A Little Bit of Biology

Runners Need Croydon

As I said in my Marathon Diary post yesterday, I really needed to get my Gait analysed. My right foot has been playing up, resulting in a blister just above my arch… not painful enough to have to stop running, but very annoying, especially on a longer run like I did yesterday.

Today I decided to go. No time like the present and all that. This particular Runners Need store is not too far away from home, and I actually didn’t even know it was there until we were driving back from somewhere else. I was quite happy to try and organise this to be done once I was back in London on a regular basis, but luckily, popping in today was a dream. I was the only customer!

Matt, the Sales Assistant, was very helpful. I took my current running shoes with me in case I needed them, and he asked me all sorts of questions about how long I’d had my current shoes, what injuries I might have had (none) and previous running style (road vs treadmill). Once that was established, he brought me out a pair of Nike Free Run trainers to wear whilst on the Treadmill. The purpose of these trainers was to emulate running without shoes, as they offer almost no support, therefore making it easier for him to see my running style.

After donning these, I was asked to run on the Treadmill at my normal pace for about 2 minutes. Had I thought more about doing this today, I would probably have not worn jeans, but hey-ho. The Treadmill was set to 10.0, and off I went.

Gait Analysis at Runners Need

The results were surprising to me, although not to Matt. I have a perfect left foot, an absolute neutral gait, landing straight, toe turned slightly out, using my toes to push off (you can see this in the picture above – the left picture is my left foot showing my ankle is straight, in line with my heel.

But, I over-pronate on my right (as do 85% of the population on one foot or another), leading to the blister (again, on the picture above on the right, you can see my foot bends inwards and the ankle drops, so it’s not in line with my heel). Causes for this could be many – Stiff hip flexors, bad standing habits, the fact my right foot is the dominant one which I happen to sub-consiously use and fidget more – but correction, to aid the blister, was simple.

Matt did not do the hard sell on me and say I had to replace my shoes. In fact he was of the opinion that if you liked the shoes then that’s important. He also said that Nikes tended to be the lighter choice of those on the market as they use Gas and Foam and not Gel to cushion – hence the Air in Nikes. So no new shoes, but I did get new socks, which should help the right foot, and cushion in just the right place to stop the blister. If they don’t work, then I will try an insole.  Luckily, I have time for that!

Purchases from Runners Need

The result – some new kit, and some fascinating biological insight into my running style. If anyone has a niggle whilst running, I’d urge them to go and have this FREE analysis done. It’s been fantastic for me. At least I now have the right kit to help me along! Thank you again to Matt at Runners Need in Croydon

Has anyone tried this, or will you go and have it done now?

Erin, Love from Cornfield… X

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