Tuesday, 21 January 2014

3D Gait Analysis & Cadence

Happy Tuesday everyone,

Let me back track to Sunday.  A few of the TTP members ventured to Sackville to run the Frostbite 5 Miler route.  The Sackville Club, known as the Lakeshore Runners, also had a few members show up to run with us.  I think there was a total of 20 or so....enough to have cars looking as we started our run.  LOL 

The course has a hill at the beginning that is a little daunting but other than that, it is a relatively flat course and should be a good run in February.  There are baked beans served at the end of it. :-)

Okay....now to this week.  Last night I had my 3D gait analysis at Nova Physiotherapy.  What is a 3D gait analysis?

Love that they provided me with Saucony's to run in.
 They hook you up to a bunch of sensors on your thighs, calf muscles, and hips and then you run for about 15 minutes as they record you running.  From this, a bunch of data is reported to find your weak points and exercises given to build strength in the correct areas.  Here is a peak at my video.
video
The clinic also video taped the whole interview session to make a video to present to the TTPers.  I have to go back next week to get my full report and my full range of exercises.  I'm interested to see what is happening...at first glance, it looks like I have weak hips and will need to build those for sure.

I do have homework....I need to do 10-15 minutes of research and reading on cadence.  Mine is falling about 160 and the ideal is about 180.  What is running cadence you ask?  Running cadence is the number of times your foot hits the ground in a minute.  A scientific study found that elite athletes, regardless of age/distance, would strike the ground 90 times per minute with each foot, thus 180.

New runners are often much lower than 180 as they take longer strides, and this was the case with me as well.  2 years ago, I consciously tried to increase my cadence on my physio's recommendation.  Why is a lower cadence bad?  The longer the strides, the more time an athlete stays in the air and the more impact they will feel when they hit the ground.  More impact = more injuries. So how do we increase our cadence?  We practice, practice, and practice some more.  Research says a runner should set aside a couple minutes at the beginning, middle, and end of their run to measure their cadence.  As runners become fatigued, we tend to get sloppy in our stride, and checking in every now and then is a good reminder to remain in good form.  As you are running, measure how many times your left foot hits the ground in a minute.  Multiple by 2 to get your cadence. Tada!

On a different note, we are expecting another blizzard here in Nova Scotia.  Looks like I have to pull out the Yaktrax again.  Here is a view from our snowfall on Sunday.


Do you know what your cadence is?  Test it and let me know!
What is the weather like where you are? 

13 comments:

  1. I saw Nova Physio's Gait Analysis at the Optimyz Expo a few weeks ago and REALLY want to get this done! It looks awesome! I don't know what my cadence is...might have to figure mine out! I'm in the Valley so we're getting that awesome storm tomorrow too!

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    1. It was really neat to see myself on the screen as I have never videotaped my run before.

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  2. What a gorgeous snowfall!!

    I love that 3D technology. Really cool! I haven't had my gait analyzed in about 3 years, and I'm in the same shoe that was recommended then, but I think next time I'm in the market I'll have my gait rechecked for the heck of it. I'm not sure what my cadence is. I'm almost scared to find out because what if it's SUPER low?! I have really short strides but I'm not fast. I guess someday I'll really test it to find out.

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    1. Think of it as an opportunity to be proactive and stay injury free....if your cadence is low....you know you can work on it to help yourself stay injury free.

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  3. There are no pics of your run :( You must stay for the beans afterwards ;)

    I'm really hoping to get a snow day tomorrow! Otherwise, I'm up way past my bedtime, lol.

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    1. I know....we totally didn't take any pics as everyone was cold and wet by the time the last person got back.

      So glad you got a snow day....I stayed up past my bedtime too.

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  4. Cool technology. Have you tried using a metronome for your cadence? Check out Brian Mackenzie. He is the guru for the "pose" running method. I took a 6-week course on the pose method and we did a lot of drills on cadence. Fun stuff :)

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    1. Hi Crystal....I've been hearing a lot about the metronome lately and saw I can get an app for my phone to help me. I will definitely check out Brian...thanks for the tip!

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  5. I've never heard of a 3D gait analysis before. That is really cool! I wonder what my running cadence is. I will have to find out!

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    1. I haven't measured mine in a couple of years so as soon as this blizzard clears up, I'll be out there trying to determine mine as well.

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  6. Super cool technology. My turn-over is typically between 170 and 180 but I had no idea when I first started running that this was so important and would help reduce fatigue and injury. I hopped on my treadmill and counted my steps to figure it out.

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  7. I've always wanted to get a 3D gait assessment done. I'm sure it will help improve your running!

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  8. As a runner of 45 years and wanting to be able to continue, a biomechanical analysis seems to be imperative for me as this could be my last resort. I am a very fit triathlete and former competitive runner with original parts intact and no long-term injures and have not used any orthotics for several months with positive results and pronate only so lightly but cannot exceed 100 kms per month without breaking down to injury so I am hoping to find my biomechanical Achilles heel and get going again.

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