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Cool Running – My Running Gait Analysis experience at Core Concepts

Rajen is a triathlete and runner who has been on the lookout for ways to improve his performance during races. He had the chance to come in for a running gait analysis and below is his review of the entire experience.

A couple of weeks back, I had the chance to get a structured Running Gait Analysis at Core Concepts at Harbourfront Center. This was on the 11th of April, the day after what, for me, was a breakthrough Half Marathon at NTUC 350 Run. I was a bit sore that morning with persistent Achilles tendon pain and calf muscle strains. I figured it was perfect day for a Running Gait analysis.

Getting there, I got introduced to the team at Core Concepts – Jordan, Ying Rong and Clemence who would help do the analysis. I was immediately star struck – that there was Mok Ying Rong – and she had just taken the Singapore National Record for the Half Marathon (1.23.14 at Gyeongju). Here she is, with Jordan, analyzing my running form.

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As soon as I got in, the Core Concepts team immediately put me at ease. They complemented me on my time, in what I believe were humid and hazy conditions. They asked me if I had any injuries or soreness. I explained how I have been dealing with Achilles tendon pain for the past few years. Jordan had me stand a few inches against the wall, and lean forward to have my knee just touch the wall. The lack of flexibility and the strain on my ankle were fairly obvious. Also obvious was the fact that I had spent the entirety of Sunday afternoon goofing off, and not foam – rolling or doing any of the proper looseners and stretches I ought to have.

This picture below is not a foot massage. It is Jordan demonstrating how much tighter my right calf and the entire tissue & muscle chain were.

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He also had me do a couple of squats. Those pictures will stay in my private collection.

And then, we went over to the treadmill for the main set. I had all these cameras focused on me, and that’s all I need to put out my best performance. Jordan asked me to run. He asked me what was a comfortable pace, and I was like, yeah, maybe 10.5 km / hr. He set that up, and then in an act of betrayal that my calves will never forget, casually added a 2% incline.

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Luckily, this was over after a couple of minutes. Then, I had to do the exact same thing with my shoes off. This was like running through T1. It’s no fun in a race, and it’s no fun on a treadmill either. However, I was able to finish that without changing much of my gait through the process. I focused on my turnover and staying relaxed and “squatting” into my run.

Jordan, Ying Rong and I then went over my performance. The cameras and the equipment captured an incredibly huge amount of data from my cadence, to my “hang time” to my hip positions and so on. It was really refreshing to see the team focus on the specifics of how I land and how my hips and glutes come into play, rather than focus on things like forefoot or heel strike. It was a well structured analysis that gave me specific positive reinforcements and specific areas of improvement. For example – I was pleasantly surprised by how my cadence and other metrics stayed nearly consistent with or without shoes. I am happy my hips didn’t drop and that I have a nice, easy and symmetric style of running.

At the same time, it was obvious that all wasn’t well with my right Achilles, and that caused my right foot to do some fancy compensating mechanisms like rolling inward too much and so on. Jordan gave me some stretches for my gastroc and soleus to help relieve my calf strain and get this symmentrical.

All this gets well explained and documented in an easy to understand report that comes along at the end.

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Plus, you get to take your picture with National Record Holders

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All in, it was a superb investment in terms of time and effort to get this gait analysis done. I know there are several faddish approaches to gait analysis, and I was quite apprehensive going in that this was going to be about changing everything just when I got some improvements going in my run. However, my concerns were misplaced.

The Core Concepts RGA session is data – driven, and focused on minor tweaks to rectify some imbalances. The goal is to get consistent, improve performance and reduce injury incidences.

– Rajen Prabhu, Runner and Triathlete

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