As you may know if you are a regular reader, I will soon be starting a new marathon training cycle (as in, this week!). One of the things I’ve done in the past and decided to do again this year was learn how I could prepare for my training cycle with a running analysis.
There are a few benefits to getting a running analysis before embarking on a big training cycle:
- Form analysis. This can be so important. Understanding what you can improve involves getting feedback on your form. I know that personally understanding what go to form mistakes (for example, I know I hold tension in my shoulders and tend to inch them up to my ears, especially when running faster) that I make helps me to eliminate those mistakes late in races when I get tired. I have a set of cues that I run through to try to avoid poor form (shoulders down, chest out, head up) when I’m tired. But these things are hard to figure out on your own. A form analysis can help you understand this.
- Opportunity to talk through your training. A bonus of a PT (at least the right PT) giving a running analysis is that you can share your training plans and get some helpful feedback. For example, I was able to share that I run six days a week and talk about how I know my form can sometimes break down when I’m tired and get strategies to avoid against that.
- Having a record of your form analysis in case you need PT down the line. Now, I sincerely hope that none of you ever need PT for an injury. BUT. I find it much easier to call a PT who has seen me run and knows what’s normal for me when one of those little “is this a thing” things happens. Having a PT “on call” in this manner has saved races for me previously. You hope you don’t need it but I speak from experience when I say it’s much less intimidating to go to a PT you already know than to start with a new one once you are injured. Additionally, having a PT who has an understanding of who you are as a runner is helpful if you just want to get a tune up before race – maybe dry needling for tight calves or the like.
I worked with Tim at Therapydia DC for all you local folks. I was very impressed with their facility and with the drills we did. I’ve been to a few PT offices and while they’ve always been great, I did see a couple of new gadgets at Therapydia DC. I was also impressed with Tim. He (and many other Therapydia DC staff) is a runner so he gets it.
This neat thing allowed me to do what is called a Y Balance Test. Tim says, “The Y Balance Test is an easy way to test a person’s risk for injury as well as demonstrate functional symmetry. The device and protocol is highly accurate and can be used for measuring pre and post rehabilitation performance, improvement after performance enhancement programs, dynamic balance for fitness programs, and return to sport readiness.” This was pretty cool and I’d never seen this particular tool before! Again, if you are local to DC, check out Therapyida DC to get your running analysis scheduled. I highly recommend it.
Thanks Therapydia DC for sponsoring this post – but all thoughts and opinions are my own. And I will be back to Therapydia DC – but hopefully just for a tune up, not for any injuries!
Do you have a PT “on call”?