Find Your Gait at The Boston Running Center

Exploring Intensity

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Find Your Gait at The Boston Running Center

Boston is a great city for fitness. There are dozens of fitness experts in a wide variety of disciplines scattered around Boston. If you enjoy running, and you want to improve your technique to run faster or to prevent injury, pay a visit to The Boston Running Center located next to Charlestown High. Joe McConkey, who runs the BRC, is a top running coach in the New England area. We paid a visit to Joe to learn about his methods.

After a brief discussion of my objectives in fitness and running, Joe measured my standing posture to measure the asymmetries in my posture. Joe then employed his OptoGait to study my mechanics while running at various speed on the treadmill. The OptoGait measures things like which foot travels further off the ground, how long each foot remains in contact with the ground, rotation from side to side. Various red flags go up when the OptoGait senses performance that’s varied from one side to the other. Joe also takes note of stride rate which gives an indication of minutes per mile.

Joe performed one other test on the track at Charlestown High. He asked me to run sprints which he recorded on video. The sprints give an indication of power in each stride.

Given my various aches and pains from the summer of tennis and Ultimate, Joe started on the step to improve running by showing me his foam rolling technique which is different from what you might learn from a personal trainer. Conventional foam rolling involves moving along a muscle until you feel a painful tight spot – and then sitting on that spot for 30 seconds until the muscle releases. Joe’s method involves moving along a small area with pressure for 3-5 seconds and then releasing; repeat 5-10 times. I’ve been using his method on a strained hamstring, and it works incredibly well. After 3-4 days of his method, I cut my pain level in half. Once the pain is gone, Joe moves the client into strength training – always comparing left side to right.

We will keep you posted on our adventures with Joe and The Boston Running Center.

-Mark G.

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