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Why You Need a Run Gait Analysis

Runners! One thing I highly recommend to do with me is your Run Gait Analysis. This is a short little test (about 15 min) that we do at the track. If you are working with me remotely you can have someone do your videos for you at the track and send them to me. Usually with your test I take 4 to 5 videos including one from the front as you run toward me, one from behind as you run away from me, and both lateral right and left views. I set the camera in SLO MO and video you from all positions then go through frame by frame and look for ways in which you can run more efficiently with less wasted energy.

In your typical test I look at your head position- are you looking forward or down? Is your head leaning to one side? I also look at your posture. In running you always want to have a slight forward lean. If I see a lot of unnecessary movement such as bouncing I can usually help you correct that. Sometimes folks run unknowingly with one hip tilted more than the other. Catching a problem like this can save a runner from nagging injuries from being chronically out of alignment. Next I look at your knees and see if you are internally or externally rotating upon striking. Sometimes a change in running shoes and a good pair of orthotics can make a difference in knee position. Your arm swing should be opposite of trunk rotation with a bend in the elbows around 90 degrees swinging front to back and not crossing the midline of the body.

How you strike the ground is one of the most important elements of the run gait because it can make or break your speed. Striking on the heels puts a tremendous amount of force on the ankle, knee and hip joint. Heel striking actually puts the brakes on your stride as you strike the ground with your heel out in front like that. Leaning forward and striking on the mid to forefoot is much nicer on the joints and you don’t lose forward momentum like you do striking on your heels. Your mid foot should actually strike the ground under your hips.

Over pronating happens when you are putting most of your weight on the insides of your feet as you strike the ground while supinating is running on the outsides of your feet. Neither of these are desirable as you want to be somewhere in between both of these extremes. Many foot injuries happen because of overpronation or supination and can be corrected with orthotics, the right shoes, and awareness.

These are just a few of the things I take a close look at during your test. When we are finished at the track, I take your videos and go through them frame by frame in slow motion. I carefully look at my checklist and make sure I don’t miss anything. Once I have your data, I make several recommendations where I think you can improve your running form and therefore improve your running economy. Running more efficiently means faster race times and less probability of injury. That’s a win in my book.

The run gait analysis is such an easy and short test and in my opinion so worth it! Stop wasting unnecessary energy and time while running. Run more efficiently with less stress on your joints and enjoy faster race times. Click the button below to sign up for your run gait analysis now! I look forward to chatting with you!

Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

USA Cycling Coach

ACSM Trainer


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