I recently injured my foot which meant I had to stop running, now for some people that would be rather distressing, but I am not the biggest fan of running. During my physio treatment I decided to get a Run Fit Assessment as I had never had a run fit before except a basic gait test/shoe fit. I have the London Triathlon in July and if I am about to start running again I thought it would be best to get some professional advice especially as I wasn’t sure if my running style was linked to my injury. I decided to get my run fit with Capital Physio who I was seeing for my foot injury. It seemed like a no-brainer to get my run fit with the same company that I was seeing for physio for a few reasons; the notes are easily shared across practitioners, a relationship already exists and therefore I know what they are like and lastly both practitioners are aware of what is included in the others assessment which meant my physio could easily give his advice on whether getting a run fit was a good idea based on my injury.
So, what does a run fit include?
The run fit is an hour long and started with a few questions, some relating to my injury or problems when running, my running goals and how much I can run or do run at present. We then moved into the gym area which was at Bannatyne Gym, Westminster. In the gym I had to perform a few exercises on each side 25 times and then score the difficulty. The exercises looked at different areas that would help find weak spots in my running style. These exercises include:
- Heel raises for calves
- Hip lifts, single leg with foot pointed for hamstrings
- Single leg squat for quads/glutes/hip abductors
- Side leg raises for glutes in isolation
- Straight leg raises for quads/hip flexors
I then moved onto the treadmill so that James could film my running from the left, back and right side of my body (check my instagram for some videos). I ran for roughly 5 mins which was perfectly fine (with a warm up and cool down as we should always be on the safe side). After the run we went back into the office to analysis my running style. This was the part I was most looking forward to and nervous about in case I was a really rubbish runner although at the same time perhaps that would explain my dislike for it!
We started with the exercises and what the scores meant and how that pointed out certain weaknesses. Then we looked at the videos from the back and then the left and right side of the body, starting from the top down and discussing each element of the body, what my body is doing when I run, where it should be or perhaps that where it is, is fine.
Shoulders/Arms – not too much swinging and rotation which is good.
Hips – the hips drop a bit when the opposite foot hits the ground (not so great).
Knee/Ankle – Ok in terms of alignment to the rest of my body.
Foot Placement – There are multiple things here; my foot doesn’t pronate which I already as I had been told previously that I am a neutral runner. However, what it does do is that I run like I am on a tightrope, putting one foot almost directly in front of the other which mean my knees are very to each other as they pass. I am also a heel to toe runner which I have also always known but James didn’t say that was a negative thing despite lots of people trying to be toe to heel runners.
Stride and Push off – so my back leg is pushing off nicely to take me forward with a straight back leg and apparently I have an average/long stride which surprised me as I always thought I had a short stride.
James gave me a couple of exercises to do at home to help me with the weaker areas found in the initial assessment exercises which correlate to my running style. James demonstrated how to do both and how many times. Then due to my triathlon in a 6 weeks James also wrote up a running plan for me which was totally unexpected but realistic and felt achievable. This was all sent to me via email with everything we covered as well as some pictures.
I found the run fit interesting in terms of how the exercises indicate which areas may be a problem in your running ability. Then watching the videos and realising which areas you could improve on. I thought the assessment was thorough and not at all daunting. It was also quite reassuring that my running style isn’t completely awful and that I could easily improve in certain areas. I would recommend a run fit no matter your ability but especially if you find running difficult or perhaps you suffer with injuries. In terms of injuries having my physio and my run fit assessment under one company was a huge bonus in terms of ease and communications between practitioners. Check out how to book an assessment here. I will keep you updated on how my running goes and post a blog in a couple of weeks post my assessment to see how much difference the exercises and recommendations go on my runs!