When I was training for my first mountain ultra in 2010, I called up a reputable physical therapist in Seattle and asked him to analyze my running gait. Once he learned I was not currently injured, he laughed and told me he doesn’t work with uninjured athletes. After conducting a gait analysis on myself, I went on to run twenty-five ultras without overuse injury so I knew I was on to something.
This PT’s philosophy seems rather convenient: don’t help the athlete until the situation is one of dire dependence on the services requested then charge out the nose for bi-weekly appointments for the rest of eternity. I decided to operate my business a little differently. By offering pre-injury or post-rehab gait analysis sessions to athletes who run, I will save you a mint spent at the physical therapist’s or orthopedist’s office and keep you moving on your favorite trails - pain-free. Running, even ultra distances, does not have to devolve into bodily entropy.
As spring fills us to overflowing with vim and vigor, now is the best time of the year to review the basic mechanics of your motion. A recent study of novice runners found that gait retraining was effective in preventing some common types of tendonitis - the same kinds of nagging injuries that will dog an untrained runner for years upon years.
So, as I like to tell my clients when we have the joy of running together in person, “run like a geek”. During our two sessions on the trail of your choice, in either an Issaquah Alps or Methow Valley location, I’ll teach you the finer points of stacking your spine like a cairn, proper alignment of hips to knees to toes, sex-specific anatomy relevant to the running motion, and we’ll create for you the most efficient gait possible.
I have three slots left this spring for gait work and they’re going fast - another just filled this morning! Five miles or fifty, every runner benefits from proper gait. To claim your spot click below or share this email with another friend who would like to remain uninjured this running season.