Running video analysis

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.  So, how can I expect to improve my running technique if I don’t know how good (or bad) it is and I don’t have a coach?  I’ve read quite a few articles about running gait analysis (link to one really good article/video is here), but the real world application of that takes a little more work than I could do myself.  So, with the help of my wonderful wife and her father, I was finally able to get some high speed video of myself running so that I could analyze just how poor my running form is.  In reality, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well I match up to what “they” say I should be doing (or should I say I’m disappointed that there’s not a bunch of low hanging fruit that will help me pick up the pace).  Regardless, let’s get into the details.

I chose to tape  well into one of my long runs because I wanted to ensure I was warmed up, but I also wanted to see how well my form held after I had run for a while and my body was a bit fatigued.  So this was filmed at about the 6.5 mile point of a 9 mile run.  By no means was it the end of a marathon, but it’s a decent run for me.

For this analysis, I used high speed video from my iPhone to record and Kinovea to do the measurements.  I use this same software (it’s free) to measure my positioning on my bike as well.  It’s very user friendly and definitely worth checking out if you have any need for motion analysis of any sort.

My first curiosity was just how my foot landed.  I have attempted to move the point where I contact the ground to be nearly under me and I believe that I contact the ground first with my forefoot (although that’s arguably less important than the contact point).  This was the first time I’ve really been able to see how I did.

Image This is the point of impact for my right foot.  In the video, you can see that I do actually strike forefoot first, but it’s very close to a midfoot strike (whole foot strikes at once).  Also I noted that my ankle is behind my knee at the point of impact which is also a good thing.   I didn’t save a picture of my left foot impact, but it was very similar, if not identical (at least it appeared that way to me).
hip extension lefthip extension In the two pictures to the left, you’ll see that my hip extension is very similar on each side as well.  Per the literature that I’ve read, you want it to be greater than 20 degrees and while my measurements may not be perfectly accurate, I’m well over 20 degrees.  This is the part that surprised me the most as I didn’t feel that I had very good hip extension.You can also notice form these pictures the amount of upper body twist and elbow pull that I show.  While I haven’t seen specific targets for each of these, I feel like I do get enough to be effective propulsion from my upper body.
Foot lift right In this picture, I’ve measured the foot strike from the hip (I was just curious if it was in front of the hips) as well as the arm angle.  I want to hold my arm at an angle that is less than 90 degrees and it appears that I was doing that as well.
Forward Lean The main problem I see with my form is my forward lean. I’d prefer to be more in the 10 degree range from what I’ve read. It is a bit hard to measure since I don’t know exactly where my joints are, but it appears I’m nowhere near the 10 degrees that I’d like.

I’ll update this soon with the actual video (if I can find a format this site let’s me upload).  I also have pictures from the front and rear to look at hip rotation and crossing over the centerline, but that will have to wait as this is all I have time to post today.  So, please email me or comment below if you have anything I missed or helpful suggestions on my form.  Hope everyone’s weekend was great and a bit warmer than mine!


Posted on January 26, 2014, in Running, Triathlon Training, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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