LIVE on the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast Facebook page, I welcome Chris Napier on the show to discuss the science of running.  Chris Napier is a Sport Physiotherapist with a PhD in running biomechanics and injury prevention. He has an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia.

In this episode, we discuss:

-How to bring a wearable to market for running retraining and injury risk reduction

-What to look for when investing in wearable technology

-The importance of translating the research to both the clinician and athlete

Science of Running: Analyze your Technique, Prevent Injury, Revolutionize your Training

-And so much more!


Science of Running: Analyze your Technique, Prevent Injury, Revolutionize your Training

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Chris Napier Research Gate

Check out Optima’s Top Trends For Outpatient Therapy In 2020!

For more information on Chris:

running Chris Napier Chris Napier is a Sport Physiotherapist with a PhD in running biomechanics and injury prevention. He has an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. In addition to working on research projects, Chris continues to be a practicing physiotherapist with Restore Physiotherapy and Athletics Canada. He has competed at the national level as a successful middle-distance runner, earning medals at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in 1996 and 1997. He is also an accomplished marathon runner with a personal best time of 2 hours, 33 mins.

Read the full transcript below:

Karen Litzy:                   00:01                So welcome everyone. So for those of you who are watching live, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day and coming on to watch and learn. Oh good. I’m just making sure that it works. So I just had to check on my iPad to make sure we’re live and we are. So thanks so much for taking the time out. As we go along. I may ask you just to kind of write in the comment section where you’re listening from. If you have any questions, by all means, definitely, definitely ask. Now is your chance, I’m sitting here with Dr Chris Napier. He is an expert. He is a new author. We’ll be talking about his book, the science of running in just a little bit, but Chris, just to kind of allow people to get to know you a little bit more. Why don’t you kind of give the listeners and the viewers here a little bit more about you.

Chris Napier:                 01:05                Sure. well thanks again for having me on Karen. I feel like I’ve really made it big time. Now. I’m on the Karen Litzy podcast. It’s huge. So thanks again for having me on. So I’m a sport physiotherapist. I’ve been practicing for almost 20 years now. And, I’ve worked with a range of sports. But I sort of ended up coming back to the sport I’m most passionate about. The one I love which is running. About 10 years ago I started really focusing more on running and it was basically because I’m a runner myself. Out in the community running with the various sort of recreational races training with different clubs and so then and talking to people who are running all the time. So it really sort of just made sense for me to kind of work a bit more clinically in that field.

Chris Napier:                 02:00                And at the same time I was getting interested in pursuing more research. And so I started my PhD in about 2012, 2013. And I focused on running and I was really interested in being able to quantify aspects of running in terms of running form and biomechanics. So my PhD was on running biomechanics and sort of clinical interventions using gait retraining to prevent injury. And so I finished that in 2018 and I’ve moved now more out of the lab so to speak out of the biomechanics lab but still interested very much in the mechanics of how we run. And I’m now working with a group of engineers at Simon Fraser university doing my postdoctoral fellowship there where they actually develop a wearable. And so we’re doing some really cool stuff there in terms of actually developing potentially products that will be available to clinicians and to runners to measure their gait.

Karen Litzy:                   03:13                Very cool. And I will also add that you are sort of at the helm of the third annual world conference of sport physiotherapy in Vancouver this year. It was an amazing event. You and the team you guys did such an amazing job and I’m sure that’s the feedback that you’ve have probably got from the conference, from the people who attended. So I just wanted to give you guys some more accolades and a nice shout out cause it was a really, really well run conference with some great info.

Chris Napier:                 03:48                Yeah, that is the feedback we’ve had, which was fantastic to hear from across the board. And, I’m really looking forward to our continued support for your therapy candidate conferences, which will be a biannual event and as well the next world Congress, which will be excellent, I’m sure as it’s being hosted in Denmark.

