I received a complimentary Running Essential Package from Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
It has been such an amazing experience the last few months training and learning at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine to help improve my running. This summer, I was member of a great group of first-time marathon runners created in the form of an online group by Twin Cities in Motion. As a regular Twin Cities in Motion racer, daily Instagramer, and lover of all things running, I was lucky to be able to participate in a three-part running performance experience. I want to thank Twin Cities in Motion and Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine for choosing me to receive such helpful and informative sessions.
First, I talked with Jill, an EXOS dietitian, for a pre-marathon nutrition consultation. The session provided me with information to fuel my running goals, increase performance, speed up recovery, and improve my overall health.
Secondly, I trained with Adam, an EXOS Rally trainer, who provided me with an individualized 60-minute strength training plan. This meeting helped me understand how strength training, in addition to running, can help me achieve my performance goals, increase my energy level, improve my body composition, and really focus on areas that can be weak or problematic for runners.
Just before the holidays, I worked with Chris, a physical therapist, for a two-hour motion and strength evaluation called the Running Essentials Package. This included a musculoskeletal evaluation, footwear/orthotics recommendations, 2D video running analysis, and an individualized home program.
I continued to be astonished by the abundance of information provided about my body, what it can do, and why it does it. When Chris and I met, we went through a question and answer series about me and also my running. For example, the questions were as simple as, “When did you start running and why?” and “What do I need to know about you before I test you physically?” After about 20 minutes, I felt like Chris and I were already best friends. Ok, I’m exaggerating here, but he was very easy going and took my answers into consideration for the rest of the morning.
After the Q&A, he started to test my body during a musculoskeletal evaluation. These tests are generally categorized as stance, stride, balance, flexibility, motion, and strength. Some tests concluded with measurements, and others were based on time (i.e. how long I could hold a side plank). Each limb had it’s own test, and it was interesting to discover some sides of my body were stronger than others.
Following the evaluation, we moved on to the 2D video running analysis on the treadmill. After a warm-up, I was asked to settle into a pace for 10-minutes so that I would be recorded. Two videos were taken, one from the side and one from the back. After the recording was complete, Chris took a general look at my stride and took measurements on the computer to confirm and illustrate any potentially problematic areas. The cool thing is he didn’t need to identify a problem to teach me more about the way I run. For example, Chris noted and took measurements of my initial contact, knee flexion angle, and foot-ground angle. He shared with me that each measurement should be withing a specific range for optimum running form. The back view was for taking measurements of my pelvic and joint center alignment. He also took note of my foot strike and if I had any foot crossover while running.
Chris patiently talked me through every one of my measurements and what they meant. He was very thorough and simplified concepts that I struggled to understand. After my analysis, we went through a great strength training and flexibility set I could add to my workouts to build up my running. He also printed all the exercises we went through so I could use them at home!
Overall, experiencing the Running Essential Package and learning more about my body has been a highlight of my post-marathon training this Winter. I received an exceptional amount of information about what my body does, can do, how to strengthen myself to become a better more efficient runner, and how to more properly fuel my day and workouts with foods that sustain my running lifestyle. I can’t say enough about how going to Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine has changed my perceptions of running for the better. I know more about the sport I enjoy, and it makes me want to do it more and at a higher level.
If you want to fuel your life, make your morning, and master your stride, trust the experts at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine!