3 Ways to Make Your Clients Run Faster
In this day and technological age, there is countless ways to use technology to improve somebody's running performance, with all sorts of apps and wearable tech. But there has still been no substitute for the most affordable way to improve how well your clients ability to run further and faster, than just getting out there and running, and making their body fitter.
Since running is often preferred by those who are budget conscious, we have outlined three ways that you can help your clients run faster, for longer, with less injuries that won't cost them "an arm and a leg".
1) Identify How they Currently Run
It is a powerful tool to be able to look at the way somebody runs and advise them with one or two small technical alterations to improve their efficiency. One small adjustment for stride will accumulate over 5->10,000 strides and will make a huge difference to their final performance. If we as coaches can simply use a treadmill to spot that our client has a slightly shorter stride on one side, by maybe listening to the sound and rhythm made when they contact the treadmill, we can improve that stride length, travel further per stride, contact the ground less frequently therefore resulting in less muscle contraction and energy consumption. Perhaps it's out of sync, instead of a rhythmical pattern we hear two quick contact sounds then a short silent pause and another quick contact sounds in succession we can tell something's up. Perhaps spotting that their heel lift is lower on one leg than the other or that there is a hip hitch much more one side than the other can indicate issues that will require attention. These are small factors that when adjusted for can make a huge difference.
2) Making the Right Mobility Changes
Identifying is one thing, but what next? Understanding when the heel lift is low on one side for example will enable us isolate the hip extension mechanism and knee flexors perhaps. Adding specific mobility exercises to create more mobility around the hip and the knee might just enough to bring both heel raises into alignment, increasing the float time between strides and improving the stride length. This will in turn result in less contacts with the ground, reduce the ground reaction force and enable the legs conserve energy and do more work. What runner doesn't want to be able to run faster for further?
3) Programming "Running Specific" Exercises
Lots of runners don't like the gym, they want to be outdoors in nature so why would they need to do squats and leg press they may ask? Perhaps from your initial Gait Analysis you spotted that the knee keeps dropping inwards upon initial contact with the ground. Well from your expert knowledge you'll know how one simple fix for this will improve power and reduce injury risk. Not only will you know to strengthen the glutes through external rotation patterns with clamshells or resistant band sidewalks, also being able to explain to your client exactly why you have chosen this exercise will help them understand it's importance to their running technique and solidify their adherence. You'll be able to explain the benefit of working single leg exercises and core stability since running only happens on one leg at a time and take the guessing out of why they are doing leg strengthening exercises.
If running is a passion of yours and your clients, then Joe Maynard's Gait Analysis Course is exactly the course for you if you want to be able to make those tiny alterations that yield big rewards!