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School of Health and Society

Running Performance Clinic

The University of Salford’s Running Performance Clinic is aimed at recreational runners who want to recover from injury, improve their running performance and learn more about their running style.

We believe a good running style can contribute to a speedier recovery time for running related injuries, to a reduction in the risk of future running-related injuries and to improved running performance.

See our video below for an idea of what to expect from the service. 

Our Service Offers:

  • Full 3D running gait analysis using 16 Oqus 3D cameras with specially developed software to give a full 3D representation of your running biomechanics.    
  • Physiotherapy assessment of strength, flexibility and muscle balance.    
  • Comparison of your running style against the gait characteristics of the elite runners on our database.
  • Recommendations on how to improve specific aspects of your running and/or injury.    
  • Follow up 3D running gait analysis and assessment to see if you've improved and provide an opportunity for further recommendations.    

We are currently the only gait analysis service in Manchester which can provide state-of-the-art 3D running gait assessment.  

Furthermore, we are currently the only running injury clinic in the UK which offers a complete 3D motion analysis of the feet, legs, pelvis and spine during running.  

Book an appointment now  

We currently offer two different packages.

A single assessment costs £175. For this you get a 2 hour appointment during which you have a 3D gait assessment, a clinical examination and are then given a personalised exercise programme, designed to improve your running style.      

A double assessment costs for £250. This is the same as the single assessment but after 4-8 weeks you return to the clinic for a follow up 3D gait assessment and clinical examination. This further testing is then used to refine your personalised exercise programme.      

Appointments last for two hours and are available on a Monday or Wednesday from either 4-6pm or 6-8pm.      

Please contact our admin team at healthcare-runningclinic@salford.ac.uk, to discuss making an appointment. Alternatively you can call on 07807 292 409.      

Payment for the service is made via the University of Salford online shop. Please note that we will not be able to offer a refund if appointments are cancelled with less than 48 hours notice.      

Contact us      

The Running Performance Clinic
School of Health Sciences
University of Salford
Allerton Building
Frederick Road, Salford
M6 6PU
Email: healthcare-runningclinic@salford.ac.uk
Tel: 07807 292409          

How to find us          

Download our directions

Arriving by car:          

From the A6 turn onto Frederick road and then take the first right into the Frederick Road Car Park at the University of Salford. Follow the car park around and double back on yourself heading towards the exit. We can be found at the Podiatry Clinic located next to the car park exit. 

Please note, there is a small fee for using this car park which can be paid via the PayByPhone app.           

Arriving by train:          

Take the train to Salford Crescent station (shown on map above). Upon leaving the train station take a right along Broad Street (A6), at the next set of traffic lights, turn right onto Frederick Road. The car park and entrance to the podiatry clinic is immediately on your right.

You will be given a personalised programme of exercises which is designed around the findings of both a biomechanical gait assessment and a clinical examination.

Biomechanical and clinical assessment

The biomechanical assessment looks at the movement of your feet, legs, pelvis and spine whilst you run on a treadmill and is carried out using state-of-the-art 3Dgait analysis technology.

gait analysis

The clinical examination complements the biomechanical assessment and evaluates strength, flexibility and muscle balance.

The results of both of these two tests are compared to our database of elite runners to identify aspects of your gait which may be contributing to running injury and/or to limitations on your running performance.

Personalised exercise programme

Once this comparison has been made, one of our physiotherapists will develop a personalised exercise programme focused around the problem areas identified in the report.

At your initial appointment the physiotherapist will go through your biomechanical and clinical data and explain why the specific exercises have been chosen. The physiotherapist will then carefully go through each of the exercises and may also provide you with personalised online videos to guide you at home.

Follow-up assessment

After 4-8 weeks of following the exercises on your own you will come back to the University to undergo a follow-up assessment. Based on this, we will give you feedback about your improvements and, if appropriate, recommend future exercise programmes.

This service has been developed from research into running gait carried out at the University of Salford.

