Last weekend I had the benefit of video analysis of my swim stroke under the watchful eyes of Emma Brunning and fellow course member Tim (with quite a few things to work on as a result). This week it was the turn of video analysis of my running style with a visit to the excellent Brighton Podiatry and Helen Morrell, expert in biomechanics and gait analysis.
I first met Helen around ten years ago when I had a persistent achilles tendonitis and other post ironman aches and pains. Helen set me right with a specially designed set of orthoses that worked their magic. I was overdue a set of replacements but was also keen to have a review given other treatment and the new regime of strength and conditioning I'm starting to get into.
Maybe as an effect of doing Lands End to John O'Groats, almost certainly as a consequence of not enough core conditioning work, I've had persistent problems with the glutes. This has really hampered my running, taking away a lot of the pleasure I used to feel and making me feel like I was on a path of painful, slowing decline.
However, the Level 3 course and the excellent session with top physio Alison Rose has already converted me to the power of S&C - as some of my clients and members of Brighton Tri Club will already have realised! I've also had some very effective treatment from local physio Cathy Kwan of Blue Koala who has devised a S&C and stretch programme for me. Already I'm feeling a huge benefit, running stronger and more fluently than I have in years and feeling excited about what lies ahead.
So best foot forward to Helen and some gait analysis. One of the things she identified and marked up graphically in the still here is how my left leg tends to angle in. The footfall is then a bit like a swimmer's cross over at centre line rather than being directly below the hips. She identified I then over-pronate because of the crossing over force. Not in the still but clear from the video (and from the wear on my shoes), the right foot then goes out slightly as if countering what the left leg is doing. And the cause: all down to the weakness in the left glutes, still not firing as they should.
You can see in the second still how my footfall is also ahead of the centre of gravity - putting more strain on the quads.
So the prescription: a new finely adjusted set of orthoses and keep going with the S&C regime for glutes and hip flexors Mike!
Many thanks to Helen, Cathy and everyone else who's helping me get back to the joys of running.