Feedback is a gift
Last week I took a trip to meet with Nick Knight from NK Active to find out more about the work they do with injured runners using their 3D gait analysis.
I’ve got to be honest, that morning I felt really pretty nervous. It is never easy putting yourself under the spotlight, even though we know it is such a useful thing to do. After all, feedback is a gift, right?
"We all need people that give us feedback. That's how we improve." (Bill Gates)
Overall, I was pleased/relieved with the feedback Nick had to give me. But there’s always room for improvement, and some of the things Nick was able to point out to me through their data-driven approach I think I knew deep down, but never liked to admit out loud - i.e. I still need to improve the strength in my core and glutes and I could look to further increase my cadence slightly.
It is difficult to argue with the data when faced with it, and I was particularly impressed with their ability to provide real-time feedback on things like stance width and vertical oscillation.For example, rather than just telling me to decrease the height I take at toe-off, I was able to try it out and see the data change in front of me as I altered my gait.
Then there were some other elements that are that little bit harder to pinpoint with the naked eye. Looking at the numbers around my pelvic tilt and hip/pelvic rotation led to an interesting discussion about my ability to control the strength I have been developing throughout this year’s training plan. Yep, that recurring theme of runners needing to do more strength work I’m afraid!
My main take-away from this experience is that when it comes to running, there’s just no way to know how well your doing unless you get somebody else to tell you. As a running coach myself I believe that working with a coach over time is the best way to get ongoing feedback for continual improvement – building a relationship with somebody who knows you and is working with you to achieve your goals.
But for those looking to comeback after a major injury or with ongoing niggles they can’t seem to solve, the use of 3D gait analysis and the intervention of an objective neutral party might just uncover that secret-sauce you’re looking for.
I get that having an on-going relationship with a running coach isn’t for everybody, and that’s why Blaze Your Trail offers a one-off Runner’s Review service that you can use as little or often as you feel you need it:
We’ll have a chat about your running history and goals
Take a look at your fundamentals of balance, coordination, flexibility and strength
Get you running (preferably out on a track or round a field) to view and video you from all angles and speeds
And pull this all together in a detailed summary of where your running is currently at and where you should look to focus training in order to achieve your goals
And if you'd like to enter a prize draw for a chance to receive one FREE 360 Running Review worth £80 (only available in the Hampshire area) then just click here and subscribe to our website.
Competition entries close on Sat 31 October and the winner will be announced by Mon 2 November - see website for fill T&Cs.
If you’d like to find our more about the 3D gait analysis available at NK Active then check them out at nkactive.co.uk.