How many times your feet touch the ground in one minute is your cadence…counted in strides per minute (spm)…left, right, left, right…
Efficient cadence for walking : “Strolling/Warm Up Walking (120-130 spm), Aerobic (130-140 spm), and Cardio (140-150 spm).” (Chi Walking, Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer)
To increase your walk pace increase your strides per minute.
Efficient cadence for running: 170-182 spm
To increase your run pace lean forward a little more…from the ankles not from the waist and lengthen your stride a little.
Your rating of perceived exertion: You shift through your gears just like your vehicle does (whether it's a stick or an automatic)...first, second, third, fourth. What you know as your "rating of perceived exertion" is a little easier to pursue if you think of just shifting smoothly through your gears.
Your rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale goes from a low of 1 to a high of 10. First gear has an RPE of 1-3...slow, warm-up (and warm-down) pace for you. Second gear is your usual training day pace...an RPE of 3-5...you can run or walk and still hold a conversation (yes, you're an athlete so if you run or walk and hold out loud conversations with yourself you will get some strange looks). Third gear is your sustained race pace...an RPE of 5-7...when you will have difficulty in holding a conversation, talking in short, choppy, spurts at best. Fourth gear is "all out"...an RPE of 8-10...fast running, sprinting, race walking.
Learn more about cadence: Cadence
Do track repeats, a speed workout: Track Repeats - Speed Workout