Common Running Technique Faults

Posted: May 24, 2012 in Runners - Injuries and exercises
Tags: , ,

Common Running Technique Faults

1 Overstriding (Foot Contact in Front of Body)

  • Foot contact too far in front of centre of mass.
  • Stride length too great and feeling of reaching forward in attempt to run faster

Impact on Performance

  • Large Braking force reduces the momentum gained from previous stride
  • Increased energy cost to maintain velocity
  • Large force transferred through ankle,hip and knee

Treatment

  • Teach forward body lean-to conserve momentum
  • Teach athlete to ‘pull feet up’ rather than overreach
  • Strengthen muscle of the ankle and knee in order to stabilise joints and tolerate ground contact loads

2 Heel Striking

  • Landing with the heel as the primary contact point
  • Typically resulting from overstriding

Impact on Performance

  • Large ground contact forces transmitted through the heel which has little ability to absorb load safely
  • .Unable to utilise the ligaments, muscle and tendons of the foot and ankle to transfer load.
  • May cause shin splints, inflammation of the ankle joint, pain in ankle and knees

Treatment

  • Teach forward body lean-to move foot contact closer to centre of mass (under your body) and allow contact with mid-foot
  • Lean from the ankle with torso straight, not from the waist
  • Strengthen muscle of the ankle and knee in order to stabilise joints and tolerate ground contact loads

3 Knock Knees or Bowleggedness (Valgus or Varus knees)

  • Misalignment of the knee joint either from tibia/fibula (lower leg) or femur (upper leg)
  • Especially prevalent in females due to hip structure and difference Q angle compared to males

Impact on Performance

  • Misalignment causes increase stress and wear on knee joint and supporting ligaments (medial or lateral aspect)
  • May result in foot landing in overpronated position and lead to ankle/foot pain,low back/hip pain

Treatment

Knock Knees

  • Strengthen hip abductors
  • Stretch hip adductors
  • Strengthen quads and VMO
  • Reduce tensile stress on lateral hip by foam rolling, dry needling, massage

Bowleggedness

  • Strengthen hip adductors
  • Stretch hip abductors
  • Reduce tension on ITB by foam rolling, dry needling, massage

Compiled in conjunction with Eamonn Hyland

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