Sometimes I can’t even believe the things I have done for running. You know, like wake up at 4 am, run 22 miles in the rain, use lots of torture devices, etc…
This week I went on a little road trip…to the UVA Speed Clinic in Charlottesville, VA!
I first heard about the clinic last year on Tina’s blog and was immediately intrigued. I was held back by the cost and the time it would require. However, after thinking about it for a long, long time I finally decided it was something I really wanted to experience. I told Rob that there wasn’t anything I really wanted for Christmas so he agreed that this could be my “gift”.
I tacked an extra vacation day onto my Florida trip, and made the drive to and from Virginia on Wednesday. I thought it would take 3 hours, but it was more like 4+ with traffic.
My appointment lasted a little over 2.5 hours, and by the time I got back to Baltimore it was almost 8pm and was snowing. I had pretty much gone crazy being in the car by myself for 8 hours in one day!
So, what exactly is the Speed Clinic and why was I willing to go through with all of this?
(Taken from the UVA Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation website)
- Musculoskeletal screen – (an exam on how movement in simple tasks can impact gait)
- Kinematic Data – (reflects the movement of your joints throughout your stride). A very sophisticated system of cameras which collect your gait movements at 500 frames per second is used. There are inefficiencies and asymmetries that the human eye might miss in a simple video analysis, but these cameras pick them up every single time.
- Kinetic Data – (the forces that act on joints).
By combining musculoskeletal, kinetic and kinematic observations, you are provided with a detailed assessment of deficient biomechanical variables that may limit training and make you more vulnerable to overuse injuries.
Although assessments provide a comprehensive analysis of forces and joint mobility during running or walking, each individual possesses a unique combination of physiological attributes including joint mobility/flexibility, dynamic muscle control, and motor recruitment patterns. Therefore, ample time is spent reviewing training history and chronology of previous injuries. The training program, exercise selection, and propensity for injury must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Following each assessment session, the singular goal is to educate you. We take ample time to review your session on the same day, explain the numerous data numbers and graphs, and discuss variables that are important for you to incorporate in your training program. Based on your unique biomechanical limitations, you are then provided with a detailed written plan for functional strengthening exercises, stretches, and drills that can help you increase biomechanical efficiency and reduce the chance of injury. Additionally, each exercise can be demonstrated to ensure that you perform them correctly.
So why did I go and what did I hope to get out of my visit?
I have a lengthy injury history and I have been concerned that I was missing something. Looking back on the past few years it seems like I recover from an injury and then something similar happens or the same injury comes back.
I wanted to really identify specific imbalances and understand WHY my injuries were happening. I was also concerned that my previous injuries may have affected my form making me more vulnerable to future problems.
Some of the problems I have had over the years are: ongoing piriformis issues on my right side (this has been mostly better for awhile now but I do notice it once in a while and my chiropractor says it’s always really tight whenever he works on it), left hip labrum tear (I had surgery in 2010), and achilles tendonitis/plantar fasciitis on my left side back in 2007/2008. I’ve also had random aches and tightness which is relatively normal for a runner but I always wondered why the same areas always give me problems.
I felt like I didn’t want to have to rely on chiropractors and wanted to be able to be more specific in my strength training approach.
So, how did it go?
Well, I will say that as of right now I feel like it was beyond worth it. I learned a TON (more than I have even had time to process yet) and was given lots of information to look at and read over so I can have a better understanding of it all. I have a few exercises and drills that I learned (which are simple, but I learned to do them with proper form).
I will write another post about what I learned and of course I will keep you updated on my progress with this!
We are expecting a blizzard this weekend, so I am sure I will have plenty of time to review all of the information I was given and hopefully start another post about it:)
What are some crazy things you have done in order to become a better runner?
Who else is in the path of this blizzard? What will you be doing while you are snowed in?
meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles says
Oh wow! I can’t wait to hear the results and what you learned! I will be snowed in too and missing the race. Oh well, nothing I can do about it!
Sam @ See Sam Run says
That is so awesome! I can’t wait to hear what you learned. It should really help you in the future! No blizzard for me. We may get a couple of inches Saturday night but that’s about all. I’m happy it will warm the air up enough to hopefully run outside.
