The UK's first New Balance Good Form Running Centre has been launched at Greaves Sports' Gordon Street store in Glasgow. The centre features two treadmills with iPads and Apple TV screens offering gait analysis as well as helping customers learn about their cadence with a view to adjusting their running style.
Store manager, Gordon Charlton, spoke about the new system: "We're the only place in the UK to have it, so it's a major coup for us and we've already had lots of positive feedback from customers."
"New Balance is dropping the height difference on their shoes between the heel and forefoot. It's usually about a 12-14mm difference, but they're now taking it down to eight. The lower difference will encourage a mid-heel strike so that the impact of hitting the ground is spread throughout your foot rather than on the heel.
"They didn't want to introduce this without helping their customers adjust, so that's where GFR comes in. There's also a smartphone app you can download which will give you pointers on how to improve your form."
Gordon is quick to warn those thinking about binning their old shoes already and embracing a more minimalist mode. "Don't throw out your old ones. Integration is an important period and is essential to avoid injuries. "
The system was demonstrated at a special evening last year. Stevie Bell attended and said of the experience: "I was interested to find out that the New Balance guys thought my stride was sub-optimal and that I would benefit from a shorter stride. I altered my running form to a shorter, more compact movement and found a couple of benefits - one, there was less impact on my lower body; and two, my new form was more economical with less 'bounce' and 'swaying about'. Good 10k and half marathon times in 2013 are proof that I'm doing something better."
You can visit the new centre at the Greaves store on 23/25 Gordon Street, Glasgow.