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Welcome to the Saucony Stride Lab

by Reborn Runner
Wednesday 17th May 2017
Tags  Saucony   |   Saucony Stride Lab   |   Gait Analysis
As a keen runner I was very excited to have the opportunity to go and test out the Saucony Stride Lab.  Ongoing ankle injuries and a recent successful change to Saucony trainers (the Hurricanes) contributed to an increase in my excitement levels.  Furthermore,  being an ex-Sports Science student the  intrigue to learn the science behind the ‘revolutionary gait analysis stride lab’ was high, alongside the desire to discover whether or not the technology would agree I was currently wearing the correct shoes.
The Stride Lab incorporates three cameras which video the runner from different angles, whilst performing a short run on the treadmill, to give a 360° view of their technique, offering an additional unique feature of looking further up the body than just at the feet to deliver a detailed analysis and complete picture of what is happening as you run.  This was certainly beneficial for me as it highlighted a  rotation issue at my right hip and an imbalance in my pelvis, which standard sports shop gait analysis machines haven’t previously picked up on, proving the Saucony Stride Lab provides more than you would get from walking into a high street running shop.    
Being someone who loves to talk about running as well as run I was particularly impressed by the level of questioning and in-depth discussion that occurred before being asked to step on the treadmill.  This included talking about lifestyle, current and previous injuries, and most importantly the favoured topics of us runners: terrain and distance of weekly running, training frequency and type, race distances and more.  This therefore resulted in an increased confidence in the specialist when he talked me through the video, as he was able to relate the analysis to me and also make realistic lifestyle-based recommendations on how to progress forward with my technique and suggestions on who to go next to try and avoid further injuries.  The pre and post analysis discussions were pitched perfectly and from listening to the runners who had appointments before and after me it was evident the discussion was adapted to meet the requirements of what each individual runner hoped to gain from their time at the stride lab.
After having the cameras pointed at you during a short treadmill run, the recorded information is watched back by the specialist who is able to quickly identify any hot spots to show and discuss with the runner.  I would strongly recommend all runners take advantage of this free experience with the Saucony Stride Lab.  You can learn a lot about your technique; both the strengths and weaknesses, which could potentially  lead to an increased awareness of your own running.  You also leave equipped with advice on what you need to do to improve your technique via  guidance on which type of specialist to see to rectify any issues identified by the Saucony Stride Lab and reduce the chances of these leading to future injuries.  

stride lab

Clearly a large part of the Stride Lab analysis looks at suitable footwear for running and provides recommendations for the individual runner.  The information gained about mileage, terrain etc is also incorporated into this.  I was pleased to receive agreement from the Stride Lab technology that I am currently running in the right shoes.  In addition Simon the lab specialist provided an above and beyond service by taking me through the benefits of alternative shoes that could work for me.  Commendably this wasn’t just focussed on a ‘buy Saucony’ sales pitch or restricted to the Saucony brand, he demonstrated his incredible knowledge by comparing their shoes with models from other brands that I could potentially try, weighing up the pros and cons of each.
Having had this worthwhile experience and being so impressed with my first pair of Saucony trainers I will definitely be making the recommended Saucony Guides (road) and Peregrines (trail) my next trainer purchases.  Thanks to the Saucony Stride Lab experience I can now go armed with images and analysis of my running technique to my next physio appointment and make some progress with correcting my hip rotation and strengthening my pelvis to hopefully avoid further pain in this region and injuries lower down my legs and in my feet in the future.   
Detailed information of the Saucony Stride Lab can be found here with a video of how it works here, and believe it or not, there’s even an app for it!  The app guides you through some short assessments to provide body work exercises and running drills to help make you a more mobile, stable and stronger runner, giving you things to focus on and increasing your confidence in your training whilst making running easier, what more can a runner want?!  Their Stride Lab and  app are definitely winning runner resources from Saucony. 

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