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
I want to do this so badly. SO BADLY. Too bad I’m injured. But geez this would be the coolest thing ever. Stay safe this weekend!
You should definitely try to do it when you are back to running again! Anything to help prevent future injuries is worth it in my opinion.
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes says
The UVA speed clinic sounds so interesting! I’m excited to hear what you learned! Stay safe in that snow—that storm sounds intense! We aren’t getting snow in Seattle, but there’s so much in the mountains that they closed the passes.
This is so cool! I can’t wait to hear more about it. I’m in D.C. and the morning news now is saying 20-30 inches of snow–insane!! I’m glad I got my 7 miles done at the gym this morning, since I’m clearly not leaving the house tomorrow!
Sarah @ BucketListTummy says
Wow – that is fascinating! I can’t wait to hear more about what you learned. Do they actually have tips to make you run quicker and more efficient? Stay safe with the storm! I have done my fair share of late night runs in the cold and dark to get those miles in 🙂
Based on how you run they give you recommendations for exercises and drills to improve form…which will hopefully help you run better!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma says
Really excited to read about what you learned! With this blizzard now it seems like we all have a bit more time to get cozy this weekend.
Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl says
I’ll probably be baking, watching movies, and wondering if I am really running a half on Sunday!
Megan @ Meg Go Run says
I can’t wait to hear about your results! What I great gift. I am intrigued.
Yes, I am in the path of the storm! Puzzles, books, kitties, and donuts are on my list of things to do this weekend. 🙂
I hope you had enough of those things to keep you occupied all weekend!!
Angie @ Pace with Grace says
I think its great you did it with your history of injury! Money well spent and an investment in yourself and your running! Looking forward to reading what you learned. Stay safe during the storm!
Michael Anderson says
I think this is great and hope that it really helps you get to the bottom of your injuries! Because while it is easy to look at this as “for your running”, it is really for your LIFE … because you are young and these things will plague you forever unless you get at the root cause and you really don’t want your future to be hampered in terms of ability to be active.
As for snow, we’re not in the line … but our older son is supposed to head back to NYC to start classes again on Monday, so we’re stressing over that today!
Exactly! I feel like whatever physical activity I try to do could lead to injury if I’m not aware of some of my underlying issues. It’s really interesting to learn about how my body has compensated for biomechanics issues that I was born with.
I hope that Danny got back to NY without too much of a problem! I know some colleges around here are delaying their opening day for the semester because of the road conditions.
Michael Anderson says
Thanks Lisa 🙂
He got back fine – things came to a standstill due to a terrible accident in PA near Mt Pocono, but once that cleared they sailed on and got to Penn Station just a few minutes late (and about a half hour earlier than I expected!) – subway was running so he was fine!
But only one other suite-mate made it back by yesterday (the other two are international students), but NYU was starting as planned.
Tara @ Running 'N' Reading says
I’m so glad you were able to take advantage of this, Lisa; what a great opportunity to learn more about your body and your running style! I’ll look forward to hearing more about your experience! We got six inches of snow last night, but it’s melting pretty quickly; nothing like what’s expected for you all. Stay safe and warm!!
Cori @ She's Going the Distance says
this is great! I can’t wait to hear the details!
OH SO COOL! Ever since Tina talked about her experience, I wished I could do it too. It’s too far away for me but man, I would do it if I could! Can’t wait to hear more about it!
I have never heard of this. I am anxious to find out what you learned during these assessments.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home says
My first visit with my coach was an analysis of my muscle strength and balance. Since Becky isn’t a running coach (she’s a corrective exercise specialist), she put me through a variety of moves to analyze my form. It was really interesting and we continue to work on improving those areas of weakness. My left hip and my glutes were the main culprits.
Sheena @ Paws and Pavement says
Wow that sounds really interesting! I hope it provides so good in-site about injury prevention. I always seem to get something right after healing and I feel like our bodies compensate one area for the injury and that area gets injured.
That’s so true! I know that my body has imbalances and weak areas, so it was important to identify the cause of those issues and how to address them.
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
Oh totally jealous. After reading Tina’s post I wanted to head down there as well. I can’t wait to hear more about your experience!
It was really great! You should definitely try to go if you have the chance.