Let’s face it. Run analyses aren’t the cheapest around.

But these analyses can go a long way in keeping those nagging injuries at bay, or even uncover why that seemingly chronic pain just won’t go away.

More people in the sports/healthcare field are incorporating gait analysis into their skillset to set themselves apart in the increasingly saturated industry. So how do you know who to engage for such analyses?

These are four key factors to consider so you can pick the run analysis service that suits you best.

1. Protocol

A run analysis protocol commonly includes an assessment, video analysis, and corrective work.

The assessment is the biggest determinant of the analysis quality. A comprehensive analysis helps to pinpoint which areas you need to work on the most; it’ll also save you money by reducing the number of follow-up sessions needed.

For example, you might discover several muscular compensation patterns from the assessment. But is there a root issue causing a domino effect?

An effective assessment also saves time needed for video analysis, which forms the foundation for useful corrective work.

When it comes to corrective work, look out for how it is prescribed. Will you be taught how to integrate the corrective work into your regime? Is it a feasible and sustainable solution? How effective do you think it will be for you?

If you can, obtain sample run reports to find out more on the practitioners’ assessment and corrective work skill set.

2. Who’s doing it?

Is the analysis conducted by a coach, physiotherapist, a biomechanics expert, or someone of another profession?

Different professions bring different expertise and knowledge to the service, and some of these might be more relevant to your needs.

For example, if you’re an Ironman triathlete, who do you think will understand your needs better? A physio who’s passionate about soccer or a biomechanics expert who also does the triathlon?

The kinds of follow-up to these analyses also varies from profession to profession, which brings us to our next point.

3. Follow-up

You might see differences in gait after a single run analysis session, but correction is often a process that takes time. Be wary of those who say otherwise.

As with all processes, there’ll be ups and downs along the way, and it’s common to follow-up on the analysis.

Before you invest in a session, look for the follow-up options available to determine if the overall service is a good fit. Common examples of follow-ups are additional run analysis sessions, physiotherapy, personal training, and group run coaching.

4. Reviews, past and recent

The best indicator of a useful service is the results.

Look for not only reviews done after a single session but also for results of athletes who have used the service and gone on to run injury-free or improve your run times.

These are signs of not only productive sessions but also productive follow-ups.