This research aims to understand the 3D motion of the spine, pelvis and legs during running and also to identify the characteristics of running gait which the eliterunners on our database have.

The Physiotherapy and Podiatry departments at the University have a long track record of success in helping individuals improve their mobility, including a successful research programme in gait biomechanics.

We believe a good running style can contribute to a speedier recovery time for running related injuries and potentially reduce the risk of future injury. Our aim is to help runners of all levels work towards improving their running style, recover from injury and improve their performance.

Our research has allowed us to create a database of the running mechanics of injury free and elite endurance runners. This allows us to compare your running technique to both injury free runners and elite level runners. This database continues to grow as we study more elite runners over time.

We define an 'elite runner' as somebody who can run 10Km in fewer than 35 minutes, although many of the runners on our database can run this distance in fewer than 30 minutes.

With our unique assessment approach, we produce a detailed gait report which our physiotherapists use to understand how your gait characteristics differ from those on our database of elite runners.

This information is then used to develop a personalised exercise programme tailored to your needs.

3D camera

Our gait laboratory is equipped with 16 Oqus 3D cameras which are manufactured by Qualisys.

These cameras are able to track, in three dimensions, the motion of a large number of reflective markers which are attached to your legs, pelvis and spine as you run.

By using specially developed software we are able to convert the motions of these tiny markers into a full 3D representation of your running biomechanics.

analysing running gait

Our 3D running gait technology is very different to the simple 2-dimensional video-based approach which is available in some running shops.

With that approach it is not possible to understand the complex 3D coordination of the different body segments and it can therefore be difficult to pick up subtle differences in movement which may be causing or contributing to an injury or reducing or contributing to a reduction in running efficiency.

When you come for an assessment we take a full history of your running, previous injuries and your goals. Small reflective markers are then placed on your legs, pelvis and spine. After warming up, you will then run on a treadmill at three different speeds whilst we collect 3D data. The time you run on the treadmill will vary depending on your ability and needs.

Our gait analysis technician will then produce a detailed biomechanical report which compares your movement patterns with those observed in the elite runners on our database. This information is then combined with a thorough physical assessment carried out by one of our Physiotherapists. Using this information we can then create a report which will detail specific aspects of your gait and appropriate recommendations on how to improve your running technique or recover from an injury.

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The clinical assessment will consist of a number of performance-related tests, aiming to evaluate a number of aspects of running performance, such as strength, flexibility and balance.

This information will be collected in a controlled laboratory environment to ensure that the results of the tests are as accurate as possible.

This assessment will help the physiotherapist to determine the potential causes of injury and may also help him/her establish the causes if you are running within an uneconomical running style.

Gait analysisGait analysis

Following the assessment you will be given a personalised exercise programme. This programme will involve various strengthening and stretching exercises, along with specific running drills which are designed to improve problem areas of your gait.

We also offer follow up assessment packages where we can give you feedback on your progress and work with you to give you further exercises and training goals.

Chris Bramah

Chris Bramah

Having originally helped develop the Running Performance Clinic, Chris is our clinical lead who oversees the development and delivery of our gait analysis service. Chris is a Physiotherapist with extensive experience working with both recreational and elite runners including a number of World and Olympic Medallists. He has worked as a physiotherapist for Team GB supporting their endurance athletes for the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2017 London World Championships and Diamond League athletics competitions. Chris has also worked as a physiotherapist with team GB at a number of high altitude training camps.

Chris is currently completing his PhD investigating the biomechanics of running related injuries and biomechanical differences between elite and recreational runners. He currently delivers Physiotherapy assessments and over-ground running gait analysis assessments at the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance Running Clinic.

Dr Lee Herrington

Dr Lee Herrington

Lee has spent over 20 years working with elite sportsmen and women, having worked with Wigan Warriors Rugby league, Great Britain Rugby league, the British Women’s Basketball teams, British Swimming high performance training center athletes.

