Spring is coming, bringing nicer weather and many running venues reopening. Runners are eager to reduce the treadmill volume in their weekly training plans. This leads many runners to think about how they can improve their running times.
Many runners immediately think about adding speed workouts to their training plan in order to improve their running times. But before you add speed sessions, consider focusing on improving your running technique.
Run video analysis has proven its value to athletes at every level. These analysis videos offer two benefits:
Improving speed through mechanical efficiency
Prevent injuries by improving running technique
warm-upThere are five immediate and long-term benefits to run video analysis:
Preparation, observation, evaluation, feedback, and monitoring
Most athletes think that getting a run video analysis is a complicated an expensive test, or that must be performed in fancy sport medicine labs. The good news is that a basic run video analysis can be performed by your certified coach using a cell phone and a free app.
Why is it important that athletes get a run video analysis?
Your coach will prescribe the skill/drill you need to improve your running technique.
The technique refinement you acquire will improve your running mechanics, leading to greater efficiency.
When you watch videos of yourself running, you have a visual of your running form that helps you create a mental model of the improvements you are trying to make.
Improving your technique will help prevent common overuse injuries.
Having a baseline run video analysis and performing follow-on analysis allows you to track performance changes over time.
Identifying the specific run issues you’re experiencing can help you choose the running shoes that better fit your needs.
How a coach performs a basic run video analysis:
After a warm-up, your coach will video you running from multiple angles and at different speeds.
The analysis can take place almost anywhere–a parking lot, road, or track.
You must use your training and racing shoes because any difference in the shoes can affect your technique differently.
For triathletes, it’s ideal to perform a run analysis before and after a hard bike workout so your coach can observe any technique and mechanical differences in your run when you’re fatigued.
Some key points and areas to be addressed during the test:
Posture & body position
Power losses through lateral movement
Use whole foot (best)
Supination (shoe type choice)
Over-pronation (shoe type choice)
Here are some examples of run video analysis assessments:
>20º Thigh behind body from vertical at full recovery extension (extension angle)
>6º Hip to ear from vertical (aggressiveness, forward more aggressive)
>45º Knee lift from vertical (hip flexor snappiness)
<165º Knee angle at full extension (greater extension indicates the athlete is more likely to overstride).
<10º Hip drop from horizontal (indicates hip strength and potential over stride)
<90º Elbow angle (efficiency).
Manuel Delgado Gaona is a USAT Level II and Youth & Junior Coach, FMTri Level II Certified Coach, an ACSM Exercise Physiologist, and a Physician specializing in Anatomic Pathology. His coaching philosophy is based on exercise efficiency. Coach Manuel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.