A very thorough assessment done very professionally. It put my mind at rest – the hard work starts now.
Matt, Maidenhead

Running Gait Analysis – Why You Should Have One?

Now we are well and truly into the year, if you are taking part in an early half marathon, marathon or ultra, you will start to think about organising your training programme (if you haven’t already).  The key question you should ask is…

How can I arrive at the start line having completed all of my training and be injury free?

In order to answer the above question we must explore this topic a little more. Of course there are many things we must do like having good nutrition, hydration, mobility, flexibility, strength etc, but these are considerations that should occur once the training starts/progresses. But really there are two key questions that you need to cover off prior to starting.

  • Where do I get or who is going to write my training programme?
  • Am I physically ready to embark upon a regular run programme for the next 10/12/16 weeks?

The Training Programme

By searching online, it is quite easy to get a good training programme to suit your needs, or better still you can engage with a good run coach who can design your programme specifically or you.  Each programme should be progressive in its staged build toward the event to mitigate the potential for excessive overload and over training, which may lead to injury.

There are some key times in a training programme when we need to be careful:

  • At the beginning 
  • At the time of run frequency/volume change
  • When there is a shift of intensity (speed work)
  • The taper 

At all of these times, you are susceptible to pushing your legs over the limit and creating some form of injury.

Your Biomechanics

This is something that gets missed by the masses.  So many times within a month of starting a training programme we hear of niggles starting to appear, being ignored and then being forced into having to reduce training and visit someone like us.  Don’t be a niggle statistic, be proactive by reading on.

By nature, running is a highly repetitive sport.  An hour of running on average is 10,000 steps, so it is easy to see that if we have a small error in our body or technique, it can quickly manifest itself into something unwanted.  So, having your biomechanics checked out is a great way to help cover yourself against an enforced break or, dare I suggest it, a DNS (did not start).

You don’t have to be a highly competitive athlete to warrant having your gait assessed. Whilst the term gait analysis is commonly attributed to runners, it is in fact a series of assessments, packaged into one, to assess movement. So really anyone who moves can have one (walkers, joggers and runners).

A gait analysis can help determine if your running technique, or your movement patterns are contributing to an injury, or in fact how fast you are moving.  Ideally everyone needs a gait analysis.

Information is KEY. We can look at the information that we get from a gait analysis as being the equivalent to an MRI  The more information you have, the more you can do with it.  Sometime how we perceive we are running doesn’t match reality.  You may think you run with a mid-foot/heel strike or that you have a perfect running gait, but it is very difficult to determine that on your own.  The results of an assessment will help us guide your treatment plan and create a tailored exercise/rehabilitation programme specifically for you.

So if you feel unsure about how to progress, want to recover from injury or simply would like to be proactive and understand all of the facts before they happen then come and visit us and let us be part of your solution for change.

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