He has also worked for the English Institute of Sport taking a lead role in the management of knee injuries across all Olympic sports teams.

Lee has published over 50 peer reviewed research articles in the area of sports injury rehabilitation and teaches both nationally and internationally on these topics.

Rachel Carter

Rachel Carter

Rachel qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2005 from the University of Salford. Having specialised in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy for 8 years she then moved on to work in elite sport with British Triathlon, the Great Britain Taekwondo team and as a Physiotherapist at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  

Currently Rachel works for the English Institute of Sport with the England Netball team and British Swimming Team. While managing her work with elite athletes Rachel is also completing her Masters Degree at the University of Salford in Sports Injury & Rehabilitation. Her current research areas include the effects of speed on running biomechanics. 

Duncan Mason

Duncan Mason

Duncan is a physiotherapy lecturer and researcher at the University of Salford who also has over 20 years clinical experience as a physiotherapist. Duncan has a long history of working with the UK’s leading runners, including World and Olympic Champions, and has worked at altitude training camps in which the athletes were preparing for major global championships. He has also covered World and European Cross country championships as GB team Physiotherapist.

His research has focuses on understanding the gait characteristics of elite runners and he works regularly with elite runners providing them with running drills to help them improve their running performance. Duncan is a keen and competitive runner and has a PB for a half marathon of 65 minutes. He coaches junior and senior athletes and has been recognised by England Athletics in their regional North West coach of the year awards.

Dr Steve Preece

Dr Steve Preece

Steve has spent 10 years working as a researcher in human movement biomechanics at the University of Salford. As part of his research,

Steve uses 3D gait analysis techniques to both understand subtle differences in movement between elite and recreational runners and also to measure the effects of gait retraining programmes.

As well as looking at running gait, Steve is also investigating whether patients with knee osteoarthritis could benefit from movement retraining.

How is this service different to the gait assessment I could get in a running shop?

Most currently available gait analysis services use a standard video camera to capture running patterns. With this approach it is not possible to understand the complex three-dimensional coordination of the different body segments and so it is difficult to pick up subtle alternations in 3D movement. These 2D analyses are typically limited to looking at the way the foot lands during running. In contrast, our service looks at 3D movement of the whole body.

Sonia Sammuels:  

"After the gait analysis at Salford’s Running Performance Clinic I worked with my physiotherapist and coach to address the weak areas highlighted in the customised report using drills, a stretching programme as well as a core stability and lifting programme.

After 6 months I am finally feeling stronger and my running form has improved, backed up by the fact I have ran 2  x 10k and a 5k PBs in last 2 months!"

Sonia Sammuels (Great Britain International Marathon and 10km and cross country Runner)

Tom Lancashire:

"As an elite athlete, the margins between winning and losing can be small. The work done by the Running Performance Clinic in improving my strength and efficiency has helped me return from injury quickly and will help me gain crucial fractions of a second in future races.”

Tom Lancashire (Bolton Harriers and Great Britain 1500m runner)

Overview of our research

We have team of researchers and Ph.D. students who are investigating the biomechanics of running and mechanism which underlie common running injuries. For these projects we are using a range of different techniques. This include electromyography (EMG), in which electrodes are used to measure muscle coordination, 3D motion capture, which is used to quantify precise body movements and also mathematical modelling, which is helping us to develop insight into the fundamental mechanisms which underlie efficient running. We are also working with a local company, Smartlife, who specialise in wearable technology to understand how to monitor running performance under real-world conditions.

Recent research

Our recently published work has investigated, and proposed an explanation for the full 3D motion of the pelvis and spine during running and also characterised the differences between elite and recreational runners. This work identified that elite runners run with a more erect posture, especially at higher speeds, than low performing athletes.

Figure 1

Get involved in our research

We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in a project investigating muscle activation patterns during running (see below for more details):

This project is aimed at testing the degree of consistency of EMG muscle measurements and as part of this study, we will be showing volunteers how their leg muscle activate as they run. We are looking for recreational runners who are between 18-50 years old with no history of injury and be able to run at least 5 miles per week. Volunteers will required to come to the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Salford to on two different occasions. During this assessment we will monitor the activation of your leg muscles as you run on a treadmill and then over ground.

