Running is a great way of staying fit.

As a regular runner, I want
to make sure I'm running correctly

to stay injury free and, who knows,
perhaps improve my performance.

So, I've come down to see
Mitch and Matt

who are going to break down my
running 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 you
from 360 degrees,

to appreciate how your body works
through the process of running.

Often when we run,
we don't actually realise

that running relies on
a series of muscles

to help control downforce
to propel yourself forward.

Video gait analysis is the ultimate way
to look at your running style

to see whether we can uncover
any underlying imbalances,

looking at reducing the negatives
and increasing your performance.

You'll be on our treadmill
for nine minutes.

You're going to be running not only
in your shoes, but also barefoot.

I think it's important to see
how 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.




So, Steve, we've done your analysis.

It's important at this time
to introduce you to Matt.

Matt's our conditioning coach.

We're going to go through
your analysis frame-by-frame

and help uncover
any underlying imbalances you may have.

Matt's going to make
a training programme out of it.

He's going to give you everything
you need to know

to be able to look after yourself
and 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 see
all the time.

Is it more or less what you imagined?

My bum seems to stick out
more 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 away
and try and consciously do when you run.

What we see here is the product
of your flexibility and your strength.

If something needs changing or tweaking
to improve it,

we concentrate on that through
conditioning and drills and stretching

and then naturally, that starts
happening when you're running,

or it can lead to injuries.
You said about your bottom sticking out.

It's something we can
look at straightaway.

Obviously, the glute muscles at the back
are what power you forwards.

It's the main form of propulsion,
along with the extension and the ankle.

If we take you to toe-off
on one of the legs,

how much power you manage to generate

is affected by the length
of your stride behind you.

That in turn is going to be affected

by how far your leg can get back
before the toe leaves the ground.

What we find in people

who spend the day sitting down
for extended periods of time,

this muscle at the front of the hip
does get shorter.

- Sitting down now, it's short.
- Right.

When I stand up, it becomes restricted

and you can see here
that if that muscle is restricted,

your leg isn't able to go back as far as
it may do to get the nice long stride.

We're talking about hip flexors.

You can see the 90 degree line which is
created by the red lines there.

We kind of like to see runners

work towards having
your leg at that 90 degrees.

So the lower leg, if the heel can move
any closer towards that red line,

then we associate that
with extra efficiency.

With regards to your shoulders, there is
a little bit of tenseness there.

There's a slight forwardness.

Part of your chest is obscured
by the front of your shoulder.

Again, it's something we typically see
with runners

and something which shows the
importance of full-body gait analysis.

Again, you spend your day in what sort
of 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.

There's a lot of focus these days
in the media

about which part of your foot
hits the ground first.

There's lots of people
who 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 part
of your foot touches the ground. OK.

What's important is
how far the foot is in front of you.

- OK?
- Right.

Typically, when you walk,

your leg comes out and you land
on the heel in front of you.

Beginning runners, they mimic
the same action, a pendulum action.

But running's not the same as walking.

With running, for optimum efficiency,

we need the foot to land
much closer to underneath the hips.

Some people land on the heel. Some land
on the mid-foot, some on the forefoot.

There's a host of different reasons
for that.

It's not something to change.

Do you have any advice on buying shoes?

If we only took a look at you
from the ankles down,

then maybe we'd be thinking,
"Look, the feet are pointing out."

"They're going to be landing on the
centre. We need to build up the arch."

You'd probably, nine times out of ten,

walk away with a shoe that's
going to try and help you with that.

This is a classic example
of where your top priority

is actually looking at what's happening
around the hips as opposed to the feet.

It's form before footwear.

That's something which we believe in
very 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 front
of 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 lot
of the population,

whether at a computer or driving.

We're going to look at
a developmental stretch

which can help start changing that
so that when you are running,

getting rid of the tilted back,

you'll be neutral
which will help the propulsion.

Very simple exercise.

I want you to get down on one knee
for the moment. Just like this.

So this stretch we're doing now
is 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 you
to ideally do every morning, if you can.

I try and get my clients to do it
before they brush their teeth.

Stretching is all about...
It's a bit of a fight

against your body doing
naturally what it wants to do.

Your body will listen to the muscles
and 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 mean
that 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 see
another typical position

where the knee takes all the pressure.

We want the foot forward so
the front knee's at 90 degrees as well.

OK? Last but not least, make sure
you're not kneeling on a tightrope.

People are tighter
on the inside of their legs.

So, rather than balancing
on a tightrope,

let's open it up as if we're on a bit
more of a railway track. Fantastic.

Little details like that will change
the effect of the stretch. OK.

From here... How much tension
are 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 sure
we are doing something to the body.

It's not enough to stay there
and think, "This is working."

On this one-to-ten scale,

I need to make sure you're getting
a six or seven up there.

The way we're going to do it
is quite simply,

imagine the front of your trousers
and 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 up
the front of your trousers

by tucking your bottom underneath you.

As you're doing so,

let me know if there's any change
in 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 tilted
as high as you can there

and started to stretch these muscles
we're targeting,

if you can reach a five, fantastic.
Hold that for about 10, 15 seconds.

The other reason people don't benefit
from 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 do
is lunge forward slightly,

but without losing the tilt.
Just move forward slightly.

That should pick up the stretch
a little bit. Numbers going up?

- Yep.
- Hold that for me.

Again, we wait for the numbers to move
down 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 done
in 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 want
you to move the hand away from it.

So stretching up as if
you're trying to touch the ceiling.

We're lifting the ribs
away from the ground.

That should pick up the stretch
across the hip.

- I can feel it higher.
- Fantastic.

That's getting now the hip flexor
as opposed to the quad muscle.

Make sure the rest of the body is
relaxed. Shoulders down. Keep breathing.

The aim of stretching
is to relax every muscle of your body

apart from the one
which is being pulled.

Only when you've achieved
those three moments

of seven gone down to five,
seven gone down to five, seven to five,

do you slowly release and then you can
swap over and do the other leg.

So, you've given me tips
on improving my technique,

but what are the things that I should
at all costs avoid when running?

Things you should definitely avoid...

There's not a lot,
but there are some things

which we're fairly sure
are not going to help you whatsoever.

The main cause of injury
is doing too much, too soon.

Other things to make sure

is that you don't try and focus
on one thing too much of the time.

A nice rule-of-thumb here
which we tend to use

is not increasing anything
more than five percent at a time.

Apart from that,

I think the most important thing in
running is don't take it too seriously.

Don't get stressed out. Enjoy it.