

I thought a forefoot strike could be just as bad for you leading to an increase in calf and achilles injuries. Don’t you want to aim for more of a mid-foot strike?


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