Karen Litzy:                   04:08                Yeah. Yeah. That’ll be fun. And that’s in 2021. So that’ll be a good time. And again, if you’re watching live, I know I saw a couple of viewers watching live at the end of this, hopefully we’re going to give away Chris’s book. It doesn’t come out until February 4th, but if you write your name or a comment or where you’re watching from in the comment section, you’re automatically in the running for a free copy of the science of running by Chris Napier, which is very exciting. So Chris, let’s talk about wearables. So when I think of wearables, to me it makes me think of like a Fitbit or maybe an Apple watch or something like that. So in your introduction, you’d said that you’re working with a lab as a postdoc. So when you say wearables, is that what you mean or are you talking about something else?

Chris Napier:                 05:11                Yeah, so I mean a wearable is really a broad category. And you know, for anyone who follows the consumer electronics show, which was just recently in Las Vegas you know, I think that area is huge right now across the board. And, we think of it very much in the health lens. But really a wearable, wearables, anything you can wear on your body that tracks something whether it’s, you know, your heart rate or your breathing rate or your pulse or your blood pressure or skin temperature or joint angles, impact forces. I mean, it goes on and on. Really anything we can measure through something we can wear. So, you know, by nature it’s something that’s portable often, you know, connect with some sort of app either on a Bluetooth device or we’ll sort of record onto the actual hardware itself or download later.

Chris Napier:                 06:15                But you know, that’s the other side of it is, you know, beyond the wearable, the actual interpretation of the data and the visualization of that and that sort of thing. That’s a whole other field as well. But the lab I’m in is looking at wearables that can measure health-related metrics. And so some of the projects we have going on there are looking at recovery from stroke or looking at you know, more fine motor function, that sort of thing. And my area specifically is looking at an application to running.

Karen Litzy:                   06:53                And so when, you know, I think about application to running and you think about, you know, perhaps using a wearable to enhance someone’s running, whether it be their running gait, their endurance, their times. And what I think of right off the bat is a running analysis where you’ve got someone on a treadmill and you’ve got multiple cameras and they’ve got dots all over them and all their joints, which is not something that every clinic has the ability to do because those setups can be quite expensive. So what are you doing within your research that might be a little different and offer clinicians something that might be more practical?

Chris Napier:                 07:40                Yeah, so what you described there that sort of motion capture 3d motion capture analysis which is sometimes done on an instrument, a treadmill, which will give you force information as well as the joint position movements. But that was my PhD. So that’s what I did. I looked at basically a snapshot of people running and then assume that that’s how they ran when they left the lab. Which is a big assumption, right? And so what we’re doing is we’re trying to get those same measurements but in something that can be worn outside of the lab and in the natural environment which gives us it opens a whole other world to what we can measure. We can measure things where, you know, rather than on a treadmill, which might be unnatural for a lot of people, we can measure them running on the road or through trails or uphill or downhill.

Chris Napier:                 08:40                We can measure how their mechanics changed throughout the course of a run. You know, so we can see what happened when they start to get fatigued. We can measure in a race situation you know, when people perhaps run differently cause they’re pushing themselves to their limits. And we can also measure over time, over a weeks or training blocks so we can see what happens to people’s mechanics. As a more chronic sort of fatigue sets in. So there’s a lot of stuff that we can study. And, in our lab we have sort of the ability to embed some of these wearables into garments. And so essentially we’re developing smart garments. And we published a recent paper looking at using a set of running plates to measure hip, knee and ankle kinematics during running. And, we developed this and I think it compared to the gold standard, which is still the three D motion capture and these tights do very well at measuring that movement. Which is exciting cause then, you know, we can start to produce these and runners can start collecting data wherever they run.

Karen Litzy:                   10:01                Yeah. Which obviously seems a little bit more practical than, like you said, just being on a treadmill. We know running on a treadmill is definitely different than running on the road or the track or real life situations. And is that something that a, let’s say your average physical therapist practicing PT like myself, if someone comes to me with a running related injury and I mean, I don’t have access to a three D running analysis, is this something that I would be able to say to this potential patient he lives in? I have some wearable technology that you can use that might give us a better picture as to what’s happening when you’re running.

Chris Napier:                 10:49                Yeah, I mean, we’re not there yet, but that’s certainly where we’re going. So, you know, I guess potentially we could, we could put this pair of tights on a runner and we could track their hip, knee and ankle kinematics while they run either on the treadmill in the clinic or we could send them outside and have them go for a run and come back. And or you know, these could be something that the clinic can loan out or rent out and maybe patients keep them for a week so we can track their running mechanics over the course of a week. And then that could potentially be uploaded to a cloud or brought back to the clinic and downloaded so that you can look at their data over time. And what we’re using our strain sensors to be able to measure kinematics.

