Recently I provided video of myself running to Run Smart Online for an analysis of my technique.
While the below thoughts and considerations are based on my own movements and weaknesses, there is much that you can learn about running form by watching the videos. It’s likely you’ll learn something new that you can apply to yourself!
Consider swimming or tennis for a moment. Early on the students are taught technique for healthy and economic movement. Yet when you think about new runners it’s quite rare movement is taught. While we may be morn to run, you can still learn and improve how you run.
Why Get a Form Analysis?
If you want to run faster, further, healthier, a running gait analysis will likely benefit you. This is not meant for only elites, anyone seeking these running goals can improve their movement patterns.
How Does a Form Analysis Work?
They always involve three things.
- A runner
- A gait expert (often a physical therapist)
- A camera
Preferably you or the PT will record you running on a treadmill. Next they slow down the footage as you’ll see in the below videos look for a few things, primarily:
- Line of Progression
- Arm Positioning
- Core Rotation
- Hip Stability
- Heel Lift / Knee Drive
- Foot Control
- Lateral Motion
- Knee Control
- Heel Strike
- Forward Lean
- Elbow Angle
- Vertical Motion
What did I learn from my gait analysis?
- I have great running form
- But there’s always room to improve
- My hips are weak
- On one side I compensate for the weak hips and on the other side I do not and my left side my hip drops considerably.
- I need to work on my lateral hip stability.
- My heel lift / knee drive is low
- They like to see the heel come up to the runner’s knee crease
- While I don’t have too upright of posture, I could lean forward a bit more.
- It’s almost like falling forward.
Bits of Knowledge
I also pulled some good one-liners from Pat in the video.
- “Running is balancing on one foot to the next.”
- Arm position helps core rotation.
- I used to think bringing your arms in towards your center line was a poor form characteristic, however Patrick suggests this helps with torque and using the entire body to run.
- Even though I have flat feet and am wearing very thin neutral shoes I do not over pronate.
- The vastus medialis helps control the degree of pronation as well as resupination.
- “Run with your whole body to use your core”
- This is a good reminder that it’s important to strengthen your upper body!
- “Cross training should target muscles that enhance running.”
- In regards to overstriding, “Pulling is harder than pushing.” Try to land under your knee or center of mass instead of out in front.
- “Don’t mimic walking at a faster pace”