Sunday, September 5, 2010

My running gait analysis experience

I was told the most important thing to do when you start running is to have your gait analyzed. The reason for this is so that you know what type of pronator you are as well as, what type of shoe is best for your foot. I learned that a local running specialty store in my area performed video gait analysis's and, did so for free. So, yesterday morning I headed up there to receive this very important test. 

Before we get started about my visit lets learn some basics about the test from The New Balance website:
What is the running gait?
"The running gait is a unique set of actions and reactions that your foot performs while in motion to support, cushion, and balance your body."

What is pronation?
"Pronation is simply a normal foot in motion, from foot-strike on the outside of the heel through the inward roll of the foot. Pronation occurs as the foot rolls from the outer edge to the inner edge. Everyone pronates, and the initial pronation is considered an important and healthy response to the intense amount of shock imposed upon the foot and is integral to propelling you forward. If the foot pronates too much or too little and does so frequently, several biomechanical problems may result that will cause a decrease in performance and increase the possibility of injury."

At the store they used a treadmill with a camera attached and, a TV to play the video back. I stepped on the treadmill and did a slow walk and, gradually started to jog. The employee watched my feet as I ran. She then slowed the video down and, looked at the results. She pointed out to me that my left overpronates more than my right but, they both showed some overpronating.

"Overpronators generally land in a pronated position and continue to roll significantly inward as they go from heel strike to toe off."

Unfortunately, I didn't have someone to take video or pics of my visit so, this quick cell phone pic will have to do. You can see the Overpronation on the TV here.

She suggested I look for a shoe that had some type of stability. She then measured both of my feet twice for size. Both measuring about a size 7. She then asked me what type of distances I would be running. I learned that if running more than 6 miles I should go up a size in shoe to make room for my feet to swell. I however, am only running up to about 4 miles at this time so we opted for a half size up. she brought me out several different types of shoes to try on. I first tried all pairs on stopping to take a walk and, short sprint through the room to see how they felt.  I narrowed down the shoes to 3 that felt the best on my feet. I then started to put one of each shoe on each of my feet to cross compare them. After a couple minutes in each shoe, I had finally made a decision. For once in my life, I had picked a pair of shoes that felt great on my feet not because of the color, style or, price.

If you have not already had a gait analysis I highly suggest getting one performed.  Having your running gait analyzed is very important to reduce the possibility of injuries.

And, the winning pair is:  The Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 I can't wait to go running in these!

Have you had a gait analysis performed? What type of pronator are you?
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