The Secret To Getting Runners ResultsDec 14, 2023
The best way to improve your outcomes with runners is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. That means working with runners using a running gait analysis to create a plan of care. Components of that plan should include specific gait retraining techniques, strength conditioning, footwear prescriptions and potentially a return to run program. But so often clinicians will say they DON’T see runners or DON’T have runners interested in a running gait analysis. That’s because there’s a secret to becoming a running expert. Get more runners in the door by providing VALUABLE information. Before you know it you’ll have a steady stream of runners requesting to work with you and asking for a running gait analysis. You’ll improve your runners' results, not to mention generate more income. Here are three proven ways to create a thriving running practice.
Running Community Presentations
When I started my cash-based running gait analysis clinic, my first community outreach event was a free presentation on Shin Splints for a running club. Providing presentations about common running injuries and how to avoid them can be a powerful way to connect with runners. These short talks can be done in your clinic, virtually, at a running shoe store or even at a gym. Plan for a 20 - 30 minute presentation with ample time for Q&A. Here’s how I like to outline my content for a presentation on common running injuries.
- About the presenter
- Explanation of common running injury
- Statics on injury demographic and cases per year
- How running can cause and aggravate symptoms
- What running gait patterns increase risk to injury
- Strengthening and mobility exercises to prevent or resolve the injury
- PRO TIP: Demo these exercises and have participants follow along
- Presenter contact information
Make sure to take the email address of anyone attending your presentation. A great way to do this is to have a running specific patient education handout (like the Runner’s Knee Handout) that recaps the presentation and can be emailed immediately to the runner.
Free Running Consultations (Running Strategy Sessions)
Free running consultations are a highly effective way to get runners interested in working with you. How successful running experts offer free consultations to patients is as a “running strategy session” where the runner can ask questions about achieving their running goals. I suggest using questions similar to the following to guide the 15 min. conversation:
- What are your running goals?
- Ex. reduce pain, improve running safety, PR in a race, return to running
- What are the challenges to achieving your running goals?
- Have you ever received feedback on your running form from a professional?
- What running shoes do you use?
- Are you currently using any strength or mobility training to supplement running?
- Do you have a plan to achieve your running goals?
Once you’ve had a chance to learn about the runner's background and goals, next you want to outline a plan to achieve those goals. IF that includes working with you, tell them exactly how you will help them achieve their running goals. I like to do this with not only a verbal explanation but with a personalized email follow up outlining their plan.
Build Your Tribe Of Runners
The best way to add value to your budding tribe of runners is to consistently provide useful information on running. One of the easiest ways to do this is through an email newsletter. I highly suggest emailing your subscribers 1x a week. If you don’t already have an email automation system, consider using your EMR. Use caution when using third party email automation systems such as MailChimp and ConvertKit as they may not be HIPPA compliant. Some ideas that you can use for your emails include:
- Strength training exercises to prevent injury
- Reviews and advice on specific running shoes
- Mobility exercises to improve joint flexibility
- Training recommendations on running intensity, duration and frequency
- Explanations on common running injuries
When emailing your tribe always make sure to include easy to click links of how to schedule or contact you. Runners may not be interested in making an appointment or having a running gait analysis initially. But with so many runners getting hurt each year it’s highly likely they will need your services soon. When they are ready, you want to be top of mind.
Resources For You To Become A Running Expert
If you would like to work with more runners check out the continuing education course: The Essentials of Running Gait Analysis (6.5 CEUs). Inside you’ll learn the proven method to fill your schedule with runners and become a running expert.
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