Many runners finish their runs and immediately check their latest form of technology's data. Amongst the countless data provided to an athlete from their Garmin, Coros, or Suunto watches is cadence. So, what is cadence? Cadence is defined as the total number of steps you take per minute. An easy way to measure your cadence is to count the amount of times your feet hit the ground in 60 seconds.
What can a runner do to increase their cadence? There are a couple of things you can do to help increase your cadence. First, I'd ask my runner: "what is the main reason that you are looking to have a higher cadence"? It's true that typically a higher cadence (~180) tends to be more efficient for most runners because generally a higher cadence means that ground contact time and distance traveled vertically are kept at a minimum. However, everyone is different and what works for you may be different than others. So if you are experiencing an unusual amount of injuries or seem to have hit a plateau in your progression of training then it is possible that you can improve both areas by improving your running economy/efficiency...one of the ways being increasing your cadence.
1. Hill Running - Find a hill that is approximately 3-10% in grade (or use a treadmill) and run up it comfortably. Hills tend to promote efficient running naturally. You do not need to put in a high effort, your main goal is to increase your cadence and over time teach your neuromuscular system.
2. End your run with some relaxed but quick short strides. Similar to hill running, short bursts of faster running will help improve economy by training your neuromuscular system.
Non Running Specific:
1. Cycling in a low gear at high RPMs (aim for 95-100+) This will help mimic the turnover needed in running, but with the aid of a wheel.
2. Developmental Drills. These are used to build coordination and help get your body ready for efficient running. Some of these drills are A Drills, B Drills, Standing Cycle. These won't directly alter your cadence but they will help aid your motor skills.