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April 19, 2012

3

Captured on film: video analysis of running mechanics

Right foot

By James Gray

Eager to take every precaution in the run-up (no pun intended) to the Bupa Great North Run in September 2012, I have already subjected myself to a comprehensive sports medical, so now it was time to have my running technique pulled apart by the experts.

The analysis I opted for is offered by bständig in Vienna. It is designed to identify any flaws in running mechanics that can ultimately lead to injury and also includes recommendations for corrective measures as well as advice on running shoes.

Injuries are commonly caused by faulty mechanics and there is nothing worse than being sidelined by avoidable injury and compromising your training regime. I often suffer from a nagging knee pain and some discomfort in the hip during and after runs, and I was keen to find out if the experts at bständig could help.

I sat down with qualified sports scientist Pavle Lederer, who fired a list of questions at me to find out what my goals were and if I had any physical complaints. I was asked to perform a series of tasks – standing on one leg, stretching – and Pavle quickly came to the conclusion that my hamstrings, especially in the right leg, were very tight. It was also possible that my right leg is slightly shorter, although it would be up to a medical specialist to diagnose whether this was anatomical or muscular.

Pavle showed me a number of stretching exercises geared towards stretching out the hamstrings before measuring the pressure under each foot. From a computer printout, he was able to show me a precise mapping of the pressure and force in specific areas of the foot during walking. It emerged that I have a tendency to overpronate with the left foot (the foot rolls inward), whereas the right foot tends to roll outward (suppination).

I was then put on the treadmill and asked to run first barefoot while a video captured my technique, and then a second time with the trainers I have been using and which I intend to wear for the Great North Run. Pavle explained that my current trainers compensated well for rotation, although he recommended taking a half-size bigger for my next pair.

By performing the muscle stretching and strengthening exercises Pavle showed me, combined with some gym work, I should be able to prevent any injury as I continue training for the world’s biggest half-marathon this September.

To help me raise funds for Wakefield Hospice, make your donation quickly and easily by visiting

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jamiegray

For more information about Wakefield Hospice visit http://www.wakefieldhospice.org/

For more information about the video motion analysis from bständig visit bständig

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