The Performance Matrix

The Running Matrix: a finer resolution of movement screening for London Marathon runners

25th October 2016
Autumn, Winter, Spring: Run

With spots now released for the London Marathon people are getting their running shoes on, securing their places and planning the next six months of their lives. For all those individuals who make up the running community, the Autumn, the depths of Winter and the first hints of Spring supply the opportunity to stay robust and make the changes to their programme to ensure they not only get to the race’s finish but just to the start line in one piece.

Spring (in your step?)

In recent times, runners have adopted more than just running to enhance performance and stay injury free. Taking their lead from the world of elite sport, runners are adding strength and jump training to their weekly workouts. Runners are also getting their movement tested, with movement screening, a process aiming to highlight where deficits in performance or injury risk may be lurking. For the distance runner, the added spring in their step supplied by strength and jump training is paying dividends. The addition of movement screening is helping to find and fix movement issues before they start to limit the volume of work required to get the best from a Marathon.  

Volume – you need to turn it up

When it comes to an event like a Marathon, volume counts. With regards to running, we could think about how every ground contact is a challenge to the body. If you are putting in a good 45 minutes at the much quoted ‘optimal cadence’ of 180 strides per minute, each leg needs to manage more 4000 landings. Now consider, the numbers of landings achieved over a week and how large this number will be by the time we get to March 2017. In addition to these high intensity efforts, we still need to contact the floor at a low intensity (walking). The volume of work here can also be high, adding to the total volume of time on feet.      

A perfect mix: Up the volume, reduce the risk

As volume increases, underlying movement issues can begin to become a factor. For example, let’s consider the runner who always likes to use the outside edge of their foot, pushing off the floor without their big toe. Soon, the outside edge of the foot and lower calf region become tender, an annoyance during running, a worry after running. New shoes may help, but ‘running’ shoes typically prevent the foot arch collapsing; this person has the opposite problem.  A finer resolution of management is required.

Find it early, fix it now

To ensure runners can handle the volume required over the months ahead, finding movement issues early can help prevent those recurrent problems that can raise their head just as the Marathon is around the corner. The finest resolution running movement screen on the market is The Running Matrix delivered by a number of TPM Pro clinics to be found in London, Bristol, the Midlands and North West. It tests movement at both low and high intensity. If there is a problem found at either intensity, these can be found and fixed, ensuring they don’t appear as you begin to increase time on feet at high intensity. Ideally, low intensity work should be a time to recover, to allow the body to silently make the changes it needs before the next run. Finding and fixing the movement issues at this workload can help this recovery process.  

In the long run you need to be time efficient- no fillers, just fixers

The Running Matrix leads to the delivery of highly time efficient warm up, cool down and off ground injury prevention strategies. You only get given the exercises you need to do. No fillers, only fixers. TPM Pro clinicians are ready to assess, analyse and address those movement issues, allowing you to turn up the volume and tone down the risk.

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