Why you should have your running gait analysed at the beginning of your training journey
Peak marathon season is approaching faster than you can say Mo Farah. Brighton Marathon is only 11 weeks away, London Marathon 12 weeks, with many others even sooner! The first few weeks of training for a marathon are usually very organised, some would even go as far as saying its exciting! Everything goes to plan as you tick off those completed runs. Foam rolling happens (at least for a day), and you’re even eating well. But…as time ticks on, we all know our lives don’t stop for our running schedules, even if we think they should. As we get busier and busier, runs get missed, foam rolling ceases, and dry January usually ends at some point. Instead of trying to play catch up with your training and risk developing an injury, the best thing you can do to avoid this is to plan ahead. If you can get all of your information from the beginning, you’ll be set up from the very start. The best way to learn more about your running is to have a gait analysis assessment.
Here are your TOP 5 questions answered about when you should be having gait analysis, why its important and, which type is best for you
When is the best time to get a gait analysis?
Gait analysis is used best in two ways:
- At the beginning of a training plan – a gait analysis assessment in your initial planning phase will help to identify abnormalities within your running style that could be influencing your niggles. If you add in strength, mobility, and functional testing screening you can target weaknesses before they turn into problems. We recommend having a gait analysis assessment as soon as possible but ideally between 16 -7 weeks before your event .
- When you develop an overuse injury – The hardest thing about running injuries is that they are very complicated and rarely ever stem from one place. Our bodies are masters at hiding problems and shifting load, so they take awhile for a problem to show itself. Gait analysis can help to see movements in different angles, and pick up the information that is sometimes very difficult to notice without an outsider point of view.
When is any gait analysis NOT especially useful?
- If you are SO injured you can’t run – if we are unable to assess your gait then it will be difficult to give you any useful information about your running (makes sense). However, we can do walking assessments too. We would probably suggest that you see a physiotherapist for treatment at this point and a gait analysis at a later date when you are able to walk or run.
- A week before your race and you’re injured ( but expecting to be resolved by a gait analysis) – Making changes to your running can take some time ( as all the best things in life do!) and although it will help you to improve your running, don’t expect this to be done overnight. A gait analysis gives us more information on what you need to do to help improve your running – its then those changes afterwards that make the difference!
I’m not a very fast runner, surely i don’t need a gait analysis?
How fast you are or what events you run does not determine the quality of treatment or assessment you should receive. At The Drummond Clinic believe that everyone deserves five star treatment. As running requires repetitive movement, over long periods of time, the chances of overload are very high. A gait analysis can help to determine if your running style, or your movement patterns are contributing to an injury, or in fact how fast you are moving! Bottom line: Everyone needs gait analysis.
Why is this useful for me? What will I get out of it?
Information is key. The more of it you have, the more you can do with it. You may think you run with a mid-foot/heel-strike or that you have the perfect running gait, but its very difficult to determine that on your own! The result of your assessment, whether that be a 2D gait analysis or a 3D gait analysis will help us guide your treatment plan and create a tailored exercise programme specifically for you.
2D or 3D, which should I choose?
The best way to think about it is that a 2D gait analysis is like an X-ray, and a 3D gait analysis is like an MRI. 2D can give you a lot of useful information, particularly in a global sense, whereas a 3D will give you more information and objective detail. Those people with longstanding injuries that keep re-occuring time and time again, are perfect candidates for 3D gait analysis. If you have never had one before and want to know more about your running style, you can start with a 2D and upgrade later. If you’re unsure, give us a call and we can help you decide.Categories: All Articles / Running / Training
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