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.
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:
motor control and coordination
appropriate muscle action
resiliency and resistance to fatigue and
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.