Running gait is important to consider in relation to running injuries. We often see lots of different running styles but what are some of the signs to look out for and how do we change this?
What are classic signs of possible issues?
Landing out-with centre of mass
Increase in injuries
Do we need to change gait?
Not if there’s no issues
May reduce injury risk (Chan et al., 2017)
May improve running economy and performance (Folland et al., 2017)
How do we make changes in gait?
If you’re making changes, make them very slowly
Overstriding- aim to reduce stride length and increase step-rate
Simple cues e.g. run softly and take smaller steps
Make any changes very gradually e.g. 2 mins at end of a run
Are there any downsides?
Adopting new foot-striking patterns will alter loading in tissues
May increase risk of issues with calf/achilles
May become too obsessive with running pattern
What about support shoes or insoles/orthotics?
Everyone’s needs are different
They can help change loading in tissues
Find what works for you
Here is a useful video by Salomon TV to help when picking running shoes:
So what do I need to take away from this?
Don’t change if there’s no issues
If you decide to make changes, make them gradually
There will be variations in gait, everyone is different
This only forms part of a rehabilitation plan
Seek physiotherapist advice for further information
Chan, Z.Y., Zhang, J.H., Au, I.P., An, W.W., Shum, G.L., Ng, G.Y. and Cheung, R.T., 2018. Gait retraining for the reduction of injury occurrence in novice distance runners: 1-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of sports medicine, 46(2), pp.388-395.
Folland, J.P., Allen, S.J., Black, M.I., Handsaker, J.C. and Forrester, S.E., 2017. Running technique is an important component of running economy and performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 49(7), p.1412.