POSE Method of Running: A Starting Guide

          Why a blog post on running? Well for one, it’s the Summer, and Fall comes right after when most races are held. But I suppose you might be asking, why running, when there are so many other things I could be writing on that everyone wants to get better at. I mean all it is, is just putting one foot in front of the other, right? Simple as that?? Not Really. But, why not write about something sexy like the ring muscle up?

          The short answer is, for every person alive, there is a style of running, efficient or not. But there really is only one way that conforms to the laws of physics and that’s the POSE Method of running. There have been several books written by Dr. Romanov on the subject, most of which are dauntingly complex and took me well over several years to fully digest and assimilate. So I’m going to take his work and simplify basics of the basics it for you all.

          What is POSE? It’s the understanding that there are an infinite number of positions you move through throughout your gait cycle. However, regardless of form, there is a VERY specific position AKA “poses” that is performed by all in the cycle, and that is the Runner’s POSE.

          So the argument goes then, how do you fill in the gaps (The white poses) in the most efficient manner possible? How can we create the fastest and most efficient turn over from cycle to cycle. It can be compared to jumping rope. If I was to take a high speed series of pictures of someone jumping rope, you’d see something similar. Regardless of how you used your arms, the point at which the arms and wrists are pointed down, legs extended and rope passing under the feet is essentially the Jump Roper’s POSE. But everything else in between could look different from person to person. Some might make huge circles with their arms, others might make circles with their elbows and others will just flick their wrist.

          The Former is a VERY slow turn over, fatiguing and inefficient. The later is a very fast, and extremely efficient. The POSE method of running views running in a similar way, and seeks to maximize efficiency in how to run by dialing in the details of what happens between the Runner’s POSE. 

POSE Method in action (CLICK IMAGE):

Instead of giving you a complete break down of this method, which really deserves it’s own seminar, I’m going to give you three things to try out.

1. Fore Foot Strike:

          Striking with the ball of the foot (assuming you let the heal relax immediately after and don’t run like a ballerina) is the optimal way to land. If you land with a mid foot strike, you’ll find that the foot stays on the ground about a fraction of a second longer. This significantly increases the amount of time that the body stays on support, and as a result the amount of time the body can absorb shock. No good. If you heal strike, this time increases even more, and therefore so does the amount of shock absorbed.

2. Pulling the Foot from the ground (Note the foot that is being pulled from the ground is directly inline with the supporting leg and directly under the hips):

          This is a strange concept for most, but bear with me. Once the foot passes under you, it has no function any more. And the longer you take to get it back in front of you, the long your leading foot will have to stay on support and absorb shock, which results in shin, knee and back problems eventually. So the answer is to pull the foot under hips as soon as it passes under them, using the hamstrings, NOT the hip flexors, and then allowing it to fall in place after that. You don’t need to actively place the foot in front of you if you concentrate on actively pulling from the ground. The ideal placement will normally happen on its own if you focus on pulling.

The longer you wait to pull the foot under you, the more the leg trails behind you, and the slower the turn over. You are trying to do EVERY possible to increase your turn over rate. And a trailing leg is similar to making big circles with your arms when jumping rope.

3. Don’t Spill the Water:
          Imagine for a minute that you had a bowl of water in your hips and in the chest. In order to run and not spill them, you essentially have to run in a very shallow arch. If you run in anything resembling a hollow, you’re center of mass goes back now, pulling you back, and your chest and hips dip forward, and now you are in a position where the only thing that feels natural is heal striking, which only drastically exacerbated the issue.

So here’s the drill I want you to practice:

           Run in a VERY shallow arch. Lead with your hips and keep