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Is gait analysis worth it?

Will gait analysis help you run faster?

gait-analysis-worth-itIs gait analysis worth it?

If you are looking to up your running game, to take running more seriously or to radically improve your running times then running gait analysis will help. Gait analysis is a really simple process that doesn’t need you to run for very long before a trained professional then goes on to give you advice on how you run and the best type of trainer to suit your natural running style.

Where can you get your running gait analysed?

Most sports shops now offer running analysis, as do all the major sports brands. For example, Adidas has a gait analysis running machine in its flagship store on Oxford Road in London but there is no need to travel as far as that when you consider that chains like DW Fitness also have analysis machines in most, if not all, of its stores across the UK.

In addition to this there are many independent, specialist running stores that also offer gait analysis and then advice on the best type of running shoe to fit your style.

dw-fitness-gait-analysis
Gait analysis is available at DW Fitness as well as other sports stores

How much does gait analysis cost?

You should never be charged for gait analysis unless it is a more in depth one that is used for a wider medical issue. Most sports stores offer running analysis for free.

How does running gait analysis work?

Having your running fair analysed could not be more simple. I recently had mine done at DW Fitness and it was a process that took less than ten minutes. You don’t even need to go in wearing your full running gear either as most stores provide you with some trainers to wear during the test.

Also, there is no need to fear that you will be made to run for miles on the treadmill for gait analysis. My own session took around thirty seconds on the treadmill and the rest of the time was spent watching my running back on a monitor.

The person who is doing the analysis will ask you to start jogging at a pace that suites you, on a treadmill. Then, a camera that is positioned behind you will start filming your run.

Once they have enough footage you are asked to stop running and then go and watch the playback. Once the analysis has taken place you are then taken over to try ranges of trainers that the gait analysis person thinks will suit your running style.

What are they looking for when they do gait analysis?

Gait analysis looks for “pronation”. The way that your foot sits as it hits the floor during running. The three types of pronation are; “neutral” – the foot rolls inwards having originally landed on the outer side of the foot. “Underpronation” where the foot and leg is jarred from landing on the outer side of the foot at an elevated angle with little or no inward roll. “Overpronation” is the most common type for runners, where the foot rolls inward on impact.

Once your running style has been analysed you will be shown the range of trainers that best fit your type of pronation.

asics-gait-analysis
Asics offers gait analysis too

How long does it take to get the results?

It is best to allow 10 mins for the test (in case you have complex needs) and then however long you think it will take you to pick and test a new pair of trainers. In my case I was in, tested, bought new trainers and out again within 20 minutes.

Does gait analysis improve your running times?

Whilst I can’t speak for everyone, gait analysis did help reduce my own running times. The first time I went out in my new running trainers, after the analysis, I shaved 6 minutes of my personal best time for 10k. Taking time off a PB is always a great feeling but the main benefit of gait analysis is making sure that your running trainers fit the way in which your body runs. Gait analysis can reduce the stress on your feet, legs and knees and this, in turn, helps you remain injury free!

How often should you get your gait analysed?

Sports scientists suggest that you should get your gait analysed once a year. No doubt the big trainer brands encourage this too!

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and is currently training for his first triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.