INDIVIDUALIZED RUNNING PROGRAM

We evaluate your running technique, identify any muscular imbalances and areas of your running form that you can correct in order to improve your running performance or prevent injury.
Two people running on grass field

What is a Running/Gait Assessment?

Whether you are an elite runner or new to running, in our running assessment we will evaluate your gait and running form on a treadmill. The goal of a running assessment is to evaluate your running technique and identify muscular imbalances and areas of your running form that you can correct in order to improve your running performance or prevent injury. 

Your physiotherapist or kinesiologist may also assess your standing posture and your walking gait. They may perform a functional movement screen to assess other movements to identify muscular weakness or limitations in your range of motion. Once areas of weakness have been identified we will create an individualized exercise program.

How does the program work?

The individualized running program starts with an assessment performed by a physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist will then identify areas of improvement and create an individualized exercise program custom to your needs and goals. We have treatment options depending on your insurance coverage and budget. Follow up exercise session’s can either be booked with a physiotherapist or kinesiologist.

Why is proper running form beneficial?

NEW RUNNERS: If you beginning to run for the first time, learning proper running form is important to prevent injury from running. Additionally, understanding and addressing your muscular weakness and running form can prevent future injury. 

INCREASING RUNNING DISTANCE: If you are training for a longer running event such as a half marathon or full marathon, ensuring that you have proper form before increase your total running distance each week will help you prevent injury from the high impact of running as well as improve your performance. 

ELITE RUNNERS: A video running gait assessment can help identify small weaknesses in your running form that are hard to see without slow motion video analysis. Improving your running form will help you become a more efficient runner and improve your overall running performance. 

What will an assessment involve?

Initial Session (with Physiotherapist)

  • Treadmill gait analysis

  • Video running analysis

  • Postural analysis

  • Functional movement screen

Subsequent Session (with Physiotherapist or Kinesiologist)

  • Gym-based strengthening program

  • Home exercise program

What will a running assessment do?

  • Prevent injury

  • Improve running technique

  • Improve running efficiency

  • Identify and correct muscular imbalances

Physiotherapists Specializing in Running Assessments

Tom Michie Team Photo

Tom Michie

Patrick O'Flaherty Team Photo

Patrick O’Flaherty

Peter Dastych Team Photo

Peter Dastych

Jayde Woo Team Photo

Jayde Woo

Frequently Asked Running Program Questions

How do you assess running form?
Running form encompasses the dynamic process of how someone runs. This is a whole body event that is as unique as one’s fingerprint and includes: posture, gait, balance, arm swing, and head position; from shock absorption to propulsion. There is no ideal running form, but evidence suggests there may be better ways to run to improve efficiency and guard against injury.

There are many ways to assess running form. We typically use video analysis taken from several angles while running on a treadmill, that can be slowed down and assessed frame-by-frame. Specific corrective exercises and running ‘form drills’ can be suggested and trialled to achieve the desired running form goal.

How do you assess running gait?

Running gait can be considered a component of running form that focuses on how the feet and legs move through space, make contact with the ground (stance phase), absorb shock and propel the body through the air (flight phase) during running. There is no perfect running gait, but it may be helpful to adjust to improve running efficiency or help avoid injury; especially if experiencing a recurring injury.

Like running form, there are also many ways to assess running gait. Similar torunning form we typically use video  analysis to look at one’s step rate (cadence), step width, step length, bounce (vertical oscillation), foot strike pattern, and leg alignment. This video can be slowed down and gait retraining techniques can be suggested to achieve the desired running goal.

Is a running gait analysis worth it?

Yes… and no. A gait analysis by itself, without the presence of an injury may be helpful to promote efficiency and stave off injury, HOWEVER, there is limited evidence that this is necessary. Current scientific evidence suggests one of the biggest factors for minimizing injury risk is monitoring training load. Efficiency can be improved with strength training. Both monitoring training load and strength training can be discussed with a Physiotherapist.

If one is experiencing a running injury, it will be important to discuss your history with a Physiotherapist, that includes but is not limited-to: training plan, goals, sleep, nutrition, stress, shoes and running experience. Furthermore, a physical assessment should be done to provide further information on a runner’s specific injury, as well as, strength & mobility. With a full history and physical assessment, a gait analysis can be a valuable tool to better understand each runner’s unique running experience and create a plan to get them back on track for their running goals.

How can I improve my running gait?

This question can only be answered after you have received a gait analysis from our team of registered physical therapists. It is common to see people that have no problem with their running technique, gait pattern or running form. For these individuals, adjustments in their training plan may be what’s required to avoid injury, be able to run after an injury or improve your time during race day. 

However, if your physiotherapist finds that adjustments are required in the gait pattern because of a risk of injury, then there are a number of things that could be considered such as pronation types (most commonly seen where your foot rolls inwards), stride length, cadence, etc.

What should I wear to a gait analysis?

As a rule of thumb, please bring your typical running gear with you for your initial assessment. This includes the pair of running shoes that you typically wear. If you have other shoes that you wear on occasion, such as trail running shoes or stabilizing shoes for example, please bring them along as well.

Can I get a running assessment if I’m new to running?

Absolutely! People who are new to running can really benefit from our registered physiotherapists. Beginners running can suffer from many common running injuries. The best thing that your physical therapist can provide is a running program suited for your specific needs and goals. Risk of injury can be greatly diminished with the right knowledge. We will answer the common questions:

  • How to start running (things to consider)
  • Laying out a plan for beginners
  • Providing a training program
  • what pair of shoes to wear?
  • Do you need to take walking breaks? 
  • How many days a week should you run? 
  • Running tips
  • Breathing rhythm
  • Running technique
  • Training program
How long does a gait analysis take?

Our team of running experts can typically provide a detailed running gait analysis in 1-hour. However, if you’ve got a complex medical history, a multitude of injuries or other complications that may interfere with your ability to run, the assessment may need to stretch out over 2 sessions.