November 17, 2017
Running Form Analysis Clinic in NYC
If you run regularly, I highly recommend having a professional running gait analysis performed. Having someone with expertise give you personalized tips can really help you to prevent injuries by improving the mechanics of your running form.
After running in a local 5K, I was entered in a drawing to win a few free sessions with a running coach. Against all odds and my previous experiences in such contests, I actually won.
Running gait analysis
When I had my running gait analyzed, I was told I took too few steps per minute. Runners should take 180 steps per minute. Elite runners have been shown to take 180 steps per minute or more naturally. This reduces the shock of the impact when the foot lands. If your foot hits the ground less frequently that means your body spends more time in the air. Your foot will then hit the ground with more force thus risking injury. Many injuries occur due to the impact of the runner’s foot with the ground. A great way to help you keep 180 steps per minute is to find some songs with 180 beats per minutes to listen to as you run.
I was also told that I needed to keep my wrists loose. There is a correlation between how relaxed your upper body is and your lower body. For example, if your shoulders are relaxed, your hips will be relaxed. If your elbows are relaxed, your knees will be relaxed. This also can help prevent injuries. Runners really need to consider the overall form of their entire body and not just the legs. Having this objectively measured by a pro really helps.
Foot strike needs to be carefully evaluated as well. Which part of your foot hits the ground first and how does it hit? This can vary depending on if you are training for a sprint or a long-distance race. Sprinters tend to hit the ground with balls of their feet while distance runners tend to strike heel first. When the middle or heel of the foot hits first, it can help to reduce calf pain and injuries. Wherever the foot falls first, an important thing to remember is to avoid having your toes pointed outward. How your toes are pointed can be difficult for you to determine yourself so having someone else analyze this is important.
Residents of NYC can visit the Manhattan running lab to get a much more in-depth running form analysis in NYC than I had with the local running coach just running around a track. State of the art technology used there can really drill down to all the nuances of your gait. If someone can help you with the form of your foot strike and your breathing rhythms as the professionals at CLINICUBE can, you’ll be on your way to your best, injury free performances.