How to Run with a Metronome

If you run with a metronome, you may find it can definitely help you maintain a consistent running pattern. As your body loves routines and rhythms, you can use a digital metronome to monitor your running cadence rate (strides per minute).

If you want take your running to the next level, it’s always best to get your body use to a routine. Why? Because it keeps you dedicated to a training plan and helps your body get into a rhythm of running. As with any training plan, consistency is key if you want to progress and succeed. Read more on how to run with a metronome.

Seiko DM50S Clip Digital Metronome

Popular Digital Metronome from Seiko

If you are a runner who has never heard of or used a digital metronome for running, let’s briefly explain the benefits. A digital running metronome is a device that allows runners to monitor their cadence rate. That is, the number of strides per minute. The aim is to sync your right foot to the sounds of the digital metronome. If you can successfully do this, you can run with a consistent and stable cadence rate.

Meideal M50 Digital Metronome

Alternative Digital Metronome from Meideal

With a steady cadence rate, running will become more efficient and less tiring on you and the body. The end result is that you can improve your running form, technique and reduce the risk of injury. The optimal cadence will usually differ from person to person based on the runners’ height and weight but the optimal cadence rate usually falls between 85-90 strides per minute.

How to Run with a Metronome

So you’ve just received or want to try running with a metronome. Here’s how you can run with a metronome:

1. Check current running cadence
Before you start working on your running cadence, you should check what your current cadence is. To check what your current cadence is, go out for a brief run for five minutes while ensuring your pace matches what you would do for a long run. After five minutes, turn on your digital metronome and try to match your right foot with the beeps of the metronome. That is, to match the metronome beeps with each time your right foot make contact with the ground.

It may take some getting use to but after a few minutes, your body should start getting use to the patterns of the metronome. Remember the aim is to match the sounds of the metronome with every time your right foot makes contact with the ground. You should adjust the digital metronome accordingly, so the sounds perfectly matches and syncs with your current running cadence. When your cadence rate perfectly matches the sounds of the metronome, look at the display reading on the digital metronome to get your current running cadence rate.

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If your current running cadence rate is below 85 strides per minute, it means your strides are too long when you run. This means your legs will have to support your body for longer and have to work much harder. Remember the optimal cadence rate is usually between 85-90 strides per minute.

2. Run at current cadence for a week
Set your digital metronome with your current cadence level (for example, 70 strides per minute) and practice running for seven days. Remember, the aim is to match your current cadence level to the beeps of the metronome with every step you make. This should help you maintain a consistent cadence level, making your runs more easy and efficient.

3. Increase cadence rate and run for another week
You should aim to slowly increase your current cadence rate by 1 stride per minute week-by-week. So if your current cadence rate is 70 strides per minute, you should set and run at 70 BPM (Beats Per Minute) using your metronome for a week and increase to 71 BPM the following week. You should continue with the training each week until you can comfortably run and reach the optimal cadence range of between 85-90 strides per minute.

Running with a metronome is definitely a great training tool to help runners maintain a steady cadence no matter what the running speed. Whether you are running slow or fast on a flat, uphill or downhill surface, it’s possible for runners to train themselves to achieve a new and stable cadence using a digital metronome.

The benefits of using a metronome for running is that runners can run more efficiently, reduce the risk of running related injuries and run further for longer. You check out our running metronome section for more detailed information on the benefits of running with a metronome.

Do you run with a metronome? Share your training progress with us below.