WEEKLY WORKOUT: Erin and Sonya learn why finding your gait and the shoes that go with it are important for running

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There is new technology at a metro fitness store that could help you get more out of your workouts.  It promises to prevent injuries by putting you in the right shoes.  The shop in Ankeny where you’ll find it is called “Kyle’s Bikes” but you’ll also find shoes and Bill Lorenz.

He starts by interviewing us, and finds two very different athletes.  Sonya runs about five times a week, putting in at least five to ten miles every time.  Bill asks me how far I run and how often.  “Never,” I say.  He starts laughing.  “I’m not kidding,” I respond.

Bill says it doesn’t matter.  He has us take off our shoes and socks and hit the treadmill.  He’s using the Dartfish Gait Analysis System.  While we run, it records.

In slow motion it’s possible to see a person’s biomechanics.  Sonya’s are normal and Bill wants to record her running in her shoes.  The program allows us to see the recordings side-by-side.

“So you can see the angle is the same whether you have the shoe on or not, so the shoe is not changing anything about your biomechanics,” he explains, “my opinion would be that you’re in an appropriate shoe.  Yay for you!” he laughs.

For me it’s a much different story.  After I spend a few seconds running barefoot Bill says, “Come down and look at how you run, you may find this interesting.”  More like horrifying!  Where Sonya’s feet stayed mostly in a straight line, mine roll toward the inside.  Bill explains that this is “over pronation”.  It means my feet and ankles have trouble stabilizing my body and shock isn’t absorbed efficiently.  A lot of people have this biomechanical abnormality and it’s easy to correct with the right shoes.

“This is what we call stability shoes,” says Bill as he comes out of the back room with an armload of boxes, “these are all appropriate for a pronator.”  I try three different brands built to keep my feet from rolling around and pick the pair that feels best to me.  “Aren’t those nice?”  Bill asks me, “you could become a runner, yet!”

What we found out is that whether you’re hoping to try a 5k like me, or planning to train for your sixth marathon like Sonya, gait analysis can help you get there.  “This software is the 21st century way to fit people with the correct running shoes,” Bill says with a grin, “I may’ve just changed your life!”

If you want more information, I found this great article on the Runner’s World website:

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-319-327-7727-0,00.html

Gait analysis is FREE at Kyle’s Bikes!

515-965-0333

http://www.kylesbikes.com/