Your running biomechanics are unique to you. No one has your fingerprints, personality, or running style. Running more efficiently with custom orthotics can conserve energy and get you to the finish line faster, but… not everyone needs custom orthotics.
The November 2008 edition of Triathlete magazine ran an article discussing the benefits of both custom orthotics and an athlete specific tailored gait analysis for those with anatomic variations that can predispose them to injury. In the article, the author explained that not all athletes need these services. But for those with a history of injuries or conditions such as leg-length discrepancies, flat feet or high arches, there can be a great benefit. Custom orthotics can correct the biomechanical problems that lead to injury and over-use of some muscle groups. A gait analysis by an expert in biomechanics who understand your particular sport can make recommendation on shoes, training programs, and alterations in stride that can increase efficiency, lower the chance of injury and lead to faster splits.
This August while I was out on the marathon portion of Ironman Louisville, I saw the lead vehicle labeled “1st Female” coming at me. I expected it to be Heather Gollnick, but instead it was one of the pro woman who I didn’t recognize. I later found out it was Kramer-Postma, on her way to a win with an overall time of 09:54:17 and a 3:18:15 marathon split. Not bad for someone who had previously been plagued by injury.
Louisville was her second Ironman victory; she won Ironman France in 2005. Since that time she had struggled with a number of issues including hip pain that made it nearly impossible for her to run effectively after the bike. She even had hip surgery in May 2007. Last year she had to drop out of Ironman Florida and thought she might not do another Ironman. But after seeking help for a biomechanics expert she resized her bike and got fitted for custom orthotics to correct the conditions predisposing her to injury. And the rest is history in victory. She can now run without pain and is a force to reckon with in Ironman racing. Kramer-Postma says “I wanted to do it (the Ironman) because I like it, but when you’re constantly in agony it’s no fun any more. Now it’s nice again.”
Dr. Christopher Segler is a nationally recognized award-winning sports medicine podiatrist in San Francisco. He is also a marathon runner and 4-time Ironman finisher. He makes house calls to the homes and offices of athletes and busy weekend warriors in the San Francisco Bay Area who need custom orthotic treatment. He is so confident in his ability to reduce pain and increase running efficiency, he offers an unheard of money back guarantee to runners who use his orthotics. You can reach Dr. Segler at (415) 308-0833.