Decided to go to “Runners Need” within our local Snow+Rock store yesterday for gait analysis. It seemed the sensible thing to do. I’d started C25k determined to put as little impact on my fused neck as possible, and was trying to forefoot strike, with the heel just touching down briefly afterwards. But I’d no idea if that was really working, or what type of running shoes I should be wearing...
The lady in the shop was lovely, and turned out to be a rock climber, so we’d that in common. Once I explained I’d only just started running in April, she started by telling me what foot and ankle exercises to do (I wasn’t expecting exercise advice!), then examined and measured my bare feet. Sticking me in a pair of their neutral shoes, she then left me in control of the treadmill to walk for a bit, then to turn it up myself so I was running slowly while she filmed from behind.
Watching the film with her I was in for a bit of a surprise, as my feet were going all over the place!! She said she didn’t come across many forefoot strikers, but that I seemed to be slightly turning out one knee, and managing to land on the outside of both forefeet, then rolling along the outside of both feet before touching with my heels! She then proceeded to film me fast walking instead, which she declared perfect, and recommended I do plenty of mindful power walking alongside my running to try to improve my running gait - aiming to have both feet facing exactly forward and to land in the middle of my forefoot.
I was very impressed with the service, even if I wasn’t with my gait! 🙄 The lady said neutral shoes should be fine, but no shoe was going to fix my issues - and it wasn’t surprising running on uneven surfaces was causing my knees to twist awkwardly, as I was currently putting a lot of strain on them. The only reasonably priced neutral shoes they had weren’t stocked in my size, so no hard sell either. (I’ve since ordered FIVE pairs of neutral Brooks & Asics from online sales, including a pair from the Runners Need website, but have promised my husband most will go back once I’ve decided what size / style are most comfortable!!! 😏 )
So onto today’s Birkenhead Parkrun. Pleasantly overcast, lots of cheerful volunteers as usual, a few less runners than normal, probably due to holiday season, and a super speedy husband who ended up doing his first sub-22min time!!! 😳
As for me, I was so glad I’d invited Oldfloss along to join me again. I needed her calm voice of reason to keep me going! After yesterday’s gait analysis I was left completely bamboozled over what to do with my feet, and thought I might fall over at the start line! 😂😂 We carefully picked our way along the first half k, with me looking down at everyone else’s feet, and trying to workout what they were doing! Some feet were really drastically flying all over the place, so I decided not to copy those...😟
A speedy couple with a stroller came flying past, by which time I’d tried about 5 different gait styles and was half tempted to climb aboard for a lift...(the elderly gentleman speeding past on his mobility scooter on our 3rd lap of the park had an even more inviting looking basket on the front!😂) By the final lap, I seemed to be adopting a sort of “don’t really land on your forefoot at all” approach, which seemed to work for the flat and uphill, followed by forefoot striking for the downhill. I was just relieved I’d still not tripped myself up.😆😆
Slightly disappointed that no one was close enough in front to chase them in for a final sprint, but YAAAY...loud footsteps coming up fast from behind provided a new target! 👍 I think he was a bit surprised when we then shot off too. He didn’t catch us, and I think Oldfloss had now escaped from my phone case and slipped in over the finishing line first! 😃😃😃🏃♀️🐌❤️
So I’m supposed to run 7k on Monday. The Runners World calculator tells me I need to slow down to much slower than my race pace, but I’ve no idea what I’m going to decide to do with my feet yet! 😂🤣😂👣❤️
Happy Running everyone! 😊🏃♀️🏃♂️❤️😎