My guest today is a Physical Therapist by trade that loves working with runners.
He has helped countless athletes alter their running form to help prevent injury along with making them more efficient runners.
I am looking forward to going a few miles and geeking out on all things running with Daniel Strauss
Camaraderie Kept Him Coming Back
From a young age, Daniel Strauss identified as a soccer player.
It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he began to run with a competitive mindset.
Prior to that, running was just a way to stay in shape for soccer.
Once he reached high school and joined the cross country and track teams, his mindset began to shift.
His love for running first began due to the camaraderie that he felt on the teams.
During college, Daniel still ran, but a busier schedule forced him to put his hobby on the back burner.
Running once again re-entered his life for good when he moved to Northern Arizona for Grad school.
Northern Arizona is unofficially one of the “running capitols” of the world.
Drawn To Building Relationships
Initially, Daniel had no idea what he wanted to do as a career.
His love for science combined with his affinity for building relationships led him down the path to becoming a Physical Therapist.
It was during his time in Grad school that Daniel met his two future business partners.
They would often go on runs together when not in class or studying.
Daniel found that the more he learned in school about biomechanics the more he was able to improve his running form.
This is when the seed was initially planted for his future business Athletic Kintetics.
Finding A Physical Therapist
Not all Physical Therapists are the right fit for every athlete.
As a potential patient, there are certain questions you should ask prior to choosing a PT.
A good PT doesn’t need to be a runner, but they should have experience working with runners.
Be open about who you are as a runner from the beginning.
Overtraining is one of the main causes that a runner will end up needing physical therapy.
Runners in general tend to want to just run and don’t always include crosstraining and strength.
Though everyone is unique, more often than not runners need a rest day for time to heal.
Daniel strongly believes that running gait analysis is an important part of a return to running, which is how the idea for his business was born.
Daniel has experienced firsthand how focusing on his running biomechanics has enhanced his runs and helped him to avoid injury.
He, along with two of his peers, noticed that there was a niche they could fill in the running world.
During the process of narrowing down their area of expertise they focused on 3 areas before landing on gait analysis:
- What would make the biggest impact on a runner?
- What is proven in research?
- Runners must be able to implement the changes themselves
Being able to practically apply what was learned was of the utmost importance to Daniel and his business partners.
Athletic Kinetics has a unique way of analyzing one’s gait that looks at 7 key things which are:
- Sound feet make while running
- Knee alignment
- Vertical displacement
- Foot pronation
By analyzing each of those areas, a determination is able to be made as to what could be making you less efficient or even leading to injury.
Slow And Steady
Motor and/or differential learning are the terms for how the nervous system learns movements.
Daniel adheres to the theory that when you expose the body to a variety of stimuli the body will find what works best.
Changes must be implemented slowly as the body works to find the optimal running form.
A complete overhaul of one’s gait is never recommended as it could very easily lead to injury.
A low cadence is another common culprit which can lead to injuries in runners.
Increasing the cadence slowly will allow for a more successful outcome, with even a 5 to 10 percent increase being beneficial.
There is no evidence linked to changing footstrike if the athlete is not injured.
Let The Experts Help
The best way to contact Athletic Kinetics is via Instagram if possible.
Once in contact, the first step will be submitting a video.
Ideally, a full-body view is ideal along with the run being filmed on a treadmill.
A lateral/side view along with a posterior view will be the best way to get a thorough gait analysis.
Over the years of working with runners, Daniel has learned that bodies will typically adapt to the forces placed upon them.
Though that is usually true, it is important to always listen to your body.
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