Some of the common bio-mechanical faults and their resultant injuries are:
1. Over Striding– the foot landing in front of the centre of gravity (the line from the centre of your pelvis to the ground)- For distance runs (not sprinting) the foot should land directly under the hip, otherwise if your over striding it is like Fred Flintstone applying his manual breaks every time you are taking a step.
Possible injuries: shin pain, calf tightness, hamstring strains, plantar fascitiis
2. Landing on the heel– this fault is when the heel is first to strike the ground. The aim is to land on the fore-foot, somewhere between the toes and heel and then allow the heel to kiss the ground.
Possible Injuries: Shin and Heel Pain, Foot Stress Fractures
3. Pelvis Drop-when taking a stride forward the pelvis should maintain a relatively level position. When watching stills of runners who are unable to control pelvis position it can appear as though the runner needs to go to the bathroom. Often a result of weak pelvic stabilizers and core.
Possible Injuries: ITB Friction Syndrome, Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome, Lumbar Spine Pain, Hip Pain
4. Splaying of the Feet– looking from behind, this is seen as the toes pointing outward. Ideally, the length of the sole should be vertical to the running surface. Again often a result of weak pelvic stabilizers not controlling the internal rotation of the femur.
5. Tight Rope Running– feet landing in a straight line. Weak pelvic stabilizers not controlling the abduction of the body on the stationary femur (leg).
Possible Injuries: hip pain, calf strain, stress fractures of the feet
6. Flexed Hips- looks as though there is an imaginary chair under the runner. This position does not optimise the powerfull gluteal action of extension and results in excessive work to be achieved by the hamstrings and calves. May be a function of weak gluteus maximus aka your butt or tight hip flexors, and or weak core. You will often see this technique accompanied by the appearance of a saggy belly and overly pushed out chest. As this runner attempts to use a strongly held extended back as substitute for a lacking core.
Possible Injuries: Knee pain, Calf and Hamstring strains
7. Rounded/ hunched shoulders. The shoulders should have some “connectedness” to the core. If the shoulders are narrowing the space underneath the ear there is a good chance that there is not a lot of core stability going on. To rectify this, work needs to be done on the shoulder stabilizers, and correct any core deficits, there may be some pectoral tightness also creating this poor alignment
Possible Injuries: Neck strain, Shoulder Pain, Mid upper back pain
8. The Bobbing Head- side ways or up and down. The head should stay centred between the shoulders if this is not achievable the runner should work on the factors for point 7. listed above. If the head is bobbing up and down so that a line tracing head movement in space looks like an inch worm, there is too much effort going into jumping upwards and not enough on moving forwards. Factors to consider are forward body lean, it is generally thought that a 5 degree lean the foot to the head is recommended for flat running. Often runners misinterpret leaning forward as a lean from the hip and thus run bent over.
(coming up- a summary of good running technique, strengthening and stretching for running and running drills)