Gentlemen, we can rebuild him

Motion Capture

On April 9, I went to the UF Sports Performance Center to do a 3-D analysis of my running. You can see a picture above of me on the treadmill. What we did was have me run at an easy pace and record my running, then I did 8 intervals of 2 minutes at 5:30/mile followed by 2 minutes at 8:00/mile. They took one measurement of me at the 5:30 pace. Then, after I was nice and tired, they took another measurement at an easy pace to see how my form degraded with fatigue. The white dots in the above photo are the balls they glued to me so the cameras could capture my movement. There is a photo of the software screen below (click on it to see a slightly better image):

Stick Figure Me

The point of all this was to see if there was something in my form causing the intermittent knee and piriformis pain I’ve been feeling lately. They turned up something interesting on the first analysis. When I toe-off on the right, I twist my right foot out, almost completely parallel to the ground. This motion activates my piriformis and puts a torque on the knee, and it is almost certainly wasted energy. You can see a bit of it in the following two pictures:

Finishing Gate River Run
Crossing the finish line

I’ve been practicing that motion and focusing on keeping my foot straight. It seems to be helping. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they learn when they look at all the angles my body makes as I run. Hopefully this will suggest some areas I need to strengthen or make more flexible. Additionally, there might be some specific exercises or drills I can do to improve my form.

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