When running, how often you think about technique? In our bid to run faster and longer, it’s often technique that takes a back seat. And yet improvements in this area are proven to boost your running efficiency and reduce your rate of injury. The good news is, it’s never been easier to get the lowdown on your running tekkers, with high-end technology now making its way to the high street. ProFeet in west London are the proud owners of a brand new 3D Motion Lab, which looks at your running form in forensic detail. They’re the first running store in the UK to have one, so MR thought it only right we come down and check it out…
After providing a few cursory details – height, weight, age – the assessment begins. It’s refreshingly simple. No need to put on hundreds of motion sensors; your movements are instead captured on a depth-sensitive camera, so all you need to do is run for one minute on the treadmill.
You’re then presented with the first page of data, which gives you an overall running grade (A++ being the best, E being the worst) based on a host of areas, including joint loading, ground contact time and stride length.
The next page takes a look at how symmetrical your running gait is, based on such things knee alignment and step separation. It’s a dizzying amount but ProFeet’s Emma is able to translate it into language I can understand. In layman’s terms, my right leg is an A* student but my left leg has some behavioural issues that need addressing.
The final page is reserved for force and moment, essentially looking at how much pressure you’re putting on your joints when you run. Interestingly, a high amount of pressure isn’t always a bad thing, as it’s often a by-product of quick running.
Overall, it’s a hugely impressive piece of kit – and one that can identify exactly what you’re doing right and wrong. It also gives you a measurable way of tracking whether you’ve addressed a problem: you simply do another test and see what the data says.
It comes at a cost, of course. The basic Level 1 assessment is £75, while the much more in-depth Level 2 assessment is £175. However, a discounted price of £50 for Level 1 and £100 for Level 2 is running until the end of December. If you fancy making yourself a more efficient runner this Christmas, I know just the gift for you….
For more information the 3D Motion Lab and to book a session, visit the ProFeet website: profeet.co.uk