Increasing cadence can reduce stride length, but it also reduces vertical displacement (since the strides are less bounding) and so is generally more efficient. Studies of cadence vs oxygen consumption reveal that optimal cadence is around 180 steps per min.
I've heard and read that, but in the moment it sure felt like shorter strides were going to be a speed sacrifice on the road. Cool to experience it so clearly and be convinced.
On stride length. Hold same cadence for higher pace and it will increase length and vice versa. Are you sure your strides were shorter?
Good point...maybe my strides shortened briefly while I changed the cadence (felt like it) but then maybe I got the benefit of the increased cadence plus returning to a similar stride length.
A Garmin HRM-Run would give you the data you need. My cadence was a plodding 150-156. My stride was about 1.2m. I knew 180spm was 'ideal' but for me a higher cadence would drop my vertical oscillation thus reducing pressure on my hip from bounding. I have a mate who runs 180spm and 7cm VOSC. He is a 33 10k and 2.35 marathon runner. My VOSC was 11cm! So much wasted vertical effort! So, I focus on cadence now. At first pushing to 170 felt like sprinting with choppy little strides. I struggled to keep heart rate down. I was suprised to see that stride length only dropped to 1.16m though. When changing stride pattern or foot strike etc conditioning and stretching become more important
Cool! Now I want a gadget like that that will show me all of this! Until then, I will just aim for higher cadence than what I currently do, and trust that it will feel choppy at first but get better.