Throughout the whole month of April, we’ve been focusing on running and how to improve your stride, and today’s article is no exception.
We’ve learned a lot this month! So far, we’ve covered the importance of cadence, learned about the “three legged stool” of running, explored proper balance, and picked up a few other cool tricks along the way, too. Today, we’re sharing one more tip to help you improve the all-important cadence while running.
Did You See The One About Cadence?
This week’s video is meant to be viewed *after* checking out the previous week’s video on using a metronome to help change up your cadence while running, and it will make more sense if you’ve already seen that one. Missed it? Have no fear! You can check it out here.
What's Up With Paw Patrol?
Aside from being an adorable children’s show your kid or grandkid is probably obsessed with these days, it’s the fun name we’ve given to a running drill designed to help improve your gait. This practice will not only help make you a more efficient runner, but will also help you experience fewer injuries that sideline you and keep you from enjoying hitting the trail.
Exactly how will it help prevent injuries, you ask? Well! I’d love to tell you!
As we covered in the video and article on cadence, the placement of your foot upon landing is really important. Very often, people end up with their heel in front of their body and this puts so much extra pressure on the body! It’s quite a shock to the body to land that way, and all that shock has to be absorbed by the body in some way. Unfortunately, that often translates into foot pain, knee pain, low
back pain and a whole host of other injuries in between.
How Should We Land While Running?
The ideal way to land while running is with your foot directly beneath your body, using the momentum to then push your foot *behind* you. This is in contrast to landing with your foot ahead of you and using the momentum to pull your leg and foot towards your body and only *then* drawing the foot behind you. It’s actually much more efficient to run with a shorter stride and quicker cadence!
Now that we know how we should be landing while running, now it’s time to look at how to train our bodies to actually land that way. Enter the Paw Patrol practice!
Watch Dr. Megan Show You How It's Done
Start by facing a wall, leaning slightly in towards the wall while maintaining a bit of space between your body and the wall. From there, lift one foot up to 90 degrees in front of you, and then bring that leg down right underneath you, focusing on where your midfoot strikes the floor. Then, you’ll paw your foot back to get a feel for that propulsion motion that you’d experience if you were out running in real life.
Start slow with this! Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the speed. It’s important you focus on maintaining proper form while you increase the speed, because what’s the point of doing a drill to improve your form if you don’t focus on it, ya feel me? Focusing on a gentle engagement of your core with this practice can help!
And that’s all she wrote, folks! If you still have some concern about your gait or feel like there’s more that needs to be done, we strongly recommend getting a gait assessment done by one of our PTs. It’s totally free, and you will walk away from it with tons of super helpful, applicable tips for how to improve your running experience. What have you got to lose?
Schedule Your Free Gait Assessment Today
Click the link above or the button below, or call us at 262.264.8701 to chat with us about how we can help get you on the path to better movement.
Ready for a bit more in-depth analysis and hands-on help with your stride? Book a full Evaluation + TREATMENT session for 50% off regular price!
Now through the month of April, you can come in as a new or returning patient and receive 50% off your first hands-on session with us. But don’t snooze on it as April will be over before you know it!