Please contact us if you might be interested in taking part. All information remains confidential. Although we can’t offer payment for participation, we can reimburse reasonable travel expenses.

For more information, please contact Walaa Elsais on 07490323915 or email:w.m.e.elsais@salford.ac.uk

Click here to view an example report for an athlete who was suffering from Achilles pain.

Tips on how to survive a marathon

Tips, research and expert assessment for amateur runners

Here is your first e-newsletter from the University of Salford Running Performance Clinic.

In this edition, we give you some expert tips on recovering from a Marathon. We talk about research which may in future help amateur runners improve their race times. And we reveal how you can learn torun like an elite athlete.

Surviving a Marathon: 10 quick recovery tips

UK athletics physiotherapist

Running a marathon this year? Here are our 10 handy tips for a quick, pain-free recovery:

  1. Replace lost fluids and weigh yourself before and after the race to monitor any change.
  2. Drink throughout the race, from the very first station. Water in the early stages and electrolyte drinks later.
  3. Use Energy gels on the day, but test them beforehand
  4. Eat protein and carbohydrates shortly after the race, with a carb-rich meal within two hours of finishing.
  5. Use ice to settle inflammation if you get a race day injury.
  6. Wear blister-free socks and well-fitting ‘worn-in’ shoes.
  7. Avoid joggers’ nipple with two well-placed pieces of tape.
  8. Book a post-race massage for within 48 hours of the run.
  9. Wear compression clothing either during or immediately after the race.
  10. Take at least two days off running following the race.

Getairborne: Copy the techniques of elite athletes

Sprinter and physiotherapist who operates the running performance clinic

Research by academics at the University of Salford Running Performance Clinic has found that elite athletes spend less time in contact with the ground than amateur runners.

Our academics used state-of-the-art biomechanical measurement systems to accurately measure the joint angles and forces applied to the feet of amateur and professional runners when they were on the move.

Their findings showed that elite runners spend more time in the air, running with a more bouncy running style. This may explain why elite athletes are able to maintain a faster speed over long periods of time.

Our academics are now devising running drills which could help recreational runners like you develop a more ‘bouncy’ running style and improve your running performance.

Run like an elite athlete: Book a full 3D Gait Analysis

Althlete running through human performance laboratory

Want to learn how to run like an elite athlete?

Our experts will analyse the movement and running position of your legs, pelvis and spine if you book a full 3D gait analysis.

You will undergo a thorough clinical assessment, designed to assess your strength, flexibility and muscle balance.

Following the assessment, your running patterns will be compared against a database of elite athletes. The findings will take the form of a personalised report which identifies problem areas which could be improved with exercises/running drills.

You will also receive a personal training programme lasting four to eight weeks. Once you have completed the programme, you will return to the university for a follow-up assessment. Find out more about the assessment and book today.

If you are interested in our service, or want to receive future newsletters, then visit: www.runningperformanceclinic.com or contact Chris at healthcare-runningclinic@salford.ac.uk, 07807 292409.

Tips on how to avoid running injuries

10 ways on avoiding running injuries (Duncan Mason)

Now we are hitting the winter season this is the time of year when traditionally distance runners will begin to build their endurance base so that they can perform well in the summer season or build up to a spring marathon.Winter miles give summer smiles!

Naturally as you build your mileage you at risk of suffering overuse injuries here are a few tips to build that winter base without getting injured.

Running Clinic

Intensity of training

Make sure that you don’t train as intensely as you do in the summer season, extra mileage without dropping the intensity (namely the speed at which you run/ perform interval repetitions) will lead to overload of joints and muscles, which could in turn give rise to injury. Make sure you also don’t train too intensely on consecutive days, not only will you risk injury, but also  your immune system may struggle to overcome the load of a hard session. An easier day is in order so that you don’t succumb to illness.

