Running with Style; how to improve your running technique
We’re all guilty of it, coming home after work, pulling on your trainers
and setting out for your ‘usual’ 3 miles round the park. But ever wondered why your times aren’t improving? Like any sport, running is easy to start, but there are a few techniques to master in order to perform at your best, and more importantly, avoid injury.
We decided to pop along to Central Health, just round the corner from us in Chancery Lane to find out more. With the friendly greeting out of the way, Paul the physiotherapist sat me down and discussed the outline of the session. As I don’t have any particular running injuries, we would focus on my general technique and see what I could improve. Paul discussed the merits of different schools of running, and explained how rather than trying to create the ‘perfect’ runner, he would look at my style of running and seek to maximise my individual potential.
The first step was to get me on the treadmill in bare feet firstly at a walking pace, then a light jog, then at ‘race pace’. This was then repeated wearing my trainers, and then filmed. The footage was then synchronised and then we sat down to analyse it.
Paul first noticed that I lean forward from the waist, rather than from the ankle, creating unnecessary drag, rather than using gravity to help me.
The next point he made was my short backlift, which meant I had less momentum to swing through the stride.
Finally, I tend to collapse on my right side a little when getting up the faster pace. Paul asked whether I’d had an injury (I broke 4 metatarsals in my right foot a few years ago) and then explained that the right side was now ‘weaker’ than the left, causing the collapse.
We then discussed the possible solutions to my issues. The lean could be corrected by leaning into a wall, and maintaining the body position, or simply by leaning into the start of your run.
Back lift was corrected by focussing on it during my runs with intervals, maybe 30 seconds of each.
The collapsing was rectified by strengthening the gluteus on the right side, with some sideways planks, and an elastic band round the foot to aid the other drills.
Paul then follows this up with further visits, and multimedia correspondence, including training plans tailored to the individual.
This customer focus reflected the ethos we recognise so much from Cotswold Outdoor, Paul’s enthusiasm and knowledge, combined with an obvious passion for the subject made it a really enjoyable as well as informative session. I would have no hesitation in recommending both Central Health and Paul.
So if you’re injured, in a rut or just inquisitive, pop into Central Health for a Gait Analysis class.