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All In good stride (Posted On: Monday, April 21, 2008)

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Have you seen yourself RUNNING?  Although some of us may not like to see what we look like while running, the amount you can learn from watching videotape is invaluable!  Not just for the avid marathoner, but also for those who are new to running, want to prevent injuries, or just want to increase efficiency and performance, watching a videotaped run is really informative.
When viewed in slow motion, it is amazing the imperfections that can be observed – that you can not pick up watching in real time -  such as one ankle rolling inward, differences in stride length or frequency,

one hip dropping down or landing on the forefoot.  It is difficult and usually ineffective to correct these types of gait imbalances through running drills.  It is more beneficial to perform specific exercises to improve the strength or flexibility of certain muscles, to have recommendations regarding footwear, or by the modification or introduction of custom orthotics or a heel lift. Often a small change can make a big difference. 
Running is such a symmetrical and repetitive activity where both sides of the body are supposed to be in perfect synch.  Therefore, even small imbalances can disrupt the balance, which may contribute to the development of injury or deficits in performance.  If these imbalances are addressed properly and quickly, the chance of suffering from injury or having to take a break from running is significantly reduced.

· It’s important that you buy running shoes that are appropriate for your specific foot type.

· Make sure you keep your running muscles flexible by stretching after your run.

· Do not run through pain!

· Custom orthotics can be the quick fix to your running aches and pains.

· If you don’t include REST days in your running program, they will be built in for you when you get injured!

Sue Underhill is a physiotherapist and avid runner who offers Running Assessments at Maximum Physiotherapy, 444-3600.


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