Inter-individual differences in stride frequencies during running obtained from wearable data

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The purpose of the present study was to identify factors that underlie differences among runners in stride frequency (SF) as a function of running speed. Participants (N = 256; 85.5% males and 14.5% females; 44.1 ± 9.8 years; 181.4 ± 8.4 cm; 75.3 ± 10.6 kg; mean ± SD) shared their wearable data (Garmin Inc). Individual datasets were filtered to obtain representative relationships between stride frequency (SF) and speed per individual, representing in total 16.128 h of data. The group relationship between SF (72.82 to 94.73 strides · min-1) and running speed (V) (from 1.64 to 4.68 m · s-1) was best described with SF = 75.01 + 3.006 V. A generalised linear model with random effects was used to determine variables associated with SF. Variables and their interaction with speed were entered in a stepwise forward procedure. SF was negatively associated with leg length and body mass and an interaction of speed and age indicated that older runners use higher SF at higher speed. Furthermore, run frequency and run duration were positively related to SF. No associations were found with injury incidence, athlete experience or performance. Leg length, body mass, age, run frequency and duration were associated with SFs at given speeds. KEY POINTS On a group level, stride frequency can be described as a linear function of speed: SF (strides · min-1) = 75.01+ 3.006·speed (m · s-1) within the range of 1.64 to 4.68 m · s-1. On an individual level, the SF-speed relation is best described with a second order polynomial. Leg length and body mass were positively related to stride frequency while age was negatively related to stride frequency. Run frequency and run duration were positively related to stride frequency, while running experience, performance and injury incidence were unrelated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1996-2006
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number17
Early online date13 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2019


  • Cadence
  • running
  • wearables


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