Compliments

The last week, a couple of people have asked me “are you a runner, because you look like a runner”  I’m always taken a bit by surprise by this question because I’ve never considered myself to be a runner.  A cyclist?  Yes.  A swimmer?  Yes.  A triathlete, certainly.  But not a runner.  It’s probably because I came to running late, as a part of triathlon.  But 8 years later, I’m still not completely at ease with the idea that “I’m a runner”.  I suppose that’s a good thing, because I’m hardwired to improve that which I’m not proficient, so I try to work hard on my running.

But maybe it’s time to admit it.

Yes, I am a runner.

Limitless

As I was progressing through my outseason training, it began to be very apparent that my running needed some help.  I’ve been given some advice by other coaches that I should consider a professional gait analysis.  As I did the research on this, I came across some strong recommendations for Pursuit Athletic Performance (PAP) in Old Saybrook CT.  I signed up for their gait analysis evaluation as a birthday gift to myself.

My appointment was for this past Friday, and the session went really well.  I was the first athlete of the day, and had the full and undivided attention of Coach Al Lyman and  Dr. Kurt Strecker (DC).  The evaluation included assessment of:

  • muscle length
  • joint mobility
  • joint stability
  • motor control and coordination
  • appropriate muscle action
  • resiliency and resistance to fatigue and
  • functional strength

This was accomplished through a combination of static measurements, stretching measurements, and video recording of my running form on a treadmill, both barefoot and in my normal running shoes.

Here is the video evaluation:  (not pretty)

The evaluation lasted almost four hours and I came away with a very detailed and specific report.  Basically my core strength, stability and balance need a LOT of work.  Without this rebuilding, I’m on a course to get injured during training or racing, which will set back my long term goals of a Kona qualifier.  None of this was surprising to me.  I knew that I was hitting the limits of my run fitness based on how I felt after racing or running hard sets, or anything longer than about an hour.

I came out of the evaluation with a set of exercises and stretches to get me through the first phase of rebuilding my running.  The evaluation criteria and results and recommendations was presented in a printed guide, with photographs of the specific exercises and stretches, as well as a DVD with video examples of the same exercises and stretches.

So now, the rebuilding work begins!