Are you Fit to Run?

Are You Fit To Run?

Running is known as a ‘simple’ sport. It’s easy and very accessible to just put on your trainers and head out the door…but is it too good to be true? Is there more to it? Are you fit to run?

Many people start running to get fit but don’t consider that they may not be fit to run. Muscle weakness and excessive stiffness can predispose runners to injury. The two most important things to consider when starting out are the ability to build endurance and to prevent injury. To reduce the risk of injury, muscle imbalances and inflexibility should be addressed prior to taking on a running training programme.

Experienced runners are at risk too. The incidence of running-related injuries
is extremely high. This is due to the repetitive nature of the exercise and the result of excessive accumulation of ground reaction forces with every step. Increasing mileage is considered one of the biggest risk factors for an injury and is classified as a training error. Introducing more load to your joints should be a gradual and measured process.

The best injury treatment is prevention.

One of the most accurate ways of determining mechanical deficiencies in the body is to combine strength and flexibility assessment with 3D gait analysis. This is the most accurate way of appraising running motion and uses a scientific approach to capture reliable and measurable information. Infrared cameras track the positions of small reflective markers so that joint angles and movements can be precisely measured to provide unparalleled insight into an individual’s running stride. This data is used to quantify an individual’s injury risk, assess biomechanical efficiency and performance, and help determine the cause of an injury.

3D gait analysis can help to:

• Improve the efficiency of an individual’s running style
• Advise on the most appropriate footwear
• Help the runner to identify risk factors for an injury as you increase your mileage
• Give training advice and rehabilitation/ prevention programmes to use alongside your running.

Not only does the system enable accurate assessment of the running and walking gait but it also offers real-time gait retraining – a fast developing clinical
rehabilitation tool. The method is applicable to all types of sports not just runners.

“Athletes of all abilities can benefit from a Run3D® assessment. Whether you’re a recreational runner or a competing athlete, having an assessment will help you to stay injury free by giving you the opportunity to address any issues you may have before they develop into a full-blown injury. You’ll be able to avoid the disappointment that injury brings and ensure you get to the starting line every time.”

– Jo Pavey, Team GB

This technology was once only available to a select few in specialist university research centres but is now available in private practices in the form of Run3D®. The system was developed by Jessica Leitch Phdil at the University of Oxford Gait Laboratory.

Read more about the Fit To Run service by Epsom Footcare here.

First published in March 2017 in

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Stephen Wells BSc (Hons) Podiatry MChS

Musculoskeletal Podiatrist
HCPC registration No. CH15864

Epsom Footcare

4 Ashley Road
Epsom, Surrey
KT18 5AX
T: 01372 722092/723000

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