How Not to Analyse Form

There’s no podcast with this post since the pictures are pretty essential!

My marathon attempts and some of my long runs have all had the same challenge; at about 20 miles my quads and hamstrings get incredibly tight and sore. So in order to try and improve matters I’ve tried many things (which will be the subject of other posts), but my current approach is to start analysing my form as I get fatigued.

One of the upsides of Covid-19 is that I’ve acquired a treadmill and I can therefore run in a controlled environment, so my plan for this winter’s marathon training is to do one of my long runs each month at marathon pace on the treadmill with video capture and using Garmin’s HRM run to look at ground contact time, vertical oscillation etc.

Obviously doing a long run at marathon pace is more than a little risky so I’m carefully watching my TSB (Training Stress Balance) in Training Peaks and coming up with a run length that puts me at a TSB that is less than the amount I know has resulted in injury historically – at some point I’ll do a post on how I came up with my ‘TSB limit’ and how it is my primary metric when planning my own training.

So this Sunday I calculated how long I could get away with running at marathon pace (an hour), warmed up, put the London Marathon coverage on and got on with it.

An hour later I was a bit tired and starting to get a little sore in places, but chuffed to have completed my task.

And then I sat down to start looking at the footage…

Alex's legs on treadmill - very blurred.

Hmmm… that’s going to make form analysis interesting, maybe the next frame will be better…

Alex's legs on treadmill - very blurred - one leg appears to be missing.

Oh, I now appear to have fewer legs… Next frame?

Alex's legs on treadmill - both legs so blurred as to be pretty much invisible.

Right, no legs left. Bugger.

So there you have it a complete guide on how not to analyse form – stay tuned for my next post on ‘how to improve your video footage’; once I’ve recovered from this week’s long run!

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