Karen Langley Runner, Massage Therapist, Mother
How did you hear about RunLab?
I initially heard about RunLab™ on a Rogue Running podcast. Ironically it was just a couple of months later that I learned Playtri had opened up RunLab Gait Imaging Centers™ inside their facilities, allowing me to get a full movement analysis by the RunLab team from right here in the Dallas area.
What did you know about gait and running biomechanics before learning about RunLab?
I’ve been a runner for many years and have always observed during races that everyone moves differently, even when running at the same speed, which is fascinating. As someone who is always interested in improving my own run and keeping injuries at bay, I have read a ton of literature on the subject and have seen every approach, ranging from “one size fits all” to “everyone’s gait is different, work with what ya got” . It’s all very overwhelming and confusing because each “expert” has their own philosophy.
What prompted you to go through a RunLab Movement Analysis?
I was interested in going through the process because I had previously experienced a hamstring injury which took quite a while to recover from. I was slowly working on building up my mileage and did not want to get injured again. I was interested in understanding more about my own body and the way that I move and whether there may be issues with my gait that put me at a higher risk for re-injury....I love to run and injury is certainly something I did not want to revisit!
What was your biggest take away from going through the RunLab Movement Analysis?
My biggest take away from the movement analysis is that even the smallest tweak in stride can cause big changes throughout the entire body. If we think about the number of times our feet hit the ground during just one single run (even a short run) it’s pretty mind blowing! Multiply that times all of the runs that we do per week, per month, per year, and it all adds up...especially considering the fact that running isn’t even the only time we are on our feet in a day. Running is a full body movement, so even changing one small thing, whether that be stride length, the way we land, hip rotation, something in our upper body, or one of a million other little things can make a huge difference because of the repetitive nature of running.
What did you enjoy most from your experience with RunLab?
What I enjoyed most about the entire experience was the consultation call with a RunLab Gait Specialist and the expert dissection of my stride. We went through my videos so I could see what was happening in detail, and I was also given a lengthy full-color report breaking down all of the issues they found, along with recommendations for solving them, including shoe recommendations. Their specialist was SO thorough and knowledgeable about everything it was almost mind blowing! He would make comments about tiny nuances in my movement that would all of a sudden explain so much. I was blown away and kept asking “yes how do you know that about me?” Almost creepy since I had never met the guy before LOL!!!! It was great!
Who do you think a RunLab Movement Analysis will benefit?
I think all athletes at any level can benefit from this service if they have any interest in running as part of their health and fitness routine, including triathletes. I learned that there really is no one stride fits all for runners because everyBODY is different. We may all have the same bones and muscles, but the way they connect, the way gravity has worn on our body over time, the way we hold ourselves upright, the way we compensate for old injuries, our flexibility in each area, and our unique structural makeup all affect our movement patterns. So instead of trying to force one standard type of movement for everyone, even though we are all put together differently, why not learn how to run correctly in YOUR body?
How have you applied the information from your RunLab Movement Analysis throughout workouts and training?
I was provided with homework during my consultation call, which included some small drills and exercises to correct muscle imbalances and help improve efficiency. I’m a checklist kind of person so I was all over this type of assignment. One of the drills was to re-train my body to run with a slightly wider stance. I have a slight crossover in my gait which was creating some problems, so the drill was to find a crack or line in the road and run down it without letting my feet crossover. I’m pretty sure I looked like I was doing the Irish jig!!!! Such a small change felt so strange at first, but after a few weeks of doing it I certainly have noticed the difference in my stride and am excited to start implementing the other pieces of homework that I was assigned.
The entire movement analysis process through RunLab.US was super easy. I was able to fill out my initial forms and pay through http://www.runlab.us/. Then I was able to get in and get the imaging portion done very quickly at Playtri, they handled all of the videotaping and upload for me so all I had to do was show up for my appointment, warm-up, get filmed and move on with my day. The turnaround time for processing my videos and setting up my phone consultation was fast and simple. I was very impressed with the knowledge and passion that everyone at RunLab has shown, they clearly love what they do and are the very best at it, I highly encourage this service to anyone that runs...or that wants to!
Here are some images from Karen’s RunLab Movement Analysis and follow-up.