Follow up post here with the images


First up, this is a lot of text to say – go get analysed.

Second up, I’ll add some pictures when I get the results through!

With a bit more time on my hands, I’m uncovering swathes of the internet that I wasn’t aware existed. Fortunately, you can remove the image you just conjured up and drag your mind out of the gutter. I stumbled across something called ‘Stride Lab‘.

I had a few free hours so signed up and booked a slot at Alton Sports down in Farnham. I’ve had the gait analysis done there before and they are responsible for my current runners, the exceptionally comfortable Brooks Ravena 7. Bought last year for the Paris Marathon they’ve proved solid and consistent since with both Paris and the Ironman marathon failing to generate any blisters or hotspots.

The Test

After a quick intro chat, it was onto the machine for 2-minute run. You have high-speed cameras in front, behind and to the side capturing your every move. I’m not sure we needed the ‘high’ speed option for my little jog but it’s nice to know they had high hopes! Even I can maintain a semi-respectable pace for 2 minutes and it was over in a flash. No gimmicks, hop on and run. Once I was told to stop, I focussed on looking relaxed, ramped down the speed and hopped off. Whilst the guy from Saucony pulled the data I tried to focus on breathing out of the right end of my body and to look like some form of athlete.


We’d already discussed that I do triathlons but his first question upon looking at the videos was a surprise;

Do you struggle breathing to the right when you swim? 

Any triathlete worth their sauce knows that bi-lateral breathing is the grail. Being able to suck up air in the split second you have during the stroke is vital. If the waves are breaking over your breathing side it’s not fun. Having the ability to breathe both sides can be the difference between looking like a Brownlee and looking like a jellyfish wrapped around a brick. All things equal I’m happy staying one-sided (like most of my arguments with the kids) but it’s nice to know I have options.

From the rear camera we’d picked up that my left shoulder drops and rounds whilst my right stays neutral. After years of having one leg slightly shorter than the other my body has compensated by modifying my gait. That means my right side is tense so getting my head around to the right to breath whilst swimming isn’t as fluid…5 minutes in and we’ve solved a swimming problem.

Hips Don’t Lie

It was Shakira that said the hips don’t lie and how right she was. The rear camera throwing up more skeletal knowledge that I hadn’t picked up on. A slightly weak runners core means that one side drops and leads to a hip dip to one side….exercises will sort that, back to pilates  (Jen Hansford – I hope you’re reading this!).

Finally we got to the feet and efficiency. My stride is pretty good apparently, very little loss of motion and no braking on ground strike. Glutes could do with being more active (Jen, still looking at you) but apart from that, all good.


Next crazy question

When you do get blisters, is it low on the heel on the right foot?

Bloody hell, it’s Mystic Meg…The twist in my spine leads to a slight flick of the right foot, which in turn does a tiny movement in the shoe on the heel….which leads to the blister depending on the shoe. More analysis showed my toes are unable to flex upward enough in a firm shoe which also contributes to the flick, which means I need a flexible sole for both running and football, which explains the need for me to wear moulds rather than studs as the soleplate stud pattern on a mould gives less toe grip which means they can rotate easier giving less pain when running on pitch! That lack of flex also contributes to plantar!! Mysteries solved!

Final point, heel spurs/tough skin on the back of the heel will have come from that movement over the course of a lifetime as the tissue builds up.

The Finish Line

Damn……That was interesting (for me). I can honestly say it’s the most eye-opening 30 minutes I’ve had, apart from that time I went for a wee after rubbing deep heat on my thighs pre game.

Yes they recommended shoes, not exclusively from their range.

Yes, I could have bought some, but there was no pressure and frankly I’m now inclined to buy from their range anyway. What a superb service and set up. If you get the chance, whether you are a high miler or a 5km jogger, go along, you won’t regret it.

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