Karen Litzy:                   11:38                And what does that mean? What’s a strain sensor?

Chris Napier:                 11:40                Well, essentially these are thread like sensors that the amount of strain produced can give us an idea of how much movement is occurring.

Karen Litzy:                   11:52                That’s sort sewn into the fabric.

Chris Napier:                 11:54                Exactly. And we’ve done, you know, a lot of the research we do is looking at where we need to place these and how many sensors we need and that sort of thing. And so that was the big work sorta involved in developing these tights is to figure out how many, you know, can we get away with just having three or four sensors which reduces the you know, the cost of energy and also the amount of processing involved and where can we put those to optimize you know, the metrics we’re looking at. But you can also then add inertial measurement units or I am use which have accelerometers and gyroscopes in them, which can then add a whole other layer so we can look at you know, impact. We can look at angular philosophy and things like that. So, you know, we’re looking at integrating those things right now as well.

Karen Litzy:                   12:53                And all of that can be so knit fabric of a pair of tights.

Chris Napier:                 12:57                Yeah, yeah. We’re talking about pretty small.

Karen Litzy:                   13:01                That’s wild. And so, you know, you did a study kind of taking these tights and looking at, well, how many sensors do we need and where do they need to be placed? And was this sort of a preliminary study, cause I can understand the need for knowing how many sensors you need and where to place them and then kind of recruiting a larger amount of runners to kind of study to see does this do what it says it’s going to do it in a nutshell. So right now, just so that the viewer isn’t, so that I myself get a better idea. So right now you’re sort of in that developmental stage where you’re looking at where to place them and how many, and do they work?

Chris Napier:                 13:48                Yeah, we’ve done that. So basically this study was that, so we were happy with where they are and the number for what we want to measure. And so now what we’re doing is can we use these to give us information about you know, the fatigue state that runners are in. So, you know, when we’re getting into machine learning and that sort of thing as well with this. So you know, can we classify a runner as being fatigued or not? For instance, based on the information we’re getting from these tights or, you know, and then as I said before, like, can we get these out now and actually get people using them so we can start collecting large data sets. You know, that’s where it gets interesting. Can we get these out to hundreds and thousands of people to be able to start collecting data on those numbers and really start to refine the technology and perhaps see some interesting patterns.

Chris Napier:                 14:49                And you know, there’s some of the studies coming out of refurbish lab in Calgary have been doing that. They use the now defunct Lumo device, which I am used situated on the waste. And they’ve done some really interesting work with Christine Claremont leading that and Learn Benson looking at sort of classifying situations or types of runners based on the data they’ve gotten from those devices. So we’d be looking at maybe doing some similar work with ours.

Karen Litzy:                   15:30                Yeah, I mean, very cool. And, I guess the next question is why should we care? So as physical therapists or even as runners, like, yes, this technology is cool, it has the potential to give us a lot of data and a lot of information, but why do we care about that?

Chris Napier:                 15:54                Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I think first of all, we have to figure out, is this going to give us information? That is I think we can be happy that it would be reliable, but really we’re looking at the validity. Are we getting information where we’re going to see patterns that lead to injury. And that’s again, that’s kind of where we’re going with this. But at this point we can’t say that that’s where we need those large numbers. And hopefully I think that’s what we will find is that we can kind of see trends. I mean, there may be a time where, you know, these are sold in running stores and people just wear them and then, you know, they get injured and they come in and say, Hey, yeah, here’s my data.

Chris Napier:                 16:41                Check it out and, you know, see if you can figure out why I got injured. You know, maybe we’ll get to that point. But I think for now it offers the clinician a chance to be able to analyze someone’s running gait. So you get that kind of objective information. And then maybe they can use that over sort of repeated visits if they’re looking at trying to retrain someone’s gait or if they’re looking for you know, some changes due to the intervention that they’re applying, whether it’s strengthening or gait retraining or something else. So I think that it gives us another tool really to measure something dynamically that, you know, until now we could only really do in a specialized biomechanics lab, which as he said, is very expensive and time consuming and really maybe only giving us a snapshot.

