Top 10 commonly asked questions-
My local running shop offers free gait analysis, what's the difference?
Huge difference! Although running shops are now investing into Gait Analysis software, you will find their time and set up is to primarily look at your feet to help them select the most suitable pair of shoes for you. We would often promote you doing this as it's typically free of charge as it can help you with trainer recommendation. We however analyse you full body 360 degrees. However, contra to running shops starting from feet up, our approach is hips down, in fact feet are often the last thing we look at as there are so many other important biomechanical areas to be analysing prior to seeing what your feet are doing. Be aware for possible conflict of option between the two services as limiting yourself to a foot analysing service will overlook the importance of posture, core and how everything works as one kinetic chain. Often the feet are nothing more than the victims of a poorly balanced structure, we have the ways to demonstrate that!
What will happen during my visit?
Expect a fully running immersed, lively and educational experience when visiting us. Time is taken to cover your medical history and talk about any injuries and running habits. We'll perform a physical examination of your joints and muscles, and depending on the module we'll mark your body with dots, lines and angles to help you visually engage with our feedback during the analysis. We will run you both in your shoes and also barefoot, maximum running time typically 9 mins. Once thats out of the way, we'll present to you in realtime your running style and promote you to make your own mind up as to what you are seeing. Depending on the module, we'll also cover some exercise ideas and even include some practical time to test them out. On departure, you'll leave with a clear and easy to follow report system to allow you to implement your training / conditioning or rehabilitation program. We advise that you return in a 6-12month period to re-assess your alignment and observe improvements.
What should I wear to run in?
For best results, wear as little as you're happy to run in (we draw the line at Speedos for the guys!) Running in 'close' fitting sports clothing allows us to accomodate for better accuracy in angles. We tend to apply body markings in forms of spots / lines and crosses to help you notice any imbalances through movement. Ideally we'll ask guys to wear just shorts, the girls shorts, hot pants and a crop top. However if you prefer to wear something a little more 'comfortable', leggings and t-shirt will still give us plenty to work with and provide great feedback for you at the end. Ensuring that you are comfortable wearing what you're happy wearing is paramount, we'd therefore be happy to completely work around your requirements. For Gold and Iron Module, you're welcome to run in two different pairs of shoes (clean and dry please) or a running shoe with and without inserts / orthotics. Bring a towel & clothes to change back into after.
How long do I have to run for during my analysis?
Running times can vary, but it's all about getting you to your running pace without pushing you too quickly. Once we get you to any agreeable speed (race pace typically or comfortable for non competative runners), we usually require just 4 sets of 1 minute runs. During this time there will be some stopping and starting to have you change shoes, remove shoes, include inserts and even change direction on the treadmill (please note you will not be running backwards, all will become crystal clear on the day ) A full body gait analysis tends to need no more than 9 minutes running time. Half body 6 mins approx.
Would I need a further consultation?
Mindful that most of our clients travel distance to see us, we tend to squeeze in as much information in the one consultation. The rest is up to you to implement at home, at a gym or with a coach. We do however offer a call back service in 6 months to review your technique at a reduced price, we'll hold your original gait analysis clips to compare the before and after running forms. We also have the technology to place a transparency of your latest running form over your previous, it's a really good way to see how you've improved. Please contact us if this is something that you would be interested in persuing.
For those highly satisfied with their initial running technique analysis but wish to step even further down the rabbit hole, we offer an even deeper analysis service which also includes reviewing all your warm ups, cools downs and movement patterns. Again, do let us know if you would like to take another step into the world of biomechanics.
Which running shoes are best?
Please understand there is not one pair of running shoes we would recommend. Buying a running shoe has to be an individual choice suited to your own unique biomechanics. As tempting as it might be to buy a running shoe which comes either heavily hyped or often heavily discounted, truth be told you're not likely to know whether it's best for you until you try them on and go for a few runs. Our rule of thumb for running shoe suitability would be to go for comfort, go as light as you can based on your flexibility / strength and conditioning (we can help you with that) but also be mindful of the surface you are running on. If you're doing a lot of mileage on roads, tarmac and concrete, you may want to consider including a bit of cushioning, but again, it's a personal choice.
Orthotics - do I / don't I?
Investing in orthotics (insoles) is a great way to help support your footshape should both feet either require a form of fine - tuning or should both feet be of two different levels of flexibility (left foot could be high arch / stiff and inflexible, the right could be low to flat with too much flexibility). No running shop would survive if you had the option to buy a cushioned shoe for your left and a support shoe for the right! So if your feet aren't making similar contact to the ground, an orthotic can bring the ground to you! In most cases you would therefore want to buy a neutral pair of running shoes to compliment your orthotics.
How can I improve my running technique?
We believe that there is no such thing as bad running form unless the way you are running is causing you pain or injury. All of us run differently and it's important not to try and attempt to run any differently by forcing movement (some of us learn this the hard way!). Considering our bodies are nothing more than a range of levers crash landing to the ground one leg at a time and doing it's best to propel you forward, the answer to performance is more likely to come from strength and conditioning rather than trying to run with an alternative style. Although there's plenty of great advice out there on the internet and some massivly inspiring books too, running performance must be assessed individually and conditioning programs must be tailor made too.
How can you help me with my Pronation?
Pronation (when the foot rolls in when you walk / run or jump) has been given seriously bad PR over the years, Pronation is actually a healthy movement that assists deacceleration when making contact with the ground (I would rather have a pronated foot than a foot with a highly inflexible arch!). There's no denying that some health professionals are referring to when over-pronation happens (when the foot rolls in past it's healthy borders), latest up to date teckie research suggests that over-pronation is not a problem if the foot and ankle is strong enough to return you back to neutral just as fast as pronation happened in the first place. There's a huge paradox in running biomechanics as it's full of conflicts and contradictions, answers are individual and also subject to interpretation.
How often do I have to change my trainers?
Commonly the most frequently asked question of all, regrettably don't expect a single answer to be provided here! The life expectancy of a running shoe can drastically change based on what mileage you do, what surface you run on, what weather they are exposed to, what weight you are, the frequency you use them. Mindful that a running shoe is made of a combination of materials including EVA, polyurethane, synthetic mesh and often cardboard (cardboard!!!) A running shoe which spends more time drying out on a radiator after a boggy or rainy run will lose it's integrity far quicker than a shoe that is mainly exposed to more drier days. A running shoe which is exposed to artifical, man made, non porous surfaces is likely to wear quicker than a shoe that's used off road. That's just two examples of so very many more scenarios and this doesn't include trainer rotating either! Trainer life expectancy must therefore be determined individually and don't always believe what you read or hear!