So I've got a TON to update on (namely, running with Tommy Neeson in Virginia this past weekend), but I just wanted to hop on and share something real quick...
Yesterday, I got my very first f'real gait analysis! Yes, this is a very exciting thing, and more so than I can explain here, but I'll try.
I've always thought about getting one, but the expense kept me away from it. Then my PT, Laura, informed me that my insurance will cover most of it, SOLD! Basically it was an hour long test that ended with watching the video data gathered and scrutinizing it in painful detail. We began with a bunch of diagnostic tests to see what my range of motion was in various joints, flexibility, balance, checking how certain things moved during single-leg squats, toe touches and back bends. Kinda cool. Then I hopped on the treadmill and got videotaped from all angles while I walked barefoot at a comfortable pace. Laura drew all over my legs with a thick black marker so that movement in certain places would be more visible on camera. I looked like a crash test dummy, haha.
After this, I put my shoes back on and ran for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace so that I could fatigue my legs a bit. (FYI, don't drink a bunch of coffee or water prior to one of these things because you can't hop off to use the bathroom!) Then the videotaping began.
(By the way, I hate treadmill running. I think it is the running equivalent to watching the hour long circa 1982 sexual harassment video on your first day of a new job. Boring.)
Afterwards, the fun began. I tell ya, I never thought I'd love to watch myself run in slow-mo! Turns out my gait is a lot better than we expected and apparently I hold myself back. Laura said we need to work on widening my stride and 'unleashing the sprinter in you'! What? Sprinter? I don't know about that. My stride angle is at 38 degrees, and most runners fall between 40-60 degrees (elite athletes being at a 60). She said I should be pushing at least a 50 degree stride because of my height/leg length and how slim I am. Bring it on! I also have to work on my hip strength, get a shoe with a teensy bit of stability, and lengthen my soleus and gastroc. No problemo.
Best thing to come out of the session was that I was told I have the most ideal body type and form for ultra running. Laura said if I don't take advantage of this she'll beat me down with a high-density foam roller :)