You may have clicked on this blog because you’re a new runner or maybe you clicked because you’re an experienced runner and you’re hoping to find some way to discredit or argue against the title of this article. Either way, WELCOME; You’re in the right place.
What is a Runner’s Evaluation?At Change the Game a Runner’s or Endurance Athlete’s Evaluation consists of several different elements and is different from a traditional Physical Therapy Evaluation. Both will include a health history, injury review, and goal setting portion. This is important because your Coach or Clinician needs to better understand the athlete’s needs and wants. However, the Runner’s Evaluation will focus mainly on the athlete’s intentions regarding training and performance. The discussion will revolve around upcoming events, current training loads, and roadblocks/successes. Both a PT Eval and a Runner’s Eval will also include a functional movement screen, but this is the main area in which the two differentiate. A Runner’s Evaluation will include:
- A Treadmill and sometimes outdoor Gait Analysis
- Client/Injury Specific Manual Assessments
- Running Shoe Assessment, Education, & Recommendations
- Run Specific Movement Analysis including:
- Balance and proprioception tests
- ROM, Dexterity, & Isolated Strength Testing
- Tendon Health & Function
- Single Leg Strength & Power
I’m NOT Injured; Do I Still Need an Evaluation?YES! An evaluation allows an expert to look at things from the outside and see where you could improve. Let’s face it, none of us are perfect athletes; there’s always room for improvement and work to be done. An evaluation can find muscle imbalances, form errors, weaknesses and strengths. Even our most experienced athletes find value in these evaluations and are often surprised to take a look at their videos and see how they actually look when they run. Their eyes are opened to the simple things that they aren’t able to do like lift one toe independently or stand on one leg or even complete pogos for a full minute with great form. The evaluation is the jumping off point to future excellence in your sport. All athletes who do an evaluation are given a full report of their performance as well as suggested exercises to use daily. Longevity in running or having the ability to efficiently continue to run for the next 30, 40, or 50 years is the goal. Meeting that goal starts here by being proactive now, continually improving throughout the journey and re-assessing regularly. Run evaluations should be looked at as an annual appointment to continually check in on your strength, mobility, and biomechanics to gain new insight and how you can continue to improve.
Where to Next?Your evaluation doesn’t stop after we assess you. The next part is determined by the athlete and their needs. The next step may be:
- Physical Therapy to treat any injuries
- A strength and conditioning plan to address muscle imbalances
- Joining a Run Strong class to achieve higher level performance
- Virtual or 1-on-1 training to improve all aspects of your training
Not sure you’re ready to sign on for a full evaluation just yet? Set up a 30 minute FREE Consultation with one of our Coaches or Clinicians to talk through what you have going on.