Volume of training

Particularly when returning from a break or an injury, it is important to build your total mileage slowly, it is recommended that you record weekly mileage covered and that you don’t increase this volume by more than 5 miles per week or 10% of the total volume whichever is larger. 

Enviroment - avoid harder surfaces where possible

In the winter, generally athletes train performing higher mileages, with the inability often to run in daylight. If too much mileage is performed on harder surfaces this too can lead to injury. Sometimes this problem is unavoidable. It is recommended that the longer runs are done off road at the weekend to reduce the load on the soft tissues and joints.

Cross training

Running can be unforgiving, the impact loads taken through the legs and spine can accumulate to huge levels during longer runs. As we are trying to train the aerobic system, alternatives that are low impact or no impact can allow the runner to improve their aerobic fitness for example biking, swimming or cross training.

Drills

Performing running drills a few times a week can help train the movement patterns of running, improving strength and efficiency of the lower limb musculature. This in turn will improve foot contact, reduce foot contact time, whilst potentially reducing injury rate and improving running efficiency.

Refuel

Winter volume can result in burning a lot of calories and damage to soft tissues, it is therefore necessary to provide the body with ample energy stores through adequate carbohydrate content. Protein is essential too in order to rebuild muscles and other soft tissue structures. Adequate rehydration is important and should not be ignored just because it is winter. If diet is inadequate the risk of injury is greatly increased.

Rest

Do not be afraid to rest a rest day, or an easier week every month, or a rest week at the end of a training block. Rest can work wonders to allow the bodies tissues to recover, immune system to be enhanced or the mind refreshed before the next block of hard training.

Sports Massage

Sports physio and sports massage is an important adjunct to training, I recommend that runners have a massage monthly, this will increase mobility of tissues, improve the circulation replenishing glycogen and remove waste products. It is a bit like taking your car to the garage for a service. Once you’ve had your tyre pressures checked and your oil changed you'll be flying again!

Stretching

Stretching maintains tissue length and ensures joints move through their full range to enable normal running function. Core exercises are aimed at enhancing overall posture and trunk strength this will improve overall gait pattern and may improve efficiency of performance. These types of exercises should be performed regularly through the training week. For more information consult a qualified athletic coach or therapist.

Gait analysis

Book in for a running gait analysis at the Running Performance clinic. Our state of the art running biomechanics motion capture system will identify anomalies in your running style which we will attempt to correct by teaching you a bespoke exercise programme.  This has helped many athletes to overcome long term injury problems and go on to improve their performance.www.runningperformanceclinic.com

Duncan Mason is a Sports Physiotherapist, who is the clinical lead for Athlete Matters clinics in Cheadle, Worsley and Preston. He has worked with many GB athletes in his work at these clinics and with GB teams at major championships and holding camps. He is also head coach at Salford Harriers juniors and a former athlete, having run 65 minutes for half marathon and a 2:21 marathon. He also has a consultancy role within the Running Performance Clinic at Salford University as part of his role as a Lecturer there.

What does current research tell us about running injuries?

Research-based estimates of the prevalence of running injuries varies, with some studies suggesting runners will, over average, experience an injury after every 500 hours of running. This compares to other studies which suggest a much higher rate of 16 injuries per 500 hours of running. Given these relatively high rates of injury, it is of paramount importance that you monitor the factors which could predispose you to injury and understand whether your particular style of running could be putting you at risk of a running-related injury.

Biomechanical research aimed at understanding running injury is carried out in a gait laboratory and compares the characteristics of injured runners with those who run pain free. These studies have identified specific movement patterns which, by putting increased stress on particular anatomical structures, may lead to running injuries. For example, excessive foot pronation has been suggested to overstress the knee and Achilles tendon and subsequently been identified as a risk factor for Achilles and knee pain.

