RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

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dwang_71

RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

Post by dwang_71 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:15 pm

Hi All,
I was wondering if anyone has done something similar to this type of session.

The RunSafe Clinic is for runners of all levels — from the novice to the seasoned competitor. Our sports medicine specialists provide counseling and a biomechanical assessment of your running and training patterns to help you learn to prevent injuries and practice safe training methods. RunSafe is a self-pay clinic, which means it is not covered by health insurance. The cost for an assessment and counseling is $200. To register or for more information, visit www.runsafe.ucsf.edu.

I was thinking about doing it. Is it worth it?

Thanks!
Danny

ap4305
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Re: RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

Post by ap4305 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:10 pm

Some things to consider...

We have modeled certain aspects of how we deliver in-person coaching services on the RunSafe program, so I do believe the holistic team concept has plenty of merit.  In fact, I believe running has been slow to catch on to this type of approach, which is more common in how other sports approach performance enhancement.  Having the shoe fitter and the trainer and the biomechanist and the nutritionist and the physiologist all collaborating on the same team with the common goal of helping one particular athlete is extremely valuable.  However, I don't have any personal experience with the practitioners in that clinic nor do I have any personal knowledge of how they handle particular cases. 

If you're local you might have a better sense of what types of outcomes they are achieving...are people getting $200 worth of practical benefit or are they paying $200 to be the center of attention for two hours in a fancy lab?  I don't know the answer, but it is a question worth considering.

If you're not injured, I'd be wary of changing form just for the sake of changing form.  Sometimes the best answer is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  We can all make changes in our athletic skills and movement abilities, but not everyone needs to take an active approach to changing the cosmetic presentation of their form, especially if they aren't hurt or haven't been hurt.  Oftentimes the body finds a way to "balance it's own equations", so something might not look right in the 2-D visual presentation but might be efficient based upon the way your body has evolved.  Video is always valuable as a source of information, but can be dangerous if we let it automatically dictate how we approach things.  Nevertheless, if you have been injured in the recent past, the assessment will probably highlight areas of your body's abilities that you might have never considered (the locus of the pain is rarely the locus of the dysfunction).

A big part of making technical changes in any activity is the follow-up aspect.  A thorough assessment is one thing; applying it going forward is another matter.  Once you start changing things, no one can predict what the side effects of those changes will be, which is why follow-up vigilance is important.  If they can help monitor your progress and make appropriate adjustments over time, then $200 is a steal for gathering that type of information. 

I think the nutritional aspect can be extremely beneficial.  Nutrition is such an individual thing and there aren't many commercial tools available to objectively assess nutritional needs (as well as things to avoid). 
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

dwang_71

Re: RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

Post by dwang_71 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:30 pm

Thanks AP for your insightful comments as always. Wish you were local and you offered these services. I would definitely go for that. I did do some research and read reviews. It seems that it is pretty much broken up as $50 per specialist and they have received good reviews, but you are right, it benefits those who have been injured.

I mainly wanted to do it to see if there are areas I can become even more efficient on as I really want to reach that next level of running and hope to get to a point where I can possibly compete on a master's running team. I turn 40 next year. Ugg.

Fortunately, I have been injury free my last 5 years of running. I had small injuries like an calf strain once a couple years back where I rested a few days and I was back to running, but never anything serious. And this last training cycle where I significantly increased my mileage, I didn't get injured. As for diet, I guess that is an area I can get some tips, but I eat a pretty healthy diet in general except for this week since I wanted to reward myself a bit. 

They don't do follow ups as you said, they basically do the analysis and then if you want to follow up you can pay for another session. So it sounds like it might not be that worth it for me as I should follow the model, if it aint broke, don't fix it. I assume I am a pretty biomechanically efficient runner or whatever I am doing I am doing right to not get injured by bumping up my mileage so drastically this past training cycle. I just wanted to know if there is something more I can do.

Thanks

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Re: RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

Post by ap4305 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:20 am

[quote="dwang_71"]

I mainly wanted to do it to see if there are areas I can become even more efficient on as I really want to reach that next level of running and hope to get to a point where I can possibly compete on a master's running team. I turn 40 next year. Ugg.

So it sounds like it might not be that worth it for me as I should follow the model, if it aint broke, don't fix it. I assume I am a pretty biomechanically efficient runner or whatever I am doing I am doing right to not get injured by bumping up my mileage so drastically this past training cycle. I just wanted to know if there is something more I can do.

[/quote]

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to running form specifically.  There are plenty of things we can and should do to improve our injury resistance every single day, especially as we get into the Masters age groups.  Just to clarify, you can definitely work to improve running form, but a direct intervention into changing the form isn't always the best way to go about it.  For example, bounding and high knee drills over a very short distance on a hill are a great way to improve form without trying to change your form. 

Many other issues clear themselves up simply by working on posture (which is often a function of daily life habits).  It really depends on where is your weakest link of movement.  Ultimately, the mix will vary for each individual, but if you follow sensible exercise progressions, you can never go wrong by constantly striving to improve muscle elasticity, mobility, coordination, and balance. 

An assessment might reveal some fundamental areas in which your body is at a higher risk as the years go by.  In my opinion, you can never have too much information, but we need to be careful with how we use that information as not all of it is actionable.  We should definitely take a proactive approach, though I don't believe that approach should center on running form changes for healthy individuals. 

Many problems can be avoided with preventive maintenance, whether that involves massage therapy, exercise, diet, running mechanics, or a combination thereof.  Treat your body like a race car.  Find out what it takes to make it run well, and keep things tuned up periodically.  However, just because better parts might exist on the market than what you already have doesn't mean the car needs a complete overhaul. 

In my opinion, the first step you should make (if you haven't done so already) is to make a regular investment into soft tissue therapy, whether that involves do-it-yourself care with the foam roller, tennis balls, the Stick, etc. or whether that means scheduling a regular appointment for massage, preferrably with someone who understands the importance of the corrective exercise component to help maximize the gains from your "time on the table." 
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

dwang_71

Re: RunSafe Analysis by UCSF Medical Clinic - Comments?

Post by dwang_71 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:09 am

That is a great suggestion. I think I will take that $200 and find a good sports massage therapist and maybe also get a stick. I have a foam roller that I use quite regularly. Also I totally agree with you about tweaking one's form. I read about how Alberto Gonzales tried to change Dathan Ritzenhein's form and it brought on injuries and then he didn't race well at NYC this year.

In the book I recently read by Matt Fitzerald called Run, his idea is that as you add on the mileage you will become more efficient naturally according to your own body mechanics. Look at Constatina Tomescu-Dita, she doesn't have the most graceful or efficient looking running form, but her style works for her! I think I might be the same way.  I am a tall (6'1'') lanky runner and most people that watch me run doesn't put graceful and me in the same phrase ever!

However, I think I have developed my own efficiency in the ways I train. I do several bounding drills I found on Pete Magill's Younger Legs for Older Runner's website. So I think it is all these things I have done over the last few years that has kept me injury free (knock on wood).

Good advice all around. Thanks again!

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