Karen Litzy:                   17:40                Right. Right. Versus being able to see the bigger picture of a runner. Yeah. Yeah. Very cool.

Chris Napier:                 17:49                And also, you know, maybe some of the work I’m doing is looking at monitoring, training load and you know, if you’re kind of familiar with the training load research there’s this sort of concept of internal and external load. And you know, the external load might be the number of kilometers or miles that you run in a week or the number of minutes that you run in a week. And the internal load would be some sort of intensity measure or rate of perceived exertion. And so, you know, my interest is, can we get a bit more specific perhaps about that external load. So we’re not just looking at minutes or miles, but we’re looking at you know, cumulative impact and that actually got a paper in review right now where we looked at that using the run scribe sensors, which are little pods you put on your laces on your shoes and they can measure shock, which is sort of a result of impact force results in acceleration when you hit the ground.

Chris Napier:                 18:56                And we looked at whether there’s a difference between looking at just a cumulative minutes, you know, run versus number of steps versus cumulative shock. And we found differences and with the cumulative shock we’re going to know a deeper analysis. I’m not sure where we’re looking for, are there changes depending on the type of run that the person did. So is it more specific measure? When someone is changing the terrain they’re running on or changing their intensity on a regular basis? If someone goes and runs the same route every day at the same pace, then we’re probably not going to get more information by a cumulative shock. But if they’re running in trails one day and roads the next day and then they’re doing interval workout or then they’re doing a long run we might get more information out of cumulative shock or some similar measure as opposed to just the minutes or miles that they run.

Karen Litzy:                   19:56                Right. Yeah. So just adding another element to, again, the overall picture of that runner. So like for example, like you said, you could have someone who says, Oh, I ran, I run 10 miles, I’m just making this up 10 miles every week and I haven’t changed how many miles I run. But yet they’re coming to see you for patellofemoral pain. Or maybe they’re coming to see you with anterior shin pain. But what you’re not getting is, well, I run the same amount, but this time I did on a trail and this time I did it on concrete and this was on a rubberized track or something like that. So I would assume that with that shock, you would be able to kind of see the difference and then as a therapist say, Hey, I don’t want you to stop running, but maybe let’s stop doing X, Y, Z.

Chris Napier:                 20:52                Yeah. It allows us not only to look at what has happened, but also to prescribe in the future. Right. So potentially we can then say, okay, we need to keep that cumulative shock below a certain level or, you know, increase it gradually. And so if that’s something that they can monitor on their own outside the clinic. Great. and I’ve done that a little bit with some people just more experimentally at the moment. But I’ve had people who are really interested in sort of tracking that. They’ve done that and it’s actually been quite successful so far.

Karen Litzy:                   21:24                Yeah, no, it sounds very reasonable to me as a therapist and certainly as I would think for the runner because, you know, oftentimes when runners get injured and first of all, they’re told to not run. That doesn’t go over very well.

Chris Napier:                 21:42                No, no.

Karen Litzy:                   21:46                And it’s also not just the running, but it’s part of stress-relief. It’s part of what makes them happy. And so to be able to say, Hey, listen, we’re collecting all this data on you and this is what we found. This is what you can do. I feel like it gives control back to the patient or to the runner so that we’re not spinning. Right.

Chris Napier:                 22:07                Yeah. There was a great paper just published last month that essentially looked at what their runners do when they can’t run. Right. So if they’re injured and they can’t run, what do they do? And the answer was, Oh no, they didn’t do other activities. They just say they just want to run. And that sort of, I think validated your feelings. You know, when you talk about cross training and, you know, go get on the bike or go on a full run or a swim. But I mean, the greatest thing about running is you can put on some running shoes and head out the door and you can fit it in anywhere, anytime. So it becomes much harder to fit in that exercise when you have to go to a pool or go to a gym, get it done.

Karen Litzy:                   22:51                Yeah. And then I would think it must be even harder for some, not all, but some runners to get back to running after an injury. You know, there’s fear involved there. They don’t want to get injured again. They may sort of taper back to the point where maybe now they’re not even happy with their running.

Chris Napier:                 23:16                Yup. Yeah. And often, you know, we prescribed like a walk run program to get someone back in because it’s sort of graded impacts. Right. So again, looking at that key middle of shock is what we’re trying to do there is gradually someone back in to doing that. Even if they’ve kept the fitness even if they have been on the bike or something like that when you get back after prolonged period off of running, it’s still, it can hurt, right. Of the impacts you don’t get in other activities. And so again, that’s where, if we can measure that and monitor it, I think that’s a big advantage.

Karen Litzy:                   23:53                Absolutely. Now before we get to the book, which I want to get to in a second, are there any other cool tech things when it comes to runners that may be you’ve worked with or that you’ve seen? Maybe not, you know, in the lab that you are in, but that might be coming down the pipeline that we can as runners or as healthcare providers we can kind of get excited about. And the answer might be a lot, but you can just pick.

Chris Napier:                 24:26                Let’s say a lot of the kind of more research grade or maybe not a lot, but some of the more research grade companies are starting to shift I think a bit more to a clinician or consumer level products. And one reason for that is the hardware is just getting cheaper. So, it’s possible. And then also I think you know, the ability to fit these into or integrate these into apps where you have the visualization side and you can actually easy interpretation of the data. I think that’s you know, we’re going to start to see more and more of these devices available in clinical settings and consumer settings. And I think one that comes to mind is I measure you, is basically an IMU inertial measurement unit that now owned by VI con, but you know, they’re starting to I think offer products that are a bit more clinician friendly where you can get real time feedback.

Chris Napier:                 25:40                You can stop these on someone’s tibia and have them run in the clinic and get some real time feedback and visualize it and give feedback if they’re reaching certain thresholds. So if you’re trying to keep them and you’re trying to get them to run softly, for instance, you can get them to run. And this’ll give you feedback when they’re going over a certain threshold. Another, a Vancouver based company that I’m doing some research with. It’s called plant Tika. This is actually their product here. It’s just an insole. So you can just pop this into your shoe lacing. So on your shoe and in the bottom of it, I don’t know if you can see here, but there’s an IMU here. So it’s very thin. Obviously it fits right into the insole and you don’t really feel it when you’re in there.

Chris Napier:                 26:30                But it’s a very strong piece of hardware and you can pop that into your shoe. And I say, well, that it’s actually measuring that it measuring accelerations so it’s got an accelerometer, but it’s measuring that impact at that point where it’s hitting your body so it’s right underneath your heel. You know, and so we’re doing some interesting work where we’re looking at different footwear and how that changes the impact at that point, because today a lot of the research is using ground reaction forces, which are measured underneath the shoe, right? That’s the shoe round interaction. Or they’re using to bill accelerometers, which are, you know, measuring that force once it’s gone through the foot and the ankle complex and is reaching the tibia.

Karen Litzy:                   27:21                Some of those courses have already been disordered right through the ankle or through the shoe.

Chris Napier:                 27:30                Yeah. So this is a cool tool and I think they’re really keen to start using this. They’re targeting clinicians because I think this is an easy one that you know what, I’m using it in the clinic right now where people come in. And when we did the gait analysis, I just slipped these into their shoes and just cause it’s that much more information. It visualizes asymmetries really nicely as well. And, and they’re also looking at beyond running. They’re looking at you know, ACL rehab and that sort of thing as well.

Karen Litzy:                   28:02                And are there any things you can think of that let’s say your average physical therapist needs to watch out for? Right. So you have a lot of, cause I know you had mentioned more research based consumer products. I’m assuming that there are products out there that might not be the best things that we as consumers, you know, without naming names obviously, but things that we look at when we’re looking at a company that’s selling one of these like wearables and what their claims are.

