Gait re-training research seems to be gathering apace with a burst of new studies crossing the finishing line recently. One such study (Chan et al. 2017) has suggested that running re-training may reduce the risk of developing a running injury. This randomised control trial with over 300 participants reported a 62% lower injury risk in gait re-trained runners compared with controls.
This builds nicely on research earlier this year (Folland et al. 2017 – Open Access) that found that running gait may play a significant role in efficiency and performance.
“The current study provides novel and robust evidence that running technique explains a substantial proportion of the variance in running economy (39%) and performance (31%). It is therefore recommended that runners and coaches be attentive to stride parameters (lower duty factor, shorter ground contact time and shorter stride length) and lower limb angles (more vertical shank and plantarflexed foot at touchdown, and a smaller range of motion of the knee and hip during stance) in part to optimise pelvis movement (minimal braking, vertical oscillation, and transverse rotation), and ultimately enhance performance.” Folland et al. (2017)
The challenge is how to apply these findings with runners to improve their technique.