There is no optimal
running cadence for everybody, but yours is probably too slow! Most successful
distance runners have a cadence of 180-195, with the best runners being at the
upper end of that range. The best way to increase your cadence is to use a metronome.
Here is a great article by Danny Dreyer of Chi Running explaining how to use one:
with a Metronome (this will open in a new window). And below is a video explaining
how to use the metronome that Chi Running sells (I like these for running - and
I get nothing for recommending them). You can also use a FINIS Tempo Trainer,
but you have to do some math since that timer allows you set the time between
beeps (as opposed to the beeps per minute).
your cadence typically forces you to land your foot closer to your center of mass,
striking with your mid or forefoot, rather than your heel -- under your body rather
than out front where it will cause a braking action. It also allows you to take
advantage of your muscle elasticity, which is dissipated the longer your foot
remains on the ground.