Marching Cadence and Speed - ITS Tactical
Shop the ITS Store!

Marching Cadence and Speed

By Alpin-Gruppe


Photo by Pemb Dave

I have always liked fun trivia and details everyone else likes to skip over. One of those little items I like is marching cadence. It makes a hell of a difference when you run the numbers.

The US military uses a 30-inch step. Normal marching cadence is 120 steps per minute. That equals 3.4 miles per hour or a 17.64-minute mile.

Double Time is essentially a jog that uses a cadence of 180 steps per minute. That equals 5.1 miles per hour or a 11.76-minute mile.

Many readers will note that the Ranger/SF standard is 15 minutes per mile or 4 miles per hour. This is easily attained and maintained for long distances whereas double time is not.

A combination of Quick Time and Double Time can be used to attain overall speeds of 11-15 minutes per mile. This takes some practice. Start by adding 30-60 seconds of double time every 10-15 minutes of marching and gradually increase it over a period of many weeks.

Do not exceed 5-minute bursts of double time, especially with heavy loads. It is murder on the knees and hips. But it is a required skill for anyone in combat arms so practice it a bit so you know how to do it.

Never make running with a load a significant part of your PT program unless you want to retire early!

About The Author

Nathanael Morrison was a USAF Special Tactics and Pararescue team leader for 15 years before transferring to the US Army. He has written “the most complete book on military specific training ever published,  Military Fitness: A Manual of Special Physical Training.”

He is available to teach or speak on a wide variety of military and special warfare subjects. Visit his web site at

Did you get more than 14¢ of value today?

If so, we’d love to have you as a Crew Leader by joining our annual membership! Click the Learn More button below for details.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporting members and occasionally earning money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate, (when you click our Amazon links) we’ve eliminated annoying ads and content.

At ITS, our goal is to foster a community dedicated to learning methods, ideas and knowledge that could save your life.


Do you have what you need to prevail?

Shop the ITS Store for exclusive merchandise, equipment and hard to find tactical gear.

Do you have what you need to prevail? Tap the button below to see what you’re missing.