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I'm not too cool for (Running) School

sarahleonardby sarahleonardNov 9th 2012
Thinking About Technique

I've always been naturally a forefoot runner and knew that some runners are heel strikers but that was about as far as my running technique knowledge went.

However, over the past few years the words running and technique appear to have become more established in the world of Triathlon.

I wanted to know more about running technique, what my own technique was like and most importantly what I could do to make myself a more efficient runner. So I decided to consult the experts and enroll myself and my partner in Running School.

Initial Assessment

We went along to an open day at our local Running School in Bristol with the offer of a Free Biomechanical Analysis. There we met with Chris Kay, Head Coach and a qualified Sports Rehabilitation Specialist so we felt we were in safe hands. We also met Richard Bricknell who initially set up Running School in Bristol due to the increase prevalence of running injuries seen at his clinic where he'd identified that technical deficiencies were often the cause of injury.

Before we arrived I had a look at The Running School website and their aims:

-We can help you stay injury free,
-We can improve your running technique,
-We can increase your speed whatever your sport

All this sounded really good to me because having been a triathlete now for a few years I know how frustrating it is to pick up an injury and well I'd like to be able to run a bit faster as well!

Chris took a few health details to start with to check that I was OK to do the Biomechanical Analysis and explained what we were going to do next...

Biomechanical Analysis

Onto the treadmill in a room full of mirrors so I could see exactly what I was doing while Chris took a few of minutes of film for me to look at during the analysis section, where they could identify any weakness and movement problems. I tried to run as naturally as possible because I wanted to know the full extent of my running misdemeanors. I wondered what my technique would look like after a few hours of running because I've seen to a few shocking race photos of myself in the past. I kept this question in my head to ask later. Chris also asked more questions about my running history and what I wanted to achieve in the future, I said I'd like to run faster without injuring myself, I think this must be a pretty common objective?
I'm not too cool for (Running) School
Video Analysis

So this was the exciting bit, we moved to a computer to load my video and analyse my running. In my head I'd thought that my running looked a lot worse than it actually looked on screen so that was a good start. Although there were points to work on my body position was good and so was my heel height recovery and right arm movement. Where I could improve was in hitting the ground underneath my body instead of in front (causing breaking) and by working on reducing a cross body arm swing with my left arm. Another big problem for me was also landing over the center line with my left foot. I had no idea that I did this but I'm glad I know about it now so that I can do something about it. Chris asked if I could a single leg squat on my left side that I tried and failed so there's some work to be done. I asked about how my technique seemed to deteriorate when I got tired and he said that they also looked at technique after clients had already done training so they could see where technique broke down.

So the next phase will be to do the hard work to improve on what I've already got. We'll be working with Bristol Running School over the next few weeks having coached sessions to implement what's needed to get my running up to speed. I'll be blogging about it here so follow me or subscribe to my RSS feed to find out how I get on!

If you're interested and you want to check out your local running school see locations Here.
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