Whether you’re a newbie to races or a running enthusiast, there’s always room to improve the way you run. Started with the aim to help people run more efficiently – thus minimising the risk of injury – Runity is a personalised conditioning programme that uses the latest research biomechanics to help correct and improve your running posture and technique. Our beauty editor ANTHIA CHNG visited Focus Pilates, the first in Asia to host this unique running methodology, for her very first lesson.
Focus Pilates in Raffles Place is a well-equipped studio that has just started offering the running assessment programme in its cosy, air-conditioned space. My first session started with a quick chat with Runity Master Trainer and Exercise Physiologist Daniel Dittmar, who asked me about my exercise background. I’ve been pretty sporty for most of my life, starting out in competitive table tennis when I was younger, then exploring other sports for leisure. I do Muay Thai on a regular basis, but, except for my twice-weekly 1km warm-up jogs before training, I wouldn’t really call myself a runner.
Movement screening and video analysis
Next up, I was tasked to do a few exercise drills (such as bending my knee with one leg mid-air) for Daniel to assess and understand the possible risks of injury I face while running, and how to work on preventing them. Daniel explained that my issue was stability, not mobility, which means that that I need to improve the way I balance myself. I then got on the treadmill for a short run while Daniel took a video of my running technique using an iPad.
We sat down to review the recording, and Daniel provided some more in-depth points about a few technical problems with the way I run. For example, when my front foot contacts the ground, my initial contact is a little too far in from my centre of gravity. This is called “overstriding”, which can create a lot of horizontal braking force, resulting in running inefficiency and excessive loads coming up through the leg and into the knee, hips and back. Better hip movement and a straighter back posture would also aid in a more effective running style. The goal from this session is then identified: to run with a “lighter” initial contact. Hip and foot conditioning will improve this, as will working on running with a higher heel height and trying to get a sense of the pelvis being pushed gently forward.
Targeting the problem
After identifying these issues, we moved onto a series of exercises and stretches to target them. Daniel brought me through a series of stretches to help with my hip and pelvic strength – this was to improve my overall posture in running and also make my Muay Thai kicks more smooth. At the 50-minute mark, we took another recording of me running on the treadmill, right after doing the strengthening exercises and stretches. The immediate result? My initial contact, as compared to before, was slightly closer to my centre of gravity – so, less impact on my knees, hips and back – and I was landing on my arch instead of the heel. It’s amazing how marked the improvements were in only my first class!
From now till 31 March 2018, enjoy the new running conditioning classes (originally $55) at a special price of $25 each. You’ll also get two free classes if you sign up for the running assessment package (three 60-minute private lessons for $420)! Simply quote “Expat Living” when making your booking!
For more information, contact Focus Pilates.
302 Orchard Road, Tong Building
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