The Secrets of Mud
Ever since I came back from my bilateral tibial stress fractures in 2011, I have been injury free. I'm sure there are a number of factors that play in this: how much I run, how I train, etc. But I've thought that since changing my running form was key for me to be able to run again... it was also key in keeping me injury free. That might be the case, but I'm still discovering inefficiencies in my running form!
Last May my husband Thomas and I camped at Clinton State Park in Kansas while I attended the RRCA running coach certification course. The weather was pretty terrible, but it let up enough for a couple of runs. Monday morning, I went running on some of the lake side trails. And, since the weather had been relentless, the trails were MUDDY. I didn't think much of it and had a blast running alongside the lake, listening to the water splash against the shore. It was pretty fantastic.
Buuuuuut after we broke camp & I was riding in the car, I noticed some mud streaks on my legs. Mostly on my right leg, but a few on my left leg too. To me, it was immediately a cue of imbalance between my right & left sides and inefficiencies in my form. I've since spent a lot of time studying my form and have worked to remove this extra movement. As I continue this process, running has felt better and better.
Have you ever had a gait analysis? I hope so! If not, I highly recommend it. There are a few you can do this 1) have a friend tape you running & analyze it yourself (you'll be surprised what you can observe even if you aren't trained in this area!) 2) find a local professional 3) send a video to me and I'll give you some feedback.
Of course, having a high step frequency is a key, but there is a lot more to your gait than that!
Check out this video from the Gait Guys on how to fix a cross over gait: