This Saturday past, I had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Mike of Render Media. They were referred to me by the CEO of Barefoot-Science, Lance Todd, who, even though they were outfitted in his Barefoot-Science foot strengthening inserts, knew they needed run technique training to keep them injury-free.
My goal, as always, was to convert them to my safe, efficient, barefoot Squat-Scoot running technique. Mike is just back to running whilst Sarah has been running for a number of years with a group of experienced runners out of Mountain Equipment Co-op in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. They have both been struggling with what I call ‘avoidable running injuries’ – IT band syndrome for Sarah and runner’s knee ‘itis’ issues for Mike (this compounded by a severely sprained ankle blown out running on trails).
After a quick assessment, it was painfully (pardon the pun!) obvious that neither of them had been guided technically in how to run safely. Mike showed a classic ‘bounder’s’ gait, landing heavy on his heels, bobbing his upper body up and down and side to side and driving his arms widely across the body. No bloody wonder he was running in pain!Sarah hit somewhat softer (being about 70 pounds lighter!) but still hit the ground hard on her heels first with knees locked out. She also swung her arms widely and carried them high and across the front of her body. This was causing severe hip rotation and inward knee drop – thus, IT-band syndrome!
In testing for body symmetry, both showed leg length discrepancy (Mike with the right leg almost 1 inch shorter and Sarah with the left leg slightly shorter). Not surprisingly, it was Mike’s right ankle that he sprained and Sarah’s left IT-Band that acted up. After taking them through my hip muscle, tendon, ligament unlocking routine, their legs lined up perfectly and hips were much looser.
The next phase involved transitioning Mike and Sarah to barefoot running indoors. You can still see a few technical flaws with arm rotation across the body and knees locked out a tad too much on impact BUT the improvement from running in their ‘coffins’ (running shoes with no Barefoot-Science inserts) was significant.For the first time in a long time, both were running pain-free. Neither of them could believe how “good this feels. It’s as if we’re gliding along”. Well, they actually WERE gliding along (I happen to call it SCOOTING!). We then ventured outdoors where both of them adapted quickly to running barefoot on rough asphalt in the Squat-Scoot style – without ant previous outdoor barefoot running experience. It was exciting for them BUT not the least bit surprising to me. I expect nothing less than this from running clients who come to me for guidance.
You will also notice in the photos below that they both transitioned well to safe, efficient running in their ‘coffins’ with the barefoot-science inserts in place. Even though they had been wearing the inserts for a month, they had no idea how to run safely to maximize
the effectiveness of the inserts. Whether they decide to run barefoot or stay in their ‘coffins’ with barefoot-science inserts, one thing is for certain. Their days of running in PAIN and developing avoidable running injuries are OVER! You can take THAT to the bank!!! Contact coach Jeff if you need similar guidance toward injury-free running…barefoot or NOT!