Running gait analysis is the most important step in improving your running technique. Changing or improving your running technique isn’t easy, but you can make the task less daunting by clearly documenting and understanding where your technique is at today. This way you’ll know for sure if you have a problem and hopefully how you can go about fixing it. You can do this yourself, as discussed in my eBook Running Technique, or pay a specialist to do the work for you.
If you do decide to pay a specialist to analyze your running technique make sure you understand exactly what they are proposing to do and what you will receive from them by way of written advice. If they are only going to tell you about the problems with your technique, without offering up any solutions, then you might be better off going somewhere else.
Make sure the person or company doing the work takes into account your running experience, injury history and goals. Your personal analysis should be contextualized by a questionnaire you complete before having video footage of your running technique analyzed.
- a summary of your technical strengths and weaknesses;
- detailed analysis of each phase of your running technique;
- a plain English interpretation of what it all means;
- targeted areas you need to improve;
- any technique related injury risks identified;
- strength & coordination program and how this relates to better technique;
- mental cues to trigger physical changes; and
- training tips to bed-down your technical improvements.
Make sure the analysis considers all aspects of your running technique. By this I mean there should be video taken from at least four angles: side, side-low, rear and front. Any video footage must be either slow motion or the practitioner needs to be able to slow the footage down post production. Make sure they can take or extract some photos from the footage. This will help illustrate any areas highlighted from the analysis. It almost goes without saying but any video should be shot on a tripod, wobbles are very distracting!
Consider your clothing and footwear carefully when you’re getting analyzed. Less clothing is generally better as you can see more of your body and how it moves as well as detecting any muscle activity visible from the surface. Wear shoes you are familiar with, but generally go for a lighter, more flexible shoe if possible. Orthotics should be worn if necessary.
Consider running as a pace that you could sustain comfortably for around five to ten kilometers. Do not run at your race pace or any speed where you struggle to be in control of your mechanics and breathing. Generally, tempo or lactate threshold pace is a good benchmark, as you should be able to run at reasonable speed white staying in control.
In my experience the answer is a definite yes. The amount of money I spent on physiotherapy, massage and running shoes before I sorted out my technique was many times more than what it would cost to get your running technique assessed. You’ll be much better placed to avoid injury in the future, enjoy your running more and identify areas of potential performance improvement.
If you would like more information about gait analysis please contact me using the form below: