The topic today is biomechanics. Specifically, the way our body moves while running. You’ve probably heard this called running form, technique, or just mechanics. It comes down to the fact that running is a skill. Our body drives the way we run, and how we run is a unique expression of us and our experience. If we want to change the way we run, we have to practice skilled movements. But before we go into the “how” I think it is important to make sure we are clear on the “why.”
What do we hope to gain from focusing on biomechanics? A lot of our run training is focused on conditioning our cardiovascular system—getting oxygen to our muscles and using it as efficiently as possible to produce energy. This why most of your run training involves, well, going out for a run. Running more is generally the best way to run faster. But you also need to consider the mechanics of your movement for two big reasons:
- Running puts a lot of stress on your body. The mechanics of your running have a big impact on this. The less stress you put on your body, the less likely you are to injure yourself. That’s huge because you can’t train consistently, happily, or properly if you are injured. Good biomechanics and movement skill builds resilience.
- Most runners have the potential to run faster by improving mechanical efficiency. Producing more force with the same amount of energy expenditure means free speed. Good biomechanics and movement skill builds speed.
I believe both outcomes are important. Some may favor one over the other. It’s why I do a mobility, stability, strength and movement assessment for all the athletes I coach. I watch athletes walk and run, using slow motion video analysis to dissect and measure different parts of the gait cycle. I’ll share some information about how this is done.
But we’ll also take it a step further. I recently met with Doug Adams at the Omega Project in Wilmington, Delaware. Doug, and his co-founder Brianne Scott, are both experienced physical therapists and runners who specialize in helping people like us run pain-free. Doug has created a 3-dimensional Running Gait analysis system using “trace 3D” motion analysis. This technology has only recently become economically feasible, and it was amazing to experience how powerful it can be for quantifying and focusing efforts.
Located in Wilmington, Delaware, the Omega Project is a place you must visit if you want to really understand the way you run. The Trace 3D Motion Technology is something only pros typically have access to, and running pros are making the trip to Wilmington to visit Doug and the team.
If you decide to try it, Doug is offering $50 off your first full 3D Gait Analysis if you mention that you are affiliated with Run Xpress.
1806 N Van Buren Street, Suite 100
Wilmington, DE 19802
Phone & Fax: 302-570-7027 (texting available)