One of my running clients recently referred three of his colleagues (who had experienced a myriad of running injuries over the course of a number of years) to me. The purpose of the referral was to assist the three in learning how to run again – safely and efficiently. My client had been referred to me 11/2 years ago for the same reason. After a few technical training sessions with me, he was back running – without pain nor what I call “avoidable running injuries”.
When I met with the three ladies, the training session went as follows:
- a discussion about their running injury history (2 of the three have severe plantar fasciitis, the third has a number of ‘itis’ issues – all avoidable!)
- a discussion of their treatment(s) to ‘fix’ their injuries
- a discussion about their current injuries, treatment, ‘coffin’ (running shoe) use
- an analysis (visual) of their running technique
- an assessment of their degree of body symmetry (leg length discrepancy)
- an assessment of their running muscle sequential firing
What became immediately obvious with all three ladies was the following:
- they had NO idea how to protect their body against the downward force of gravity (putting themselves at major risk of impact force trauma)
- all three had been prescribed orthotics, one had been prescribed ‘special’ socks to cure plantar fasciitis, one had ‘therapy tape’ running from her ankle up the side of her lower leg – apparently, to alleviate muscle inflammation. None of these had fixed the ladies’ injuries
- all three were asymmetrical – 2 on the left and 1 on the right side – indicating they were locked up through the hip and pelvic areas, causing imbalance impact problems when running
- all three hit the ground hard with knees locked and impact points in front of the body – contributing to their excessive supination of the feet and lack of firing from the calves and gluteals
- all three had no idea how to brace the whole body and maintain a tight, light, compact, forward running position
My work with them included the following:
- barefoot running on 3 different surfaces to activate the sensory & proprioceptive centres in the feet. They immediately got lighter and landed under the knees and hips, feeling no impact pain
- a series of exercises to activate the extensor chain of muscles releasing the locked up hip/pelvic area and eliminating leg length discrepancy
- the introduction of Barefoot-Science dome-patented foot strengthening insert system to replace orthotics and all other bracing, pseudo-healing devices (there was instant activation of the running muscles, a positive change in posture, an increase in muscular strength throughout the body)
- the demonstration of a series of running exercises to lock in my Squat-Scoot technique of safe, efficient running – guaranteed to protect the body against ‘avoidable’ running injuries
After only 1 session with me, all three ladies report a dramatic reduction in pain from their injuries as they get back to short, easy runs and a vast improvement in their ability to move quietly and efficiently. The plan is to progress from level 1 to 7 as per design with the Barefoot-Science inserts, do as much technical work barefoot as possible to lock in the sensation of full running muscle activation and to get the ladies away from orthotics and bulky, stiff ‘coffin’ running shoes into ultra-light, flexible, 0-drop, minimalist footwear.
My goal is to have ALL runners moving regularly without avoidable injury. By following the above format, you also can learn how to run safely, efficiently and powerfully – the Squat-Scoot way!