Chris Napier:                 28:35                Yeah. So I think first of all, the hardware has to be good. And when I say that, I mean you need to have a high enough sampling rate to be able to measure what you want to measure. So, you know if you have an accelerometer, that’s a sampling it 60 Hertz for instance. If you’re trying to, we capture that and you’re gonna miss peaks of data and steps. And so it’s just not going to be something that’s reliable. You know, if you’re measuring it at up at the waist crowds, then it’s okay because we don’t need high as high frequencies at the waist. So no for that we need to how you need to have a product that can sample at a high enough rate and there’s papers out there that have looked at that, you know for kinetic and kinematic information, that sort of minimum requirement you would need.

Karen Litzy:                   29:36                And what would that be? Do you know, off the top?

Chris Napier:                 29:38                Perfectly genetic information and it’s about a, you need like 500 Hertz for it could be more like 200 Hertz, you know, for the kinetics is going to depend on the placement for sure. But typically you want to aim for something that’s about 500 Hertz, you know, a lot of consumer level products wouldn’t have.

Chris Napier:                 30:00                And then also something like the dynamic range would be important. And that’s just essentially how many Gs they can measure. And so if your using a something that only measures up to 10 G then when you put that on your shoe and you’re trying to, and, and there’s impacts that are up around 20 G, then you’re really not going to be capturing sleep. Right. It’s missing that information again. So that, I mean, that’s something to be wary of thought of it outside of the hardware would be looking at the output you get. And so some of these outputs you get are very general. You know, typically you’ll have like a, you know, I put on my Garmin watch and go for a run and at the end of it it tells me I need to rest for, you know, 36 hours before my next effort or something like that.

Chris Napier:                 31:00                And you know, I never really sort of regard that it doesn’t really doesn’t make sense. I can interpret that much better myself than relying on my watch. It also spits out a bunch of other metrics. You know, some of them might be useful. Others I would just sort of disregard and I think that’s where, you know, probably clinical decision making comes into it. And having a knowledge of the activity and the person in front of you don’t overly reliant on just sort of what the metric is outputting.

Karen Litzy:                   31:40                So if you have, let’s say a certain wearable on and it gives you again, making something up like 10 different kinds of outputs. I don’t even know if that’s possible, but you want to kind of take, is it sort of like you’re taking what you need as it relates to what the patient’s going through? Or are you buying something that says, Oh, it can give me all this information, so I’m just going to use all of it.

Chris Napier:                 32:11                So, I mean, someone like me, I like raw data because I can play around with it and I can plug it into things. I can graph it and I can do whatever I want. And it’s that raw data is, you know, the highest frequency and so the best data I can get, so that’s what I want. But most clinicians don’t want that because they won’t know what to do with that data. Right. So it’s gotta be processed somehow. And so that processing you can lose data and you can lose focus and you can have misinterpretations along the way. And so it can be something is it can be processed down to the point of where something might give you an efficiency score, right. Which is, you know, unit and listen in essentially meaningless where it says, you know, your efficiency on that run was good, average or bad.

Chris Napier:                 33:08                Yeah. I mean that’s something completely processed down to the end where it gives you this kind of, you know three categories. I mean, what does that really tell you? Probably not, or it could be somewhere in between. And so I think that’s the hardest part here. And you know, what would be appropriate for a clinician isn’t necessarily going to be appropriate for a consumer. So I think again, we’re going to start to see products that are aimed more at clinicians and at more consumers as the hardware gets cheaper and more widely available and people are going to kind of sort through and find things that work for them.

Karen Litzy:                   33:52                Right? Yeah. So I guess it’s when it comes to the output, it’s kind of like food. You don’t want things to be overly processed it’s not good for you. Okay. Cool. Well now let’s get to the book. So I’m just going to read. So the book again for people watching the book is called the science of running and it will be available on February 4th, but you can go to anywhere books are sold, Amazon or what have you and you can preorder. But I’m just going to read a quick description. I won’t read the whole thing, but I’ll read a quick description. Science of running goes further than any other running book to intergrate the anatomy. And physiology of the runner showing how running in walls and affects every system of the body, including the effect of oxygen on the muscles. The book breaks down the runner’s stride, scientifically showing what’s going on under the skin at every stage of the running cycle. Highlighting common injury risk based on a readers natural gait and showing how to correct them, takes a head to toe approach to 30 key exercises for runners, annotating the muscles, ligaments and joints involved, and showing how to perfect precision in those exercises to optimize their benefits. Sounds great.

