Running Analysis is the process of assessing the way you run.
This involves video taping you from behind and from the side as you run on a treadmill at your preferred speed. We then use specialised software to analyse the movements of your body whilst running and how this may relate to an injury, or your running performance.
Who should see a physiotherapist for a running analysis?
People who suffer from a running related injury, particularly if this is a persistent injury, are most likely to benefit from a running gait analysis.
For example, research studies have shown that people who suffer from anterior knee pain whilst running often over stride (taking too large a step), which results in increased pressure.
Running Analysis may also be useful for people who want to improve their running performance. Running efficiency -the amount of energy you use to propel yourself forwards- is correlated to your running performance. A Running Analysis can identify factors that reduce your running efficiency, and ultimately your running performance. Research findings indicate that running technique explains a substantial proportion in the variance in running economy (39%) and performance (31%).
What do we look at during a Running Analysis?
A Running Analysis looks at how you move when you run; we look at the angles of your joints during the different phases of a running gait, and how this impacts on tissue loading (kinematics and kinetics).
Some key aspects we analyse are: foot strike pattern and transition, stride length, step rate and stride width.
What do you do after a running analysis?
After the video analysis the physiotherapist will discuss the outcome and any possible issues identified. If issues are identified, the physiotherapist may suggest some changes to try and implement whilst running. Several recent research findings suggest that running gait retraining may reduce the risk of injury, as well as enable people to start running again following an injury.
It is important to realise that there is no one size fits all, and any chances in the running technique should be subtle. The physiotherapist can use certain ‘gait cues’ as a tool to achieve subtle changes in your running technique.
Typically, the link between comfort and efficiency applies, in other words if a change feels comfortable, it is likely to improve running efficiency. At the other hand if something feels uncomfortable, it is likely to be increasing you metabolic running rate (the amount of energy you burn to run).
Our physiotherapists can assist runners in achieving their goals; we can give tailored advice and programs to:
- improve running tolerance;
- increase intensity and speed;
- develop a training plan;
- monitor a runner’s response to training.
This applies to all levels of runners, or wannabe runners; so, whether you are a high level runner trying to better your personal best, or someone who needs some help with a couch to 5km program, we are here to help.