Physio Running Assessments – Outdoors!

Physio Running Assessments – Outdoors!

If you are a runner and are often injured or you are new to running and suspect your form could be improved, often a running technique assessment can identify possible problems and offer ways to correct them.

Having your running form filmed and then analysed can be a valuable form of feedback to improve your running and hopefully minimise your injuries.


There are two ways to perform a running assessment:


1. On a treadmill inside – this is easy and convenient but running on a treadmill is different to running outdoors where the speed is usually not kept constant and often outdoor runners are not very comfortable running on a treadmill, so they may take up time getting used to this method of running.


2. Outside – this way of assessing the running technique is not so convenient but can be beneficial for keeping the running form as close to the runner’s natural form as possible.


At Quay Health, our physiotherapist, Jo Hadley likes to perform running assessments outside in a park close to Quay Health in Bridge St. She utilises two camera positions for filming:


1. Front and rear views – runners are filmed as they run towards and away from the camera to determine for example, how the legs are positioned on landing and take off and also how stable the core and pelvis are as the runner moves.


2 Side/semi-circular views – runners run in a semi-circle in each direction for about 50m to give video details of foot placement on landing and other information.


What does a Running Assessment show?


Jo uses an app on an iPad that is able to use slow-motion to reveal important components in the running cycle:


  • Where does the foot land? In front of the body or under the hip?
  • Does the foot land across the body in a scissoring action or not?
  • Is the foot on the ground for too long before the next phase?
  • Is the pelvis controlled or does it drop or twist?
  • Is there too much or too little rotation in the pelvis/thorax?
  • What are the arms doing? Do they cross the midline?
  • What is the cadence?
  • Is there too much bounce?


Some flaws are very obvious and others may require closer inspection of the videos after the assessment. But all runners will receive an email with their running assessment video and some advice on improving the technique and some strengthening exercises or stretches suggestions to work on.


With the more obvious flaws, Jo can give immediate tips to try for changing the technique flaws discovered and she can then re-film the runner to see if instant changes can be implemented. The runner will have some ‘take-home’ tips to keep working on. The runners whose techniques are either good or need very close inspection to discover any flaws will receive tips and advice via email.


After you have discovered your running flaws and received some tips to work on changing these flaws, it is a good idea to re-book in 6 weeks for a follow up video assessment, to see if you have improved! This second or subsequent videos can be compared to the initial video and further tips can be given if required.


Some people who are either beginners or have several aspects/flaws to work on may require 1-2 more follow up sessions to progress their improvements – unfortunately changes are slow to implement sometimes and only 1-2 areas can be changed at once, otherwise our brains get over loaded and become unfocused.


Jo’s Initial Running Assessment session should take about 60 minutes and she will analyse and email your video and suggestions afterwards. (There will be a 5 minute walk to the park and +/- on return)


Jo’s Follow Up Assessment should take about 45 minutes. (There will be a 5 minute walk to the park +/_ on return)


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