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“Running gait analysis involves listening, watching, counting, and communicating.”

minimalist is not synonymous with barefoot

This video serves as a reminder that running in minimalist footwear is not synonmyous with running barefoot. Once you put a layer of material between the bottom of your foot and the surface you are running on things change. In the first part of this clip, the runner is clearly heelstriking in a pair of vibrams. Without any cueing, I had him remove his Vibrams and resume the same running speed. In this case he adopts a more mid to forefoot strike pattern while reducing the impact of strike which is readily apparent when making a note of the sound of ground contact. These findings reinforce the current body of research on this topic.

Demystifying treadmill analysis

This video highlights how simple treadmill analysis and gait retraining can be when translating the available research into clinical practice. In this case, the runner naturally adopts a heelstrike pattern even when initially going barefoot. It’s not until I simply command him to “quiet his feet down” that he adopts a flatter foot placement. In this case, however, the easiest cue to shift the loads away from the knees is to simply have him stay in sync with the metronome, which was used to help him to adopt a 10% faster step rate, which he is able to do with ease. It’s important to mention that the benefits of increasing one’s cadence are premised on keeping the running velocity constant. The end goal is to reduce one’s stride length through the external cueing.

Cadence, cueing, & Footstrike

It’s amazing what can be done through simple cueing and cadence manipulation. This video highlights how we can take a runner, who naturally heel strikes, to a mid/flat footed strike pattern as a simple way of shifting loads. By no means is heelstriking a problem for all runners though in the event one is dealing with shin splints, anterior compartment syndrome, or patellofemoral pain, it’s worth determining the impact of temporarily changing one’s strike pattern.

Simple Treadmill Analysis & Clinical Decision Making

This video provides footage from a consultation with a recreational male triathlete, who presented with B/L patellofemoral pain. As part of the initial evaluation, I took him through a simple running analysis given that his symptoms were particularly evident while running. It’s obvious that he naturally relies on a heelstriking strategy even when going barefoot. It was not until I had instructed him to “quiet his feet down” that he started to shift his strike pattern to a more mid/flat footed strike, which resulted in an improvement in his symptoms. At the end of the day, I left him with instructions to increase his step rate to reduce his stride length.