The Secret to Perfect Running Form
I mentioned that one of my goals for July was to get a gait analysis done to take a peek at my running gait and make some corrections to keep me injury free and racing towards a PR!
What is a Gait Analysis?
Source: Spine Surgery London aka not me
According to our friend, Wikipedia:
Gait analysis is the systematic study of animal locomotion, more specific as a study of human motion, using the eye and the brain of observers, augmented by instrumentation for measuring body movements, body mechanics, and the activity of the muscles.
Basically, you are filmed when running on a treadmill and then you talk about it for a while!
Why would you need a gait analysis?
Anyone can run. But not everyone can run WELL. Running well means being aware of your posture and being able to move in the most biomechanically efficient way possible. In other words, NOT like this:
The main takeaway for me was that I can stand to increase my cadence and relax my shoulders a bit more, but other than that, I was pleasantly surprised! I was nervous to see myself running on film for the first time, but there was no slumping or heel striking in sight.
I thought it would only be fair to share some of the most important takeaways from my session so you too can judge runners from the safety of your car window as you see them huffing along on the street. As long as you don’t yell out “THAT’S AN INJURY WAITING TO HAPPEN!”, you can silently sit with the knowledge that you have awesome form.
Here is how:
– Stand tall
– Point toes forward
– Reach to the sky to reset your posture (I do this in long races if I feel if my form is slipping…it is a great way to stay aligned. It also is a great way to set your posture before heading out on a run)
– Run with your head up and keep your gaze directed ahead of you.
– March in place prior to your run to reinforce the proper midfoot strike.
– Heel striking and overstriding cause braking.
– Landing on forefoot can strain calf and achilles.
– Aim for a cadence of 180.
– To find your cadence, count the number of right foot strikes for 20 seconds and multiply by 6
-Run light and avoid pounding
– Lean from ankles without bending at waist
– Flexing at the ankle reduces unnecessary muscle strain caused by toeing off.
– Use gravity to your advantage instead of excessive muscle force.
Now go forth and cast judgement on sidewalk joggers. Or at least revel in your perfect form.
What is your worst form offender when you run?