air balloon

so, after sunday’s meltdown, some great support from the facebook minions, fellow runners and coach Jackie… it was time for Monday to roll into town, bringing with it a rest day (to give the ab muscle a chance to recover).

but there was still an opportunity to don the running gear! I had a 12:30 appointment at The Running Centre for a running gait analysis, something I’d been intending to do for quite a while.

pre-session expectations

I’ll admit, I was very nervous, expecting there to be a huge list of “problems” that needed addressing. The wear pattern on my shoe tread (for example) had me worrying that I had a style that could cause injuries. I was concerned that maybe my bad running form was the cause of the ab muscle issues, that the calluses on my feet were symptoms of poor running form etc. etc. etc.

In short, I knew I wasn’t a runner, that my running style gave me away as a rank amateur, and that I needed to correct everything if I wanted a chance of running much faster than I do now…

I was also very very excited about it!

what the session comprised of

the physio, Marc, basically took down a few personal details, double-checked some information regarding my running history (I’d already given him a full history via email) – and then it was out to the shop and onto the treadmill.

I ran a couple of minutes at 8 km/h pace, and then a couple of minutes at 10 km/h pace. Just a relaxed run, doing my best to run my natural way. One thing that struck me – it’s been ages since I last ran on a treadmill, and back then 10 km/h was probably still a “goal”. With my 10k times now generally below the hour mark, and doing a 5k parkrun regularly, that couple of minutes at 10km/h felt so relaxed and comfortable – it was quite astounding!

The running was recorded on video, and we then went back to Marc’s office to watch and discuss.

analysis and recommendations

I could go on all day about what was said, so I will keep to the short version here. But before I reveal the results, I have to say that if you are a runner and you haven’t had this done – then do it!

It was very interesting seeing my running style in slow motion, and having every aspect of it explained and analysed by an expert. I also found it very informative, giving me a far better understanding of how running actually works, or rather exactly how the body acts and responds while engaged in running activity.

I cam away with a much better understanding of how it all hangs together, how my body behaves when running, and armed with a heap of suggestions, ideas and specific exercises to help improve my running.

In my case, the initial batch of exercises are geared towards improving core stability further, and flexibility. I’ve also come away armed with knowledge of “running drills” to improve technique futher, which I can incorporate into warm-ups.

so what was the verdict?

amazingly enough, my running style is very very good. Marc was quite impressed that I’d been running less than 2 years and had picked up information about running form fairly casually, by reading online articles, seeing people posting on Facebook and so on.

The fact is I was a complete novice, so I have been devouring this information whenever it has appeared. Anxious to avoid making too many rookie errors. So for that, I thank every runner who has put stuff online!

Some highlights are:

  • Weighing 112kg currently, I apparently run like an 80kg guy, quite light on my feet.
  • I forefoot strike.
  • My feet are moving backwards as they land, minimising the braking action, and helping ensure a steady flowing action.
  • Hips are stable, with only 1% drop.
  • No/minimal overstride.
  • High knee position.
  • Good posture, stable core.

Check out the following videos to see it for yourself – I’m seriously shocked, and very very happy!

It was the perfect antidote and pick-me-up after Sunday’s bad long run 🙂

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