High Tech Running with Gait Analysis Running Injury Dr. Reed Ferber

Dr. Reed Ferber – High Tech Running Form & Injury Evaluation

If you’ve ever experienced pain from running… What am I saying? We’ve all experienced pain from running; ranging from annoying, to concerning, to sidelining.





Today we speak with Dr. Reed Ferber about causes and preventions of running injuries. Dr. Ferber holds a PhD in Sports Medicine and Gait Biomechanics and is also a Board Certified Athletic Therapist. He is the Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary, Alberta in Canada where they lead the world in 3-D Gait Analysis technology and he specializes in the research and clinical treatment of lower extremity injuries and is Internationally recognized as an expert in running injuries, clinical biomechanics, and rehabilitation research.

Top Notch Technology

Topics we discuss in this episode include:

  • Wearable technology: where it is today, where it should be going in the future, and how he uses it to collect amazing data that can even predict fatigue related injury.
  • How training, or more likely, deviation from a training plan, leads to injury.
  • What specific muscle weakness is likely to lead to injury.
  • Why he doesn’t believe there is an optimal running form for everyone.

Shared data. Global Access

Having studied under Dr. Irene Davis at the University of Delaware, Dr. Ferber decided to bring a clinical research approach to the public, not just locally, but globally as well. Using the same technology, labs around the world are able to  record and share data to conduct evidence-based research. Currently, he has about 100 clinics around the world using his technology and sharing data, plus about a dozen universities that can also capture, share and analyze data.

This is an insightful conversation into the scientific world of cutting edge biomechanics research. And it’s guaranteed to be painless.

Questions Dr. Ferber is asked:

3:51 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

4:59 Have you worked with any athletes we might know of?

5:44 How does your lab help runners?

7:46 How are you working with clinics around the world?

9:15 What countries have these clinics?

9:42 What is the process of a gait analysis for everyday runners?

10:51 What does an evaluation entail and what does a runner get at the end?

13:39 What would a runner do with the information you give them?

15:21 Do you offer any free information?

16:34 What can you tell us about your study on Risk Factors Associated with Running Related Musculoskeletal Injuries?

19:27 How many people were involved in that study?

20:24 What about the Run RIPPED Study?

21:39 How do you setup the actual data collection?

22:58 Do you have sponsors for these studies?

23:53 Where is wearable technology currently?

24:44 Where is wearable technology going?

25:38 What is the role of humans with all this technology?

28:34 What about the Real Time Feedback Device and Software For Gait Retraining In Patients With Knee and Osteoarthritis?

29:34 How or why do people develop a preference for heel, mid or forefoot striking?

31:37 Do different foot strikes lead to different injuries?

33:26 How does strength and flexibility help prevent injury?

34:31 How would you summarize all the things we discussed today?

39:44 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s)?
  3. Words of Wisdom or Humor?
  4. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Dr. Ferber:


“Everyone’s a fun little puzzle. We just try to put the pieces of the puzzle to gether to optimize everyone.”


“It’s well known that errors in your training program (are) the straws that (break) the camel’s back.”


“I’m not interested in anyone’s opinion, not even my own. I’m interested in data.”


“Nobody gets hurt on my treadmill.


“I can tell someone’s getting fatigued even before they even feel fatigued, just based on changes in their overall mechanics and changes in heart rate.”


“If you’re driving in your car and your Check Engine light goes on, the first thing you do is ignore it. The next thing you do is find a mechanic who’s got the diagnostic equipment to figure out what’s wrong with your car. We’re trying to develop wearable technology algorithms that warn you that something’s going on. We know that you’re going to ignore it just like every good runner ignores an injury until they can no longer run. But once you start paying attention to that Check Engine light, then we want to drive you towards a clinic that has diagnostic equipment in terms of gait analysis technology and the clinician can make a very good, informed decision.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:


Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community


RunnersConnect Facebook page


Dr. Ferber’s Blog on Hamstring Injuries


Douglas Fir Trail Calgary


Book: Running Mechanics and Gait Analysis: Enhancing Performance and Injury Prevention by Dr. Reed Ferber and Shari MacDonald


Alex Hutchinson on RTTT


Ruining Room article on Chocolate Milk


Critique of said Running Room article on Chocolate Milk

Follow Dr. Ferber on:


Running Injury Clinic homepage


UCalgary We-Trac Training Program

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

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