Good technique is about your full body not just your feet. It’s about the biomechanics of what your arms and legs do so you spend more time in the air and less time on the ground. Studies of runners at the same speed have shown the amount of time the foot spends on the ground for each stride directly correlates with likelihood of injury anywhere in the body.
Good technique makes your running more efficient. More efficient means less load on the muscles and joints for the same speed. Running becomes easier, you become more resilient to injury so it’s easier to go faster.
The biggest cause of injury to new runners is too much, too fast, too soon. If you are new to running we recommend getting a full gait analysis before you get injured to avoid ingraining bad habits and so we can also take the opportunity to advise you how to progress your training safely.
If you are currently injured or you know that when you increase your speed or distance you get injured then gait analysis would be a good option. Injuries that build up with speed or distance are because something is being overloaded which is often due to a specific weakness or poor technique and we can advise you on both.
Is your stride too long?- The most common fault we see.
Over striding is a common problem which is easy to spot on slow motion video. If you’re extending your stride beyond your body’s centre of mass the shock of the foot hitting the ground literally slows you down. This repetitive ground reaction force against the direction of travel can lead to ankle, knee, hip or even low back pain.
But this leads to an obvious question… “If I shorten my stride won’t my running slow down?” This is where things get technical… we do want a nice long stride but we don’t want an ‘over-stride.’ Remember good technique means more time in the air and less time on the ground. If you’re landing too far in front of your centre of gravity we can pick this up on the slow motion video and more importantly we will give you the tools you need to correct it. Clients who manage to correct an over-stride often comment that running just feels more comfortable.
Other benefits of gait analysis
We can advise you on appropriate footwear. Although most decent running shops will do a close up video of your running gait wouldn’t it be nice to get this advice independently.
At Lace Market Clinic we aim to give you the tools you need to make running more fun and hopefully reduce the chance of you needing our injury rehabilitation services in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact Adam or Tom if you have any questions.