More recent research has looked into movements of the pelvis, the spine and also tried to establish whether a forefoot strike pattern could reduce the risk of injury compared to a rearfoot strike pattern. This research has shown that people who run with an unstable pelvis (which drops to side during the stance phase of running), have a higher risk of developing patellofemoral pain (pain behind the knee cap). Interestingly, research has also shown that running with a forefoot strike pattern can reduce the forces on the knee and there is some evidence so show that this may lead to reduced incidence of knee pain.

At the University of Salford, we are comparing injured recreational runners with non-injured recreational runners and also with elite/high performing runners. Our research is starting to show that elite runners have a running style which minimises the risk of injury and this idea is supported by other research with has found low injury rates in elite runners. This research is feeding into our running gait analysis service and, by comparing client’s running style with that of our elite database, we are able to provide an individualised programme which can help reduce the risk of injury.

The University of Salford Running Performance Clinic

Running Clinic 2

The University of Salford’s running performance clinic was set up at the start of 2014 as a spin out from research aiming to characterise the movement patterns of elite athletes.

The service is open to anyone and offers clients a full 3D gait analysis of the legs, pelvis and spine whilst running. In addition to the gait analysis, clients undergo a thorough clinical assessment, designed to assess strength, flexibility and muscle balance.

Following the gait assessment, client’s running patterns are compared to a database of elite athletes. This comparison is documented in a personalised report which also describes the clinical findings and identifies any problem areas which could be improved with exercises/running drills.

The client then receives an individualised training programme which is followed for 4-8 weeks, after which clients return to the university for a follow up assessment.

If you are interested in learning more about this service, then please visit:www.runningperformanceclinic.com

Self screening for signs of muscle weakness

In this newsletter, we outline how to screen yourself for signs of common running weaknesses, explain what our recent research has shown about running and tell you a bit about our new exercise physiology testing.

A part of our assessment at the Running Performance Clinic is to look at possible indicators of muscle weakness which might be limiting your ability to run well or, which may lead to a running injury.

In this newsletter, our Specialist Physiotherapists at the Running Performance Clinic, will outline some simple tests that you can do on yourself to identify any weaknesses.

Patient with a specialist Psyiotherapist

Calf Capacity test (Strength test)

Calf strength is an essential component for injury free running. The calf comprises of two main muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus. Weakness to either of these muscles could lead to the development of shin splints, achilles tendinopathy or even calf muscle strains.

Here’s two easy ways to test your calf strength: -

  • Equipment required: - Exercise Step

Calf Raise with Straight Leg (testing the gastrocnemius calf muscle)

Place the ball of your left foot on the exercise step, and raise your right leg in front of you, with the knee bent at approximately 90 degrees. You can lightly hold onto the wall in front of you for balance. Keep your left leg straight, and raise up onto your toes, then slowly lower down so that your heel is below the step. Repeat until extreme muscle fatigue (failure to complete a straight leg calf raise). Repeat the same test on the right leg.

calfraise

Calf Raise with Bent Leg (testing the soleus calf muscle)

Place the ball of your left foot on the exercise step and bend your left knee to approximately 45 degrees. Raise your right leg in front of you, with the knee bent at 90 degrees. You can lightly hold onto the wall in front of you for balance. Keep your left leg bent at 45 degrees, and raise up onto your toes, then slowly lower down so that your heel is below the step. Again, repeat until extreme muscle fatigue (failure to complete a bent leg calf raise). Repeat the same test on the right leg.

legbridge

Single Leg Bridge with Bent Leg Capacity Test (Strength test)

Gluteal and hamstring strength is another essential component to injury free running. The gluteal muscles need to be strong to keep the pelvis stable whilst running. They also function as hip extenders and assist with driving the leg forwards, creating power with each step. Weakness to these muscles could lead to a multitude of lower limb injuries, affecting the hips, knees and ankles.

