“For a change of habit to become permanent it is generally agreed that the process of change needs to pass through four stages – a structured journey that sees conscious effort evolve into unconscious competence:
- Unconscious incompetence. You have not had the gait analysis yet and are therefore totally unaware (unconscious) of the movement pattern we plan to modify.
- Conscious incompetence. You have had the gait analysis and are now conscious of the new movement pattern and can commence a suitable program of strength & conditioning / drills / gait retraining.
- Conscious competence. You are now able to produce the desired movement pattern but occasionally still have to think about it when running, i.e. it is not yet happening completely naturally.
- Unconscious competence. Congratulations! You are have producing the new movement pattern whilst running without consciously having to think about it.
Efficient distance running demands optimum use of all available energy so the ultimate goal is for the brain to be able to select the right movements at the right time without the need for any conscious effort, for as long as possible.
Gait-retraining needs to involve a slow, progressive return to running (considering tissue adaptation).”