I got a brochure for this RUNSMART/Buffalo Rehab Group in my race bag from the Buffalo Marathon. It sounded intriguing. They take video of you from different angles and then using some software called Dartfish, they slow it down, and can analyze it frame by frame, moving forwards and backwards, etc, and mark it all up with commentary. These guys are experts on running form, and can pinpoint various problems and inefficiencies in a person’s running form and tell them how to fix it.
I had a $75 Wellness Reimbursement from my work that I could use. That would take a bite out the cost of the RUNSMART service, so I decided to give it a shot. I could either get my video taken at a local Fleet Feet store, or I could go right to the Buffalo Rehab Group location and have them take it. It cost $80 more to have them take the video, but I decided it would probably be worth it, so they know more where I am coming from in my running background.
I made an appointment for 6:45pm on a Wednesday. They apparently do the videoing after regular hours. I left work a little early, and made the hour and a half drive to Buffalo. When I arrived at Buffalo Rehab Group, they had me fill out a form which included questions about race distances I have run, and paces, etc. Also there was a space for goals. So I filled out the form, and then sat reading a Reader’s Digest.
After a bit, Scott came and brought me back to the treadmill. The place was warm due to the hot weather, and their air conditioning having been removed that morning. I showed him the two pairs of running shoes I brought. He had me run in the K-Swiss Ultra Natural Runs, which are the shoes I train in. It was warm, so I chose to run with no shirt. He had me get on the treadmill, and he started me off at about 8:30 pace to get warmed up. Then he bumped it up to 7:30 minute/mile pace, and then shot video from different angles (back, side, front, back feet, front angled up). He gave me instructions to lean forward with my chest, and to drive with the knees. So I ran like this and he videoed me again from the side. This felt awkward. Then he had me run barefoot and he shot video of my feet from the back. And then we were done. I hadn’t run long, but I was dripping with sweat due to the heat and humidity. I drank some cold water, and but my t-shirt back on. I also changed back into my every day shoes.
I downloaded the video clips from his digital camera into a laptop computer. He commented that my running form was better than many of the people that came into the place. He said like 80% of the people were heel strikers. I knew I still had lots of running form problems, and I was right. My running form is still better than it was a couple years ago. I am a reformed heel striker. I now land on the forefoot. But watching the video, I still land with the foot slightly out in front of me. I knew I was doing weird stuff with my feet. But it turns out, it is mostly my right foot that flicks out kind of strangely. The left foot looked halfway decent. The problem with my right foot Scott said, was due to a weakness in my left glute muscle. Since the muscle is weak, I am unstable, and am compensating. I could see in the video, the hip rise on one side, but then not the other. He gave me a couple exercises that are supposed to strengthen these muscles. He also showed me how to run like I was falling forward. I have seen this before on one of my running form DVDs, so I will play with this more.
Scott also said I should be rotating my upper body more, and winding up and running with my core muscles. That my arms should be held higher and not move as much.
In all, Scott spent about two hours with me shooting the video and going over it, and showing me some drills. I am looking forward to getting the DVD with the full analysis and all the drills. I am hoping that I can make these changes and make my running faster and more efficient. I should get my RUNSMART DVD in about a week.

They can be contacted at:
RUNSMART
2100 Union Road
West Seneca, NY 14224
(716) 656-8600
http://www.runsmartonline.com