Running Assessment: Review and Results

We runners are stubborn. When things start to hurt we might scale back the mileage, but when the REAL injuries begin to surface, so does our iron-clad stubbornness that borders on denial!
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The reason? We're afraid that when we go see a doctor, they're advice will be to STOP RUNNING! And that's news we just can't bear to take.
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So we resort to self-diagnosis.  Surely Dr. Google can help! There's a seemingly unlimited amount of resources on the Internet to find out what MIGHT be wrong with that achy knee, or that problematic IT Band.  But we usually just end up treating the symptoms and not the underlining problem.  And I'll admit, I'm guilty of seeing Dr. Google quite frequently.

Most of us know that running well requires our bodies to work like well-oiled machines.  When one thing goes wrong, it all seems to fall apart, making us miserable.  So why not pinpoint the weak areas and make them stronger!  Which brings me to my reason for this post.  

I recently accepted an offer from a physical therapist who does a Running Diagnosis and Assessment at a local running store.  I've been skeptical of these kinds of things before, but I knew something had to be done to really UP my running game, so I threw caution to the wind! 

I've heard of these "assessments" before, but I've had concerns.  Mostly that the end result would be me shelling out hundreds of dollars for different shoes that I didn't necessarily need.  I'm glad to report this wasn't the case at all.  In fact, the physical therapist running the assessment was wearing the same shoes I was!



The Certified Wellness Coach (CWC) and Physical Therapist was a local triathlete himself, Charlie Boeyink.  I met him at the local running shop Tortoise and Hare Sports.  By the way, I love this little store.  It seems small but has so much and it's one of the most clean and organized running stores I've seen!




Charlie was great and I was immediately at ease.  We chatted about my training, and the general "get to know you" questions.  Then we did some flexibility, core, and strength tests.  Bird Dog, Planks, etc.  Charlie even measured the angle of my knees when resting flat, which told him just how tight my hip abductors and IT Bands really were.  (spoiler alert, they need a lot of work!)

Then we moved on to the actual running part.  I hoped on the treadmill barefoot at first for a slow jog.  Meanwhile Charlie was using his iPad to record my movements.  But he didn't record from just one angle. Charlie made sure to get a wide variety of angles, and I ran at different speeds, and even at an incline.




Before we finished, Charlie mentioned that he noticed my cadence was off and I was over-striding.  He said I was at 160 strikes per minute when I should be at 180.  He had a digital metronome to show me the difference between the two.  180 was a heck of a lot quicker turnover than I'm used to.  But he said that would take some time to get used to.

After the video assessment it was time to review it and hear the bad news!  This was it.  Surely he was going to tell me no more running in Brooks and that I needed hundreds of dollars worth of Physical Therapy.  But fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised yet again.

We looked at each angle together and he slowed it down frame by frame so I could see how my body was moving.  Overall it seemed like my left side was moving just fine! Landing was good. Toe off great.  But my right side was were things seemed to fall apart.






My heel was turning in and collapsing when I landed, my hip jutting out, and I was landing to far back on my heel.  However, Charlie said most of that could be a result of over-striding and if I worked on a quicker turnover my form would be much better.



The whole assessment took about 60 minutes and later the next day Charlie sent my summary.
The overall assessment summary was as follows:

1.) My right hip stabilizers (gluteus max and gluteus medius) all need some work.  These are critical to haven a firm foundation to land on during running (remember what I said about being a well-oiled machine!)

2.) Both IT Bands area bit tight along my quadriceps and hamstrings.  Dedicating some time to improving their mobility will pay off.

3.) In the video, we saw I'm not quite as stable/firm on my right side during stance phase.  So improving my glue teals straight will help this.

4.) This is also paired with a slight over striding.  My cadence was 160 strikes per minute.  Over the next couple of weeks work on getting towards 180.  This will help my overall form and improve efficiency.




Along with the e-mail summary, Charlie sent exercise sheets to improve all the above issues along with video tutorials.  Very useful resources.

Overall this was a great experience and I'm glad I agreed to do it!  I truly believe this was just what I needed to pinpoint my problem areas and really get on track to my running A Game!





The assessment costs $120, and includes a follow up with Charlie a few months later.  I've done some research and some of these types of assessments costs upwards of $300 so that's a pretty good deal!  Also, it's about how much I pay for a new pair of running shoes!

(full disclosure, I did NOT pay for this assessment.  It was done in agreement that I would review it on my blog.  But that's not why Charlie gets an excellent review! 's I say, a "GOOD" review is earned, not bought!)

If you're in the Phoenix area, check out his website (http://cadencept.net) or give him a call!

Charlie Boeyink MPT, OCS, CWC


Physical Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner


Cadence Physical Therapy and Wellness

20100 N 51st Avenue | Ste F640 #10 | Glendale, AZ 85308


602.708.9044

If you don't live in Arizona, I still highly recommend getting an assessment done.  It's very beneficial and I really learned a lot from my experience!

Afterwards, I chatted with a social media friend who happens to live here in Phoenix.  And she'd had the same assessment done by Charlie!  She said it's made her running 100 times better! And after 6 months of working on her cadence, she PR'd with a sub 4-hour marathon!  Pretty awesome!

I'm excited to get to work on Charlie's suggestion and unlock my running potential!

So tell me, have you ever had an assessment done or considered it?  What results did you see or what concerns do you have? Comment below and let's chat! Thanks for reading and happy running!


Comments

  1. So glad you had this done! I had one done a while back and I'm a heel striker too! Since my eval I've picked up cross training and it's helped with my ITB problems a lot!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've noticed the more cross-training I do, the less problems I see... so I guess it's time to get back on the bike regularly!!

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  2. I saw Charlie after a few injuries-when training for the Ragnar Relay. Charlie was so positive, it really helped me not stress out. I had a good time with my 12 friends in 2 vans-all thanks to Charlie!

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    Replies
    1. Woo! RAGNAR! Yep, that race will definitely make the problem areas flare up for sure! When I did Ragnar was when I knew I had a real issue with my IT band! Glad he was able to help! I'm looking forward to working on the things he discussed so I can really up my game!

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