McChord offers running clinic

By 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs on June 8, 2011

The McChord Health and Wellness Center offers a 'running clinic' that focuses on improving the mechanics and techniques of runners of all skill levels.

"This service is offered to active duty service members, reservists, civilians and dependants," said Patrick Conway, 62nd Medical Squadron exercise physiologist and fitness program manager. "Basically, everyone who has access to McChord Field can utilize this service."

Runners begin the assessment by jogging a warm-up lap to loosen the muscles. Then, the HAWC team films the runner from the front and the side simultaneously while sprinting a 50-meter stretch of the track. The film is then loaded into software which allows the team to view the footage frame by frame and examine each participant's running mechanics.

"I can look at their running technique and find bad mechanics. I usually look for heel strikes, over extensions, hip drops, shoulder issues, turning problems and things like that," said Mr. Conway.

The team marks comments on the frames and sends the images back to the runner in an e-mail.

"I send the picture back to the person with recommendations for which shoe to buy and which muscle strengthening exercises they can do to improve their running mechanics," he said. "If they would like additional one-on-one help, they can always stop by the HAWC."

With helpful recommendations, runners are able to enjoy running while staying safe.

"The goal of this program is to prevent runners from injuring themselves," said Mr. Conway. "You could be running with a problem that you aren't even aware of. We're taking the proactive approach to help people run safely."

The running clinic will operate throughout the summer, with a few sessions per month.
"I conducted two running clinics last month, and hopefully one or two in June," said Mr. Conway. "After that, we'll probably have to wait until August."

Announcements for running clinic sessions are posted in the monthly HAWC bulletin. The information is also sent to squadron first sergeants and unit fitness program managers.

The HAWC suggests calling to register for the clinic beforehand at (253) 982 - 0528.