The running clinic 

Steven is visiting the running clinic to get tips on how he could improve his running technique, increase performance and, more importantly, avoid injury.

Get tips on how to run correctly

Transcript of The running clinic

RUNNING CLINIC Running is a great way of staying fit. As a regular runner, I wantto make sure I'm running correctly to stay injury free and, who knows,perhaps improve my performance. So, I've come down to seeMitch and Matt who are going to break down myrunning technique and give me some tips. - Steve.- Hi, Mitch. - Welcome to StrideUK.- Thank you. - Do you know what's in store for you?- No. Tell me about it. Basically, we do video gait analysis. To humanise that,we look at running technique. Today, we're going to be filming youfrom 360 degrees, to appreciate how your body worksthrough the process of running. Often when we run,we don't actually realise that running relies ona series of muscles to help control downforceto propel yourself forward. Video gait analysis is the ultimate wayto look at your running style to see whether we can uncoverany underlying imbalances, looking at reducing the negativesand increasing your performance. You'll be on our treadmillfor nine minutes. You're going to be running not onlyin your shoes, but also barefoot. I think it's important to seehow you run in an organic-shaped form. We're going to draw on your body. - Are you OK, us body marking?- Yes. - Let's get to work.- OK. How was your run? - That felt good.- OK. THERE ARE SEVERAL FACTORSWHICH MAY AFFECT RUNNING GAIT THIS VIDEO FOCUSESON ONE EXAMPLE AND THE CORRESPONDINGCONDITIONING EXERCISE So, Steve, we've done your analysis. It's important at this timeto introduce you to Matt. Matt's our conditioning coach. We're going to go throughyour analysis frame-by-frame and help uncoverany underlying imbalances you may have. Matt's going to makea training programme out of it. He's going to give you everythingyou need to know to be able to look after yourselfand keep you injury free. - Over to Matt.- OK, Steve. So, take a few moments.Have a look at yourself running. It's not something we typically seeall the time. Is it more or less what you imagined? My bum seems to stick outmore than I thought it might. OK. Very honest of you.Thank you for sharing. It's true. Nothing we tell you now is anything you need to take awayand try and consciously do when you run. What we see here is the productof your flexibility and your strength. If something needs changing or tweakingto improve it, we concentrate on that throughconditioning and drills and stretching and then naturally, that startshappening when you're running, or it can lead to injuries.You said about your bottom sticking out. It's something we canlook at straightaway. Obviously, the glute muscles at the backare what power you forwards. It's the main form of propulsion,along with the extension and the ankle. If we take you to toe-offon one of the legs, how much power you manage to generate is affected by the lengthof your stride behind you. That in turn is going to be affected by how far your leg can get backbefore the toe leaves the ground. What we find in people who spend the day sitting downfor extended periods of time, this muscle at the front of the hipdoes get shorter. - Sitting down now, it's short.- Right. When I stand up, it becomes restricted and you can see herethat if that muscle is restricted, your leg isn't able to go back as far asit may do to get the nice long stride. We're talking about hip flexors. You can see the 90 degree line which iscreated by the red lines there. We kind of like to see runners work towards havingyour leg at that 90 degrees. So the lower leg, if the heel can moveany closer towards that red line, then we associate thatwith extra efficiency. With regards to your shoulders, there isa little bit of tenseness there. There's a slight forwardness. Part of your chest is obscuredby the front of your shoulder. Again, it's something we typically seewith runners and something which shows theimportance of full-body gait analysis. Again, you spend your day in what sortof position? How are you at your desk? It's no coincidence that from there,when you start running, you're kind of in that similar position.OK? There's a lot of focus these daysin the media about which part of your foothits the ground first. There's lots of peoplewho will reinforce and say, "You have to land on the front,you mustn't land on the back, it's best to land in the middle." Here at StrideUK,what we try and show people is it doesn't matter what partof your foot touches the ground. OK. What's important ishow far the foot is in front of you. - OK?- Right. Typically, when you walk, your leg comes out and you landon the heel in front of you. Beginning runners, they mimicthe same action, a pendulum action. But running's not the same as walking. With running, for optimum efficiency, we need the foot to landmuch closer to underneath the hips. Some people land on the heel. Some landon the mid-foot, some on the forefoot. There's a host of different reasonsfor that. It's not something to change. Do you have any advice on buying shoes? If we only took a look at youfrom the ankles down, then maybe we'd be thinking,"Look, the feet are pointing out." "They're going to be landing on thecentre. We need to build up the arch." You'd probably, nine times out of ten, walk away with a shoe that'sgoing to try and help you with that. This is a classic exampleof where your top priority is actually looking at what's happeningaround the hips as opposed to the feet. It's form before footwear. That's something which we believe invery strongly here. As a result, what you run in,we recommend here, is what you feel comfortable in. - Let's show you some drills.