Tag: gait

Fitness Swellness: The Runners Academy at the Saucony FW16 preview

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This week, I attended the Saucony FW16 preview, and the brand’s targeting more than just the hardcore runner; broadening their scope to weekend warriors and also those into the athleisure trend. I’ll post some of the gear over on the @irunnation Instagram account soon (I post and blog for iRun on a weekly basis, didja know?). I did receive my very first pair of Saucony runners, these Ride 9, and I’ll be trying them out pronto.

My fave part of the preview: they had the Runner’s Academy on hand and they assessed my gait. I’d heard of the Runner’s Academy before from when I was on the Pace & Mind team last year and some of the team members had gone to improve their running technique. From my past assessments of my gait with other running experts, I’ve only every really learned that I overpronate slightly. With the Runner’s Academy, with a video of my treadmill running in slow motion, they were able to show me how I tend to swing my leg far forward and that my foot lands on the ground more in front of my body, rather than beneath my core (so my legs are more in a pendulum motion). It’s more ideal (in that you can propel yourself forward faster) if your foot strikes the ground underneath you — I’m likely butchering this description, this is all from memory…She traced the trajectory of my foot landing and then swinging back and it creates a sideways teardrop shape, and the more ideal trajectory would have my foot moving in a flat oval shape.

(You can view part of my running assessment video by clicking on the image above btw; I’m in jeans as I was on my way to a Blue Jays game after the Saucony preview.)

To help achieve this gait, they had me run or more like march in the spot and then had me add forward motion to it, so that my body gets the feeling of my feet striking the ground below my core.

I also tend to swing my upper body and shoulders too much, so I’ll be more aware of that and work on strengthening my core. On the plus side, I don’t tend to collapse onto each leg when I land (although I’d say many of my race pics would tell a different story, but the Runner’s Academy expert said that’s likely because I’m exhausted during a race).

Will I be able to adjust my gait and improve my running? Let’s see!


Leave a Comment June 23, 2016

Fitness Swellness: Nike Women’s 15k Toronto


You heard right, ladies! Nike is adding the 6 to its awesome women’s race series: the Nike Women’s 15k Toronto taking place on June 14, 2015! There have been murmurs about Nike having a race in Toronto for awhile and finally, the official announcement came this week. It’ll be a whole weekend of activities, the race takes place on Toronto Island, and there’ll be waves at the start as Nike expects a huge turnout for the race. As for the medal bling at the end, that’s still a secret.

Entry for the lottery to be able to snag a registration spot in the race (which will be randomly drawn) opens March 9, 2015. Mark it in your calendars!  Three are now a total of 20 races in the Nike Women’s run series, for more information on them, click here.

Why a 15k? Well, the idea is that it’s a distance that’ll challenge you to run faster or run farther. Perhaps you’ve only run 5k or 10k — here’s a distance that’ll give you a longer distance goal, without it being as long and perhaps as daunting as a half-marathon (which is 21.1k). For seasoned long-distance runners, 15k is a solid distance to push yourself to run a faster pace.

With Olympic athlete Sheila Reid

At the announcement of the race was none other than Olympic track and field athlete Sheila Reid. She is super stoked and will be running the race. I chatted with her and was relieved to learn she dislikes treadmill running as much as I do (for speedwork, she likes the loop around Queen’s Park). “Running is so awesome because the job is never done. There’s always a new distance, a new time, a new course, and I’m so excited to get to share some of my training because it’s totally doable over the next few months to get that in before the race.”

To help us all run more efficiently when training, the Nike store in the Toronto Eaton Centre now offers a free run assessment (no appointment necessary). “This analysis is elite level, just the tiniest inefficiencies that you would never notice to the naked  eye that can add up to so much over 15k,” says Reid. You run for two minutes on the treadmill and then your gait is analyzed. I had mine studied by Nike Running’s Kristen Kuzemko and Dave Christiani, running coach from Central Athletic Training Centre. Check out my analysis here (this is the cool video you’ll get if you go to the Eaton Centre to have your assessment done!):

It turns out I over-pronate (ie. my feet roll inward) but I am wearing the right shoe for that (currently, the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 — I knew I preferred these and now I know why!). I also am a  heel striker (which I knew), and need to work on striking more at the mid-foot than the heel. Both Kris and Dave were quite impressed with my relaxed arms and upper body, which means I’m efficient in that respect and not burning up energy with too much arm swinging, for one. They also both recommended a heavy focus on doing speedwork on a track or even just incorporating about 100 metres of running at a fast stride at the end of a long run to activate my fast-twitch muscles.


run analysis at Nike "The Loft"


Photos: @amillionminds





1 Comment January 23, 2015

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