Thursday, July 3, 2014

MCRRC Stride Clinic

One of the benefits of membership with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club is that they have a monthly stride clinic. It is only $30 for members and I think this was a great price!  The stride clinic provided the opportunity to meet with a running coach, podiatrist, physical therapist, and specialist from a running store. I took advantage of this in June and felt like it was a great experience for the most part.  One of the few downsides is that they were so busy that I didn't really get an introduction or explanation of what was going on and I was a bit confused at first.

The confirmation email indicated we should come in dressed to run on the treadmill and with a form filled out with some biographic information, details about our running history and goals, and the reasons we came into the stride clinic. So I came in with the form and ready to run.  The woman at the front desk took the form, put it on a clipboard, and then just showed me to a guy in another room.  
He barely talked to me, had me get on the treadmill, and then started it and just told me to keep running.  No information on how long, no information on what he was doing, no questions to ask about my concerns.  I could see him in the mirror as I ran and he barely seemed to look at me and was chatting to someone else for a lot of the time.  He was the only other negative about the experience.  When he finally stopped chatting and got me off the treadmill, his attitude seemed like I wasn't a serious enough runner to be here. It turned out he was the running coach (though he never introduced himself) and at least he gave me a few good pointers on form.  But his attitude was really disappointing.

Next I met with the podiatrist who was really nice.  We talked about my flat feet.  He had also watched me run and said that me shoes compensated for the flat feet pretty well and he couldn't really tell when I was in my running shoes.  But it was pretty evident when I was walking barefoot.  He recommended some orthotics, not necessarily for the running shoes (though that could help too) but for my normal shoes throughout the day.  I hadn't really thought about my shoes and feet at other times of day but it makes sense that wearing heels all day can't be compensated for by putting on good running shoes when I run. I also got some feet exercises from him to help strengthen my feet.

I love my Saucony Guides! So much so that I went ahead and bought a second pair of the same models because I wanted to make sure I had them before they were replaced by the new model.

They then sent me back to the receptionist and I actually thought I was done at this point because I had never received an overview or introductions.  Instead, she sent me to a massage therapist.  I didn't even know that was part of it! He gave me a nice massage on my left leg to loosen the muscles which lead to the knee.  He was super nice and we discussed stretches that could specifically help with the tight muscles in that area.

Next the receptionist took me to a physical therapist.  She was great as well! She gave me several exercises to strengthen my hips and core and explained that weak muscles in those areas cause my knee to have to compensate for them and that leads to unnecessary pain in my knee.  I've been doing those exercises religiously and I think it's been helping.  I just have to make sure to continue with it.

The receptionist was going to take me to the representative from the running store next but I declined because I'm happy with my current shoes.  And he was from the store which recommended the shoes to me in the first place.

So overall, this was a good experience for the $30.  I felt like I got a lot out of it and I would definitely recommend it if you have something similar.