Chris Napier:                 35:12                I could have used more time.

Karen Litzy:                   35:15                He probably did that in a weekend, but I mean, this is a very involved book. It’s not like just a pamphlet.

Chris Napier:                 35:24                No, no, it, it was a lot of work. I won’t deny that. And it was a really interesting process for me. Essentially it’s like what we just talked about sort of bullying down that kind of raw data or the raw science and being able to filter down to a level that’s interpretable by kind of the general public or the, you know, the average runner. Cause that’s essentially what this is. It’s a handbook for runners about their bodies, right?

Karen Litzy:                   35:55                So this is for the average person runner and for the clinician, right? So not like overly overly technical, but technically simplified.

Chris Napier:                 36:08                Exactly. I mean it’s not simple. There’s a lot of information in there, right. And we’ve done our best you know, with the artwork and that sort of thing to be able to explain the science behind all of this. But there’s a lot of information in there. I mean, it’s not a textbook. And it’s not an academic book, but it’s very much for runners and clinicians, I think to have on hand. You know, whether it’s in a clinical context, if you want to be able to explain, you know, an injury to a runner or you know, explain what you mean by you know, what’s happening during running stride. There’s a lot of you know, artwork and chunks of text in there that can kind of help to explain that. And for the average runner, I think it’s sort of something that they can keep on hand and use you know, if they’re training for a race or just in general or something to kind of, you know, refer back to over, over and over again. And there’s also a whole chapter full of training plans. It was co-written by my coach Jerry Zack and again, that’s a very comprehensive chapter there.

Karen Litzy:                   37:31                Fabulous. And so I’m going to say it again, so for the people that are watching if you leave a comment or a reaction, you’re automatically in the running to win a copy of this book. So please, you know, give a thumbs up or a heart or throw in and whatever like where are your lists, where you’re watching from or listening in from. Because we’ll pick a winner and I’ll contact you when we’re done with the interview and everything. But so when you talk about a book like this is there ever sort of misinterpretation of by someone to say, Oh, it’s a book on how not to get injured when you run? This is a book on preventing injuries?

Chris Napier:                 38:22                Yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean for anyone familiar with the research on running injuries, that’s a pretty murky field at best anyway. I think what I tried to do in this book was present what the research does tell us and kind of show, you know, let’s take foot strike for instance. Cause everyone knows about, you know, foot strike pattern and you know, we talked about, okay, what happens when you were first strike? What happens when you forefoot strike? And rather than taking the approach that one is inherently bad and we’ll give you an injury we talk about, you know, how they affect your stride and where those forces go and that sort of thing. To be able to educate the runner on that rather than talk about, you know, this particular way of running will prevent injury. There’s also a large section we’ve got about 30 different strengthening exercises in the book where you can you know, go through and again, it’s a little visualize with artwork showing different stages of the exercises on specific running, strengthening exercises that you can do in the gym or at home.

Karen Litzy:                   39:42                Awesome. Well, it sounds like it’s a great resource for clinicians and the runner alike and are you going to, after doing this, and this was, I’m sure an arduous task that took quite a while. Are you going to write a followup in the works or are you like, Oh my God, let’s publish this book.

Chris Napier:                 40:02                I haven’t really even opened this book yet. I got it. About three weeks ago, and I don’t think I might’ve just opened at once to kind of flip through very briefly. So at this point I’m ready just to kind of keep it on the shelf and see what happens. But no, nothing in the works right now. I’m focusing on some other things right now and if that opportunity comes up, you know, down the line then perhaps a look at that then, but this was a very interesting process to go through. I have no regrets. I think it’s pretty cool to see, you know. But I think I’ll take a little break for awhile now.

Karen Litzy:                   40:47                I get it. For you, as now an author, what was the best part of writing this book for you? Might’ve been like, as a person, as a clinician, as a researcher, what was like the big positive for you?

