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3D Running gait analysis

August 8, 2013

diagram-runcycle-overlayAs a running coach I work with video camera, recording my clients running styles running towards me and also shooting from the side. Afterwards we look at their running style in slow motion, where I can point out various evident “flaws”, like heel landing, landing with straight legs in front of the body, upper body rotation, less optimal arm swing, bouncing, et cetera. Trust me, it’s very useful to see yourself running, and get some pointers from an experienced running coach who can show you and explain how your running style flaws will prevent you from having a smooth and efficient ride.

ankle-path-sagittalIn the running movement there are many movements, like how the pelvis rotates, the foot rotation and your foot contact with the ground, or “the wheel”, which is the figure your ankles are drawing seen from the side (Sagittal ankle path). Recently I was invited by Qualisys to undergo a thorough running analysis in their lab in Gothenburg. Here is the link to the report. 16 cameras in the roof were picking up every single movement of the reflectors glued to my body while running on a treadmill in various speeds. Qualisys Motion Capture System is the technique used by animators to capture the natural flow of human motion. The videos with the running skeleton show my movements. The black figures in the graphs represent the typical elite runner’s motions.

pelvis-heightPeter Fröberg, an experienced running coach was helping me to understand the various graphs and figures after I had concluded the actual running. “For being an amateur you have a very good running technique” he said, but there were obviously things I could work on. Compared to the elite runners my “wheel” was somewhat late or behind. (See the graph: Sagittal ankle path). But compared to the elite runners I actually had less heel strike (See the graph: Foot Contact). Peter Fröberg also suggested me to point-up my toes before landing, which would make the feet more stiff and more stabile, which would help me to run with the wheel more forward.  All in all it was a very interesting experience, and very useful. I presume I will get back about the development of my wheel. (Above images copyright belongs to Qualisys).

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