This winter has had its challenges. Twelve snow days scrambling to find childcare, countless passes with the snow blower before 8am just to get out of the house, and constant shoveling. Despite what we tell ourselves when shoveling the huge berm at the end of the driveway (or in a lot of cases, the whole driveway), shoveling snow is not a good workout.
Most runners are giddy with excitement that the snow is finally starting to melt. It’s time to get some dirt back under these feet. As much as we would like to jump back in to our training right where we left off last year, we know better. We need to build back up.
Now is the time to start strengthening to ensure the build up of mileage is balanced and does not lead to pain and injuries throughout the season. A running analysis is an easy way to identify exactly where we should focus our efforts.
At Sierra Symmetry (a Pilates Studio located upstairs from Crossfit Truckee) we focus on sports performance and injury prevention specific to runners. We utilize a treadmill with slow-motion video in addition to other movement evaluations.
During a running analysis at Sierra Symmetry we start with the basics: alignment, tempo and ease. Next we move into the nitty gritty details of your body’s movement patterns. We identify any breakdowns in thoracic extension, hip flexion, knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion. We analyze video of you running in slow motion to identify corrections that need to be made in mobility or strength of specific joints and muscles. Once we’ve identified the disconnects, we build a plan specific to your body to fix them.
DPMR’s Helen Pelster is a great example of the nuances we can find in just over an hour. Helen is a seasoned runner who understands the importance of the correct mechanics and has trained herself to meet the “rules” of these mechanics. The trouble is, if the body knows what it is supposed to be doing, but does not meet the strength requirements to achieve the perfect form, it will compensate.
Helen knows that she has a “wonky” arm swing, but couldn’t pinpoint how to fix it. The issue we found is not with her arms, but in the ability of her right leg to fire into hip flexion. Because her right side is weaker than her left, her body compensates by rotating the entire torso and over-swinging the arms.
Most runners understand the importance of strength and mobility to accompany their running training program, but not every runner has the time, and let’s face it, we’d always rather be running.
By performing a running assessment, we can focus on the exact needs of our body to create the most efficient workout possible. Workouts can be tailored to include in-studio training, a home exercise plan or a combination of both.