Chris Napier:                 41:03                You know, in research we’re always talking about knowledge translation, right? You have to kind of get that research to the end user. And how you do that. It’s often very difficult for research. This gave me a lot of tools I think in my own field of how to get that research to the end user, whether it’s a clinician or a runner themselves. So that’s been really useful. Also I think working in the clinic it made me really think about what are the exercises I think are most valuable or what is the most useful thing that a clinician would get out of this book? You know, I’m often sort of pulling out a textbook to try and explain something to a patient who is in the clinic because they’ve got an injury and I’m talking about too much too soon or some of that. And I want to graphic where I can say, look, this is why too much, too soon is bad, or this is why, you know, running the way you’re running might’ve led to this injury. And I’m often sort of ending up doing Stickman drawings or something to try and illustrate.

Karen Litzy:                   42:14                Well we all do that.

Chris Napier:                 42:16                Which is fine. But you know, this gives me a resource and hopefully others a resource in the clinic to be able to sort of say here like this is what I’m talking about and here’s a nice sort of visualization and in some kind of bullet points as to what I’m talking about.

Karen Litzy:                   42:34                Yeah. That’s great. So I feel like it, to me it sounds like it’s made you maybe a little more present, a little more thoughtful about what you’re doing with runners and why you’re doing it. Great. And I’m assuming that’s also the goal of the book is have people be a little bit more present, understand the way their body works. This is for the runner, the way their body works and why they’re doing what they’re doing. And for the clinician may be taking a larger analytical view in as to the person in front of them, the runner in front of them, and maybe why they’re getting the injuries that they’re getting. And some options on how to rectify that situation.

Chris Napier:                 43:16                Yeah, I mean, I think runners, runners are typically type a people, right? And they, you know, they get really into running and they want to know more and they want to learn like, okay, what’s you should I have and what’s, you know, what’s the best way to run and what’s the best way to train? And you know, so they’re on Google and they’re trying to get all this information. There’s tons of conflicting information out there. Even from, you know, some of the top sources, right. Sort of the top sources for that. So again, hopefully this is something that kind of boils it down. It’s very evidence-based and something that runners can rely on as a resource for all things running.

Karen Litzy:                   44:01                Sounds great. Now listen, before we wrap things up, I have one last question. It’s one that I ask everyone and that’s knowing where you are now in your life and in your career. What advice would you give to yourself as a new grad right out of physio school?

Chris Napier:                 44:18                So I would right out of physio school, I think just get your hands dirty and see patients, try and get lots of different experiences. If you’re interested in sports, volunteer with teams. You know, don’t expect payment right away for those things. Get out and work with people and put in the time and you’ll learn a lot and those will turn into opportunities in the future. I think getting out and I’m not saying no to things is a big, big thing. And I think that’s how I kinda got involved in working with professional and sort of national team athletics. It’s because basically one opportunity led to another. And I didn’t say no along the way and so it just, you know one thing snowballed into the next thing. So I think you know, that’s probably my advice. Just get out, start getting your hands dirty and get the practical experience and don’t say no.

Karen Litzy:                   45:26                Awesome, great advice. Now, where can people find you if they have questions and they want to find more info about you and about the book, where can they find you?

Chris Napier:                 45:35                Well, the best place is on Twitter. I’m fairly active on Twitter and they can find me @runnerphysio on Twitter and they can contact me through that. Also if people have, you know, wanting to access any of my papers, that sort of thing. They can reach me through my email address which is I’m happy to send along papers or if you have any sort of specific questions, I’m happy to answer them if I can.

Karen Litzy:                   46:07                Awesome. And what we’ll do is when this broadcast ends, I’ll go back in and I’ll put a link to your Twitter and to some of the papers that we spoke about today and a link to the book. So people want to preorder the book, go for it. For all the people who are on and who had some reactions or comments. I will pick a winner for someone to win Chris’s book and you’ll be hearing from me. I’ll get in touch with you via Facebook. So, Chris, thank you so much for taking the time out and coming on to do a live and then it’ll be on the podcast as well, but to do a Facebook live. So thank you.

Chris Napier:                 46:45                Well, thank you. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a good chat and thank you also for all your work in the lead up to the world Congress with all your Facebook live interviews with a lot of our speakers. Cause that was really great to be part of that.

Karen Litzy:                   47:02                Yeah, that was my pleasure. It was great. So everyone who’s on and watching. Thank you so much and have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.



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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.