How Run3D Will Make You A Better and Faster Runner
Are you thinking about having a Run3D gait analysis, but not really sure how it can help you? Anna Boniface explains how Run3D helped identify her injury risk, improve efficiency issues with her running style, and helped her to acknowledge a smarter way to strengthen for the marathon. Did we mention she then proceeded to knock 9 minutes off her previous marathon pb and came first female in the non elite London Marathon 2017 race?...
In February 2017, you had your gait scientifically analysed with a Run3D gait analysis. What did you learn about your running gait from this analysis?
" The results were really interesting and explained why I get certain recurrent niggles. I have quite an unusual running gait, so to the naked eye it's quite hard to identify each individual issue. Because there is a lot to critique, some of the less obvious issues have been missed previously.
Run3D's gait analysis has shown exactly where my weaknesses and instabilities are. This is mainly at my hips, which then stems down the kinetic chain causing other issues at the foot and ankle. The biggest revelation of my analysis was that there was too much driving force going through the ankle resulting in a bouncy and less efficient running style. This has meant that my ankle plantar flexors are working too hard, which has explained why I am getting extensive recurrent tightness and foot niggles".
What rehabilitation exercises and changes to your running style were recommended by Run3D based on your results?
"From my Run3D gait analysis and full MSK assessment carried out by the Run3D team, I've been given a great exercise programme to address the instabilities, weaknesses and muscle tightness.
This mainly has been hip and lower limb/foot strengthening exercises. Run3D have made this running specific with many of the exercises being single legged to replicate running gait where the hip needs to stabilise. They have also recommended running drill based exercises to help improve my form, particularly on foot placement in the gait cycle and stabilising my pelvis by activating my glutes.
I've had a recent foot injury and I have been provided with some resting orthotics throughout the injury problem to help off-load the tendon"
At London Marathon this year you had a fantastic race that you took a full 9 minutes off your previous marathon pb of 2.45 to get a 2.37! How much of this improvement would you attribute to the findings of your Run3D analysis?
"Run3D has definitely contributed to improving my marathon time. I know that before Run3D I had not been doing specific enough exercises to address the problems with my running gait. This has only been the start of the improvements and I feel with further work with the team, even more improvements can be made."
To race competitively over the marathon requires a very high training mileage and staying injury free is always a challenge. Preventing injuries before they occur is a key component to distance running success. How has Run3D helped you stay injury free?
"In marathon running, consistency is an absolute key. I was fortunate enough not to have too many issues until just before my taper when I had a small foot niggle. I was able to go to the London Run3D clinic really quickly to have some soft tissue therapy and to review my exercises, which was really useful. The niggle settled and I was able to perform on race day. Most importantly, however, its been about identifying the biomechanical problems and establishing potential injury risks that could occur. Therefore, I know exactly what "prehab" exercises are most important to keep my injury risk at bay. I know that I will have to likely always do these exercises day in and day out, but knowing WHY I need to do them gives me the obedience to incorporate them into my training and to prioritise it as much as going out for a run."
The principle of 'marginal gains' is becoming increasingly important in elite sport. Run3D identified that you waste a lot of energy when you run by bouncing up and down too much. By enabling you to identify and correct this fault, do you think Run3D will help you run faster over 26.2 miles in the future?
"I know that I have so much to give in the marathon. Physiology testing has shown that I have a "great engine". What is slowing me down is that inefficiency from my running style, which over 26.2 miles is going to waste a lot of energy. When you reach elite levels, the improvements become a lot less. I doubt I will knock off a significant chunk in one go again, but each minute I can run faster brings me closer to my ultimate aim of going to a major championship, where realistically I need to be running around 2.30.
Im still young in the marathon world, and with persistence and patience at working on these biomechanical issues with the Run3D team, I think this is a really realistic aim to have. Gait re-education and fine tuning running form doesn't happen overnight. It will take months and even years to take full effect. But with youth on my side, its certainly worth pursuing."
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