Susan Wnuk was referred to me by a business associate who heard her story of running-related injuries and said “enough! You need to work with coach Jeff IMMEDIATELY.” Susan had been running for years but was constantly dogged by injuries. It got yo the point where 2 years ago, she stopped running entirely. However, she missed the endorphin ‘high’ that she got from running and was determined to get back on the road – so to speak.
Thus, she contacted me a few weeks ago and we began the process of getting her running again – injury-free!
As you can see in the photo above, Susan was way off balance, asymmetrical, collapsing in on her left side (tibial anterior rotation) and NOT firing from her gluteal muscles (thus, the inward right knee rotation and extreme outward rotation of the foot. All of this contributed to her foot, knee and hip injuries that were becoming chronic.
On top of her lack of muscle firing, Susan also showed collapsed arches that indicated a lack of proprioceptive activation from her feet. Her left arch was particularly flat.
You can see how off balance Susan was when running in her ‘coffins’ – she was hitting the ground hard, bounding up too high and rotating from her shoulders, thus causing excessive hip rotation.
After getting Susan barefoot and teaching her the fall-forward Squat-Scoot technique of quiet, forward running, she was transformed. She felt no pain and was able to run efficiently with power . Her body alignment immediately improved – a key component to
injury-free running. After this, I put Susan in the Barefoot-Science inserts, knowing full well that she will NOT go barefoot all day, every day. With Barefoot-Science, she will be able to lock in the foot activation process to keep her body aligned and all running muscles firing in sequence. You can see this in the photos below.
By the time we finished with the 1 hour session, Susan was running quietly, efficiently and pain-free – for the 1st time in years! This was simply a process of isolating her deficiencies, correcting them and starting to lock them in. We will continue to work on drills (and progress with the Barefoot-Science inserts) to further lock in the squat-scoot running method over the coming weeks – until such time as Susan can run consistently without pain.
Any of you experiencing similar running injury-related issues to Susan CAN overcome them by following the above protocol. Here’s to safe running!!