Gait analysis has been around for a while now but I've recently experienced a 3D technological development that's taking it to a whole new level.
In traditional gait analysis, runners would be filmed from a couple of angles, allowing experts to analyse their style in slow motion. It's a method that's been used in shops to sell customers the “perfect” pair of shoes, as well as sports therapists and physios to ascertain the cause of injuries and improve running style and efficiency. It has answered many runners' problems but it's all SO last year. There's a new kid in town who is ready to steal the jam out of 2D gait analysis’s proverbial doughnut.
Stride UK in Hove, East Sussex are the first in the UK to upgrade their lab to include this new 3D technology and they invited me in to have a go. Boy was I blown away!
Using some extremely high-tech depth-sensing cameras and software, this new method not only shows your running style in 3D, it also uses infrared light to track body prominence. This enables the software to record every measurement that you could possibly want (or even don’t want) to know about how you run.
For the first time ever, the forces exerted by different parts of your body can be accurately measured. It also means that your video gait analysis isn’t just subject to the expert's analysis, it displays hard stats and figures, giving you base points to improve upon.
Here is a video of what you’ll see after 30 seconds of measurement:
As mentioned above, the most amazing thing about this software is that it gives you stats for how you’re running, your efficiency and how it can be improved.
The first thing I noticed about myself was that I overstretch massively and ran with a particularly low cadence. Both of which give me an extremely low running efficiency because I spend too much time with my feet on the ground. The expert who was hosting my session, Mitch, explained that it was very likely that these two are related and it could be proven… So he got out a metronome and we tried the analysis again, with me running with a much faster cadence.
When the stats came through for the second time, and we lined them up next to the first results, there was a demonstrable difference. Just by increasing my cadence by 10 strides per minute, my stride length reduced, the forces reduced, and my efficiency increased. By a small amount, admittedly, but that’s just one of many things that I can be working on.
The wonderful thing about running is that everybody is different and even if you look at the elite athletes at the World Championships there is no one “right” way to run. What we can do though, using this magic, is look at our own personal style and see how it can be improved.
And do you want to know the best news? Mudstacle members who book an appointment with Stride UK to do 3D gait analysis can benefit from £50 off. To get this amazing deal, you have to book before 1st October for an appointment no later than 1st December 2017.
Check out our discounts page for full details.