Over-pronation in running is a term used to describe excessive flattening of the arch in your foot. Everyone experiences pronation as a normal function of the way that we walk (also known as gait). Getting super geeky on it this is based on three types of movement (dorsiflexion, eversion, and abduction), stick with it people this is important! When any of these three parts are excessive you end up with overpronation.
Running with over-pronation can result in discomfort in the base of your foot that can extend into your ankle, shins, knees, hips and result in wear on the inner side of your shoes. Shoe makers love this as it is a whole new area for specialist sales and lots of technical science stuff. I have suffered with this for a number of years and without fail head to the control section of footwear running with my hard earned pennies. Year on year as my trainers creep over the 500 mile mark they get replaced with new ones. Shiny new control trainers for over-pronation.
This years replacement runners were a revelation as I bought my usual control shoes headed home keen to try them on my first run. A few 10k’s later and running was anything but a pleasure as the pain in my feet crept in after the first ten minutes. Nightmare. New shoes worse than my old ones. Is this it, is my body giving up on exercise and conspiring against. Surely not. Before ordering the pipe and slippers I decided a trip back to the running shop was in order.
Shoes in hand. Slightly dirty but at least with the receipt I arrived full of hope and a touch of desperation. After some chin scratching and prodding and poking of my feet the only answer that was concluded was another running gait analysis on the treadmill. Couple of minutes later and some video analysis and the results were a shock. No over-pronation and neutral running was the outcome. Hooray my running has after 5 years been corrected. The answer was no need for control trainers and back to the regular pile. The control shoes were it seems putting pressure on the arch of my feet and messing them up!
So what has fixed my wonky feet? The possible answer is cycling in cleats. The controlled position of cycling seems to have helped strengthen the neutrality of my foot placement and corrected my problems. I always knew cycling was good for you. Never realised it could help my running form. The outcome is running in my neutral shoes feels fine and my pace has picked back up as I have stopped battling my feet. Why didn’t the old shoes cause the same effect? Most likely because they were worn and the controls had weakened. So if you haven’t had a running gait analysis for some time and you consider yourself in need of control style trainers for over-pronation maybe get your running assessed and see if triathlon has saved you.