- OK. OK? Let's go. OK. So, Steve,the information we've seen. We're going to focus on the fact that you're tight in the frontof your legs and quad muscles, stretching back to there,and tight across the hip flexors, as a result, probably,of sitting down for extended periods. Applies to an awful lotof the population, whether at a computer or driving. We're going to look ata developmental stretch which can help start changing thatso that when you are running, getting rid of the tilted back, you'll be neutralwhich will help the propulsion. Very simple exercise. I want you to get down on one kneefor the moment. Just like this. So this stretch we're doing nowis a developmental stretch. It's not a stretch we do before a run. For that we do a dynamic stretch,something moving. This is a stretch I'd like youto ideally do every morning, if you can. I try and get my clients to do itbefore they brush their teeth. Stretching is all about...It's a bit of a fight against your body doingnaturally what it wants to do. Your body will listen to the musclesand hold you in a position. We're fighting against that. As you've got down here,we're going to correct a few things. First of all,tightness in the calf at the back typically is going to meanthat your foot is back behind you. I want you on tiptoe on the back foot. That's going to make you less stable,but running's all about instability. That's a good position for that.90 degrees on the ankle. Here, we can seeanother typical position where the knee takes all the pressure. We want the foot forward sothe front knee's at 90 degrees as well. OK? Last but not least, make sureyou're not kneeling on a tightrope. People are tighteron the inside of their legs. So, rather than balancingon a tightrope, let's open it up as if we're on a bitmore of a railway track. Fantastic. Little details like that will changethe effect of the stretch. OK. From here... How much tensionare you feeling up that back leg, on a scale of one to ten, let's say,where ten is "I need to stop"? - Probably about two.- OK. The other big thing about stretches is we need to make surewe are doing something to the body. It's not enough to stay thereand think, "This is working." On this one-to-ten scale, I need to make sure you're gettinga six or seven up there. The way we're going to do itis quite simply, imagine the front of your trousersand the back of your trousers. Remember what we saw in the video, the front was lower than the back.We had that anterior pelvic tilt. I want you to basically lift upthe front of your trousers by tucking your bottom underneath you. As you're doing so, let me know if there's any changein tension on that back leg. - Yeah.- Yeah? The numbers are creeping up? - What number are we on at the moment?- Probably... five. OK. Fantastic. So, once you've tiltedas high as you can there and started to stretch these muscleswe're targeting, if you can reach a five, fantastic.Hold that for about 10, 15 seconds. The other reason people don't benefitfrom stretches is that it's done too quickly.We need 30 seconds, 60 seconds or so. After 15 seconds,that number should start going down. - Has it eased off a little bit?- It's eased off. OK. We're going to try and find a seven. By doing that, what I want you to dois lunge forward slightly, but without losing the tilt.Just move forward slightly. That should pick up the stretcha little bit. Numbers going up? - Yep.- Hold that for me. Again, we wait for the numbers to movedown from a seven to a six to a five. - I can really feel that stretch.- Fantastic. So, give your body time. Stretching needs to be donein a nice, quiet, patient atmosphere. OK. We can't rush these things. - What number are we on?- About seven. Still there? OK. So give your body time. Once it does go down,the last bit we can add to this stretch to make it up to 60 seconds is the knee that's on the ground, I wantyou to move the hand away from it. So stretching up as ifyou're trying to touch the ceiling. We're lifting the ribsaway from the ground. That should pick up the stretchacross the hip. - I can feel it higher.- Fantastic. That's getting now the hip flexoras opposed to the quad muscle. Make sure the rest of the body isrelaxed. Shoulders down. Keep breathing. The aim of stretchingis to relax every muscle of your body apart from the onewhich is being pulled. Only when you've achievedthose three moments of seven gone down to five,seven gone down to five, seven to five, do you slowly release and then you canswap over and do the other leg. So, you've given me tipson improving my technique, but what are the things that I shouldat all costs avoid when running? Things you should definitely avoid... There's not a lot,but there are some things which we're fairly sureare not going to help you whatsoever. The main cause of injuryis doing too much, too soon. Other things to make sure is that you don't try and focuson one thing too much of the time. A nice rule-of-thumb herewhich we tend to use is not increasing anythingmore than five percent at a time. Apart from that, I think the most important thing inrunning is don't take it too seriously. Don't get stressed out. Enjoy it. IF YOU ARE RECOVERINGFROM INJURY OR HAVE A PHYSICAL DISABILITY,PHYSIOTHERAPY MAY HELP. CONSULT YOUR GP. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO:www.nhs.uk/running

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