One of the biggest demographics of clients we work with is runners. Obviously this in part, because many of our runners deal with nagging and recurring injuries that get aggravated when they up their mileage.
But another reason we work with our runners is to create programs to retrain their running gait to make them more efficient in how they use their bodies (aka- better endurance, and faster splits).
Most of us that have looked up how to best increase our running speed, and improve our mileage splits have seen the following recommendations:
1) Increase Gait Cadence– We often hear the magic number of 180 steps/minute, there is some truth to this number but it definitely varies a bit from person to person. This is something we coach our clients on, but since this is such a common suggestion, with a ton of great metronome apps you can use to help train cadence, I’m going to skip over this one for the purpose of this post.
2) Reduce Foot Contact with Ground– This has to do with how much time the foot is actually spending on the ground, and is often improved by working toward more of a mid/forefoot strike over a heel strike. Again, this is a very common topic with a lot of great articles on it, so I’m going to skip it for this post.
3) INTERVAL Runs– Meaning spending periods of time trying to run harder/faster, followed by recovery periods that are slower than normal running pace (perhaps even down to a walk). This is a great way to physically push the body more, and eventually increase our VO2 (aka endurance).
This issue with #3 by itself, is if we have running gait deviations that are hurting our bodies, which many of us do, then just running harder and pushing the body more often results in injuries and pains… ultimately taking us away from our running.
So what we do differently at HBR is that we strive to accomplish both Health & Performance at the same time!
We do this by analyzing walking and running gaits (along with a number of other full body assessments) to determine where any and all imbalances are showing up and impacting how the body moves and stabilizes itself.
Based off these analyses we often find a combination of things going on with our runners that impact both performance and physical health (joint and tissue integrity):
1) Foot and Ankle Turn Out
2) Foot and Ankle Pronation
3) Knee and Femur Internal Rotation (upon stepping forward)
4) Hip External Rotation (with the trailing leg)
5) Pelvic Instability and Rotations
6) Thoracic Restrictions and Cross Body Arm Swings
A combination of a few or more of these imbalances often results in a lack of recruitment from our biggest most important muscle groups: Our GLUTES and our CORE.
And if we are having difficulties in using our glute and core complexes we often have to over-compensate with things like our: Quads, Adductors, Hip Flexors, Plantar Fascial Lines, Ankle Stabilizers, Lower and Mid Back Erectors, Neck and Shoulder musculature, and more.
Then, these over-compensations are what result in recurring tweaks, pains, and injuries…
Additionally though, for those of us looking to be faster, if we aren’t able to use our big powerful BUTT musculature to drive us forward… We are going to be MUCH slower than what our natural fitness should enable us to be.
To find out how we have helped clients like Nell cut over a minute off her mileage splits, while solving her chronic Paraneal pain, or how Orly was able to train for a marathon and then an ultra marathon right after, while solving her chronic IT Band pain… Check out the link below to see our full video:
Also, if you’d like some free 1 on 1 guidance as to where any of your potential imbalances are that are impacting your body- Schedule your first of 2 FREE calls with our team here: https://go.oncehub.com/hbrcall
The 1st of those calls is us quickly getting to know your history and goals. The 2nd free call is over video where we analyze your body from head to toe to determine how and why the body is moving the way it does… and most importantly create a game-plan together on how you can correct it back to full ranges of stable motion :).