Raise your hand if you want to get injured!
*Insert one of those “ain’t nobody got time for that” jokes.*
Yeah, I thought so….
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to Dr. Schweitzer via the return of my interview series. You might remember back in February I had my gait analyzed courtesy of Ideal Run. Well, Dr. Schweitzer was the man behind my analysis. Thanks for making me do all those squats :) Dr. Schweitzer is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and has more than fifteen years of experience in the field. He is a runner, triathlete and the founder of Ideal Run, which, as a refresher, is a personalized online gait analysis for runners. He practices at Premier Physical Therapy in Clearwater, FL.
As you’ll see I asked many questions about injuries and injury prevention in runners. I still consider myself in recovery from my stress fracture and I’m now more cautious than ever about priming myself for a strong, healthy running future. If I know you guys like I think I do, I’m sure you have the same priorities.
Without further ado…
Interview with Dr. Eric Schweitzer, owner of Ideal Run
Q: What is the most common gait and/or stride imbalance you see in runners?
A: We see a lot of hip weakness. Knees are the most frequent site of pain and the research shows much of this is from poor hip control and strength. This is easily corrected when identified.
Q: What exercises do you suggest all runners implement into their routine?
A: Strength training. Runners are infamous for only running, or, at best, doing only endurance cross training. Lift some weights. Preferably in patterns that mimic running.
Q: Have you ever worked with an elite athlete? If so, can you describe the reason they came to you and how you helped them succeed?
A: Yes, elite athletes faces injuries like the rest of us. Usually its due to repetitive overuse or, many times, they have the skill set but still, they have developed bad movement patterns that catch up to them. I have found poor mobility and/or poor motor control of key muscles in Olympic triathletes and runners.
Q: What injury do you deal with most frequently?
A: By far, knee pain. Knee pain makes up 42% of all running injuries. The second most common is ankle or plantar pain.
Q: Why do you suggest runners have their gait analyzed? Even if they don’t have a history of injuries?
A: Most running injuries are preventable because they occur slowly over time (are not traumatic in nature). Research shows us that running in an inefficient way stresses the body beyond capacity leading to injury. If we could individually watch and correct all currently pain-free runners, we could cut running injuries down immensely. Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (<– love this)
Q: What is one piece of advice (physical and/or mental) for injured runners?
A: Gradually increase running and make no sudden changes in distance or speed and, above all, listen to your body. Even, and especially, if it disagrees with advice or treatment your being given.
Your favorite running shoe? Sauncony Kinavara. Lightweight, neutral with a 4 mm drop. Love it.
Favorite distance? Half marathon
Morning or evening run? Evening, only because I guess I’m not a morning person!
Favorite running location? Currently, the waterfront of downtown St. Pete (FL)
Post-race meal of choice? Eggs and maybe a pancake or two :)