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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Scott Vanwinkle says:

    Gave the Nike Free Run+ a try for the first time today. Did 8×400 meter intervals on the track. Shoe felt good and light. Plenty of room in the toebox. Felt as if I was naturaly striking the mid foot. More so than any other shoe I have tried to this point.

  2. Ray Fredericksen, M.S. C-Ped says:

    Hey Pete,
    Excellent job video taping Lauren. Here’s my take. She does have a fluid form, toes pointing straight ahead, good symmetry between right/left stride length, foot contact close to her center of gravity. She has developed “good” running technique via considerable compensation. Anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus injuries are common in women due to the greater Quadriceps angle (Q-angle). The pelvis is broader and rounder in women than men to facilitate child birth. Women tend to compensate for this greater Q-angle by contacting the ground in a more supinated position to reduce medial knee strain. They will usually supinate out of theirs shoes along the lateral border of the forefoot, even though they demonstrate a normal contact pronation angle. I refer to this as cork screwing out of their shoes.

    In Laurens case, the main problem that I see is excessive arm swing across the body which accentuates the strain of pelvic rotation. It is obvious from the video that as the pelvis drops and rotates on the left limb the vastus lateralis and biceps fermoris muscles of the hamstring complex are visually strained to a greater degree during knee flexion. This causes greater friction of the illiotibial tract on the lateral femoral epicondyle resulting Iliotibial band syndrome.

    The brunt of the work is being carried by Laurens left leg because it has to drop further down to make contact. Her left foot strikes the surface at a greater supination and pronates more and at a faster rate than her right foot. The foot strike contact pattern is obvious from the rear view angle especially when running in socks because of the dirt that has collected on the soles. The compensation is also very obvious on the right limb and foot as it crosses the midline of the body with a whipping motion to match the cadence of her leg leg during contact.

    My coach always drilled us that the arms have to run with the legs. We as runners want to run forwards not sideways. Lauren should work on squaring her upper body arm carriage. Thumbs placed on the top of her pointer finger with hands gently cupped. This locks the wrist joint and forces the elbow and shoulder joints to move at right angles forward along side the body. it is difficult to access if some of this compensation is function as a result of her knee reconstruction. A simple quarter inch heel lift placed under the sockliner of her left shoe may provide some measure of relief. An accommodation orthotic with a 4 degree rearfoot varus post and a two degree reverse Morton’s extension along the lateral border of the forefoot would be optimal. Her Physical therapist should be able to help her with this. Hope this helps her and that she is running pain free before the spring races really take off. Best of health in running and life~

    Ray Runs Wild~

    Ray Fredericksen, M.S. C-Ped
    Sports Biomechanics, Inc.
    Haslett,MI 48840

    517-230-2472

    • Laurenrich says:

      Thanks Ray for your thoughts and suggestions. I also noticed a good deal of upper body trunk rotation and wonder if this excess motion is a result of poor lower body mechanics or causing the asymmetries between the left and right legs. I know when I have tried to consciously be aware of my arm swing and tuck my elbows in during runs this past month, it definitely feels unnatural – which is to be expected. I am trying to find exercises to work on proper arm swing.

      As for the orthotics, I actually have custom made ones that have a slight lift to them. Interestingly enough, I was actually prescribed them because of excess pronation quite a few years ago and they were recently evaluated by my PT.

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