I say this often but everybody knows how to run. You don't really have to think about it, you just put one foot in front of the other and go. But not everyone knows how to run properly. I know because I have terrible running form. Last September I started going to physical therapy after developing runner's knee. One of my favorite parts about Finish Line Physical Therapy and my Physical Therapist Mike Riccardi is that he works on my running form.
During my first visit back in September, Mike filmed me running on a treadmill. Then he went over the results with me using a program that allows him to draw lines all over my still image to analyze my gait.
We found that I was over-striding, had decreased hip extension, and increased hip drop while I was on one leg (trendelenberg) to name the biggies. (Overstride: When your foot comes in contact with the ground ahead of your hips.) Mike wanted me to work on pushing my chest forward while lengthening my legs backwards so my initial contact and mid stance happens with my hips directly over the balls of my feet.
So we did this again today to check my progress.
That my friends is what we call, no progress. Let's look at this side by side shall we?
While I was running on the treadmill Mike turned on a beeping noise and asked me to increase my pace to match the beat. Turns out I am still taking long luxurious strides that pin me to the ground. I look like a bag of bricks when I run! Mike requested I make a playlist since I listen to music as I run consisting only of songs with 180 beats per minute. By matching the beat I will hopefully take shorter, quicker, and lighter steps when I run. And most importantly, work on my heel strike because it's straining my legs and killing my soul.
Now all is not lost and though I need to work on improving my form, Mike has helped me eliminate my knee pain completely by teaching me exercises that strengthen my hips, core, and entire body. I am a huge believer in "Pre-Hab." You don't have to wait for injuries to happen to treat them. Prevention is a lot more fun than getting injured. I would have never figured out that I had (ok have) terrible running form without Mike. I would probably be close to a knee surgery by now had I not had him to help me strengthen my problem areas.
Sure my running form isn't great but we are taking the necessary steps to improve it. I don't run very fast or competitively but I would like to be able to run for a long time. If you haven't already, look into Physical Therapy. It's been invaluable to keeping me injury free.
CLICK HERE to talk common running injuries with my wonderful PT Mike.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.