  • Equipment required: - Exercise Step

Lie on your back and place your left heel on a 30cm exercise step or box, and bend the knee to approximately 90 degrees, then lift the right leg straight out in front. Push down into the left heel and raise your hips upwards, so that your hips, knees and shoulders are in a straight line. Slowly lower and repeat until extreme muscle fatigue (failure to complete the bridge position). Repeat the same test on the right leg.

Single Leg Bridge with Bent Leg Capacity Test (Strength test)

Gluteal and hamstring strength is another essential component to injury free running. The gluteal muscles need to be strong to keep the pelvis stable whilst running. They also function as hip extenders and assist with driving the leg forwards, creating power with each step. Weakness to these muscles could lead to a multitude of lower limb injuries, affecting the hips, knees and ankles.

  • Equipment required: - Exercise Step

Lie on your back and place your left heel on a 30cm exercise step or box, and bend the knee to approximately 90 degrees, then lift the right leg straight out in front. Push down into the left heel and raise your hips upwards, so that your hips, knees and shoulders are in a straight line. Slowly lower and repeat until extreme muscle fatigue (failure to complete the bridge position). Repeat the same test on the right leg.

legexercise

A good runner, with fatigue resistant calf & gluteal muscles, should be able to complete 25+ repetitions of both the calf capacity & single leg bridging tests on each side. If you can’t do many repetitions and/or you have asymmetry from left to right, then you might want to consider a calf and hip extensor muscle strengthening programme.

The tests described above are part of a detailed physical examination we offer for everyone who comes in for a gait assessment at the Running Performance Clinic. If you have a running related injury, or just want to improve the way you run, then why not consider booking an appointment to be assessed by our specialist physiotherapists at the Running Performance Clinic.

Arrange an appointment

Research into upper body position during running

Recent research, carried out at the University of Salford, has identified a clear difference in upper body position between recreational runners and elite athletes. An elite runner in this paper is defined as being able to run a 10Km in under 32 mins (male) and under 35 mins (female). The study showed that elite runners tend to run with less forward lean of the thorax (a more erect posture) especially at higher speeds. The graph below shows the inclination of the thorax at 4 different speeds. Note that the maximum speed of 5.6 m/s corresponds to a 30 min 10Km pace. The data shows that elite runners maintain a consistent low forward lean across the speeds, whereas the recreational runners lean further forwards as they run faster.

This research is contrary to popular running advice to lean forwards. In fact, we think that leaning forwards will increase the amount of work that your hip extensor muscles have to do and so increase the energy it takes to run. If you are interested in whether you could be running with too much forward lean then why not consider booking in for a full 3D gait assessment at the Running Performance Clinic.

Graphs showing thorax and mean thorax inclination

Exercise physiology testing for runners

At the University of Salford, we have recently launched an Exercise Physiology Testing service? If you’re looking to learn more about your fitness and how to make your training more effective at improving performance then this new service could help you achieve your goals.

Our staff will discuss the most appropriate tests for yours needs. Tests may include the use of specialist equipment to measure maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), blood lactate and heart rate profiles, and running economy.  Following this, a tailored report will be produced giving you details on how to optimise your training.

Assessment prices start from £80, plus as an introductory offer, we are giving a 10% discount for any assessments purchased before 31st January 2018 for our previous customers of the Running Performance Clinic. Simply quote CLINIC10 when you contact us to book your test.

http://www.salford.ac.uk/health-sciences/facilities/exercise-physiology-testing

The running performance clinic

Want to learn how to run like an elite athlete?

Our experts will analyse the movement and running position of your legs, pelvis and spine if you book a full 3D gait analysis.

You will undergo a thorough clinical assessment, designed to assess your strength, flexibility and muscle balance. Following the assessment, your running patterns will be compared against a database of elite athletes. The findings will take the form of a personalised report which identifies problem areas which could be improved with exercises and running drills. You will also receive a personalised training programme. We recommend you return to the clinic for the follow-up running assessment, at 6-8 weeks, where we will further analyse your progress and running skills.

Click here to find out more about the running clinic and follow this link to book an appointment.