I have been a runner longer than I can remember, both competitive and just for fun. In that time I have learned several things about my form and many of them I have worked on over the years. I have always known my form isn’t fantastic. I know this because of my numerous injuries, the way my clients laugh at how my feet fly out to the side of my body, and from seeing photos of my form. However, I was always under the assumption that because I had worked on everything I could fix, that this was simply just the way I run and how my body worked.
I was excited to try the Running Assessment at Therapydia Lake Oswego. I envisioned they would see what I saw, my form is a hot mess and “it is what it is” at this point. But I was excited to learn if there were new things I wasn’t seeing that I could improve on.
I arrived to the location and was greeted by very friendly and helpful staff as well as a big, lumbering and very cute dog. I sat down and looked around at all the neat equipment the facility held, including TRX, ropes, weight racks and more. Shortly after I got there, Kirsten, my physical therapist performing the run assessment came to get me. Kirsten took me to a table where we chatted about my injuries and what was going on with my current state of running. From there, she had me perform some single-leg squats to see how I balanced and if my body stayed in relative alignment. As explained by Kirsten, running is just a series of single leg squats and they like to see that performed before having clients start the treadmill portion.
Next came the core of the running assessment, the running! I jumped on the treadmill and started with a 2 minute warm up walk before increasing my speed to a comfortable running pace. Kirsten explained that they like to see clients run for about 8 minutes because this is when our treadmill running form starts to mimic similar to how it would on the road. So, that is what I did! I ran and chatted with Kirsten, who was a very friendly and personable. You could tell Kirsten was passionate about what she did and extremely knowledgeable. When she explained stuff, she put them in really easy to understand and digest ways. While I was running, Kirsten filmed me from the side and the back.
After I finished running, Kirsten took me into an office and pulled up the videos. The videos were on a program called Technique and it was really neat to see as she drew lines across my hips and angles on my legs, exactly where my form was falling apart. We looked at hip alignment, cadence, foot strike, how far forward and how far back my leg comes, and arm motion. She explained why the placement of where my foot landed wasn’t ideal and gave me a few techniques on how to fix this. Then we went over the crazy swing of my legs that my clients talk about. This, she stated, was from lack of glute initiation and hip flexor mobility. Again, with this we discussed ways to improve that and came up with a plan.
We discussed the small improvements I could make on my weekly runs and the strengthening and stretching I needed to work on. At the end, we scheduled a follow-up to work on injuries and improvement with the goal to do another Run Assessment in 6 weeks to see the improvements made.
It was a great experience and I left feeling knowledgeable and equipped with the tools to improve my running and hopefully prevent further injuries. This assessment was really beneficial and I think would be fantastic for any runner to do.
Follow them on Facebook.
Oregon Locations: Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Portland
Time Requirement: Expect to spend an hour at Therapydia for your Run Assessment
Thank you to Therapydia for allowing us to try out a running assessment. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.