There are a number of reasons why we get injured when running, and there are also lots of reasons why our running performance suffers. Like anything in life, it is easy to form habits that don’t do us much good in our running. The long term implications of incorrect movements habits can include recurrence of previous injuries, experiencing new injuries, and a loss of performance. All of this can lead to frustration, wasted race fees, constant spending on physiotherapists and other practitioners, and a loss of motivation for the sport we love. Often though, we can make small changes that can have dramatically positive outcomes. This is where gait retraining and running lessons come in. Firstly, our gait is how we walk or run. It describes the movement cycle from the start of one stride on one leg, right through to the start of the next stride on the same leg. Our gait cycle has a number of significant action points :
  • Initial Contact (foot strike)
  • Mid-stance
  • Toe off
These can be broken down into smaller stages as seen in the image, but as a starting point the three stages above serve us well. At any given point in our gait cycle, our body is moving in a very complex manner. There is full integration from neck to feet, with lines of muscle, tendon, ligament and other fascial tissue all working together. A kink, injury, strength or misfiring issue in any of this interconnected structure can lead to forces being applied elsewhere in the chain. Because the other areas of fascia are not designed to handle the additional force, it can often lead to pain, injury and/or a loss of performance. The challenge in correcting the parts that are not functioning is that every one of us is different. While there are common movement patterns that are seen as more efficient and ideal, we don’t live in an ideal world. Our body is amazing at adapting to the forces we apply to it, sometimes just finding a way around an issue at that time. However, the body’s own workaround may have served us well at the moment it was needed, but longer term it can lead to all kinds of issues. Following our in-depth assessment, we have a lot of information about how you move and what this may mean for your running and injury risk. We also have a collection of clues as to the small changes that can be made to dramatically reduce your injury risk and help you become a faster runner. Gait retraining, or running lessons, are all about implementing those small changes. We build a unique plan of action especially for you. A typical plan may contain some or all of the following:
  • Muscle activation and firing sequence training
  • Movement habit retraining
  • Strength training
  • Reframing how you view your running and goals
  • Mental cues and mind techniques
Some of our incorrect movement patterns are simply habit. The latest research into flexibility and mobility all point to the Central Nervous System (CNS) as our main control centre. Just like other areas of our body, the CNS will adapt to what we do most. For example, if we sit for many hours each day, the position of our body (legs, arms, back etc) becomes our normal range. The CNS sets the range start and end around this regular range of motion and doesn’t like it when we try and move outside of the range. This is done for protection, but often it just gets in the way of correct and efficient movement. Our gait retraining programmes aim to work with your CNS, and encourage it to expand that range of motion to provide you with more flexibility, mobility and most importantly, stability. Just doing more and more strength work will not necessarily fix incorrect movement patterns – often it will just make those movement patterns stronger and make the overall situation worse. This is an open-ended question and depends on a number of factors, including:
  • The extent of the retraining you require
  • How you respond to the retraining
  • The effort and practice that you put in outside of the RunTeach sessions
  • Other issues that may crop up during the programme
We usually start with a block of 6 sessions. This also includes at least one additional full assessment, but can also include several sensor only assessments depending on the goal of the retraining. The sessions can be taken once per week, once every two weeks, or some runners like to take the sessions each day. We will chat through the options with you, and the frequency of the sessions will largely depend on your motivation, practice time and lifestyle. This largely depends on what the end goal of your retraining is. Ordinarily, the sessions will either be outside (whenever possible) or inside on a treadmill. They will all have an appropriate warm up that includes some coordination work, and will then contain one or more elements mention in the section “Gait Retraining” above. The price for a 6-block of sessions, including at least one in-depth assessment at the start and 1 at the end is £299.
  • Each session is at least 1 hour
  • The cost covers:
    • The running and movement assessment(s), reports, videos
    • Personalised gait retraining programme, delivered over 6 one-to-one, in-person sessions
    • Running schedule/training load review and suggested training plan
When you book your gait retraining sessions with us, we will contact you to arrange a suitable start date and time. We will begin with the initial in-depth assessment, and from that we will be able to work with you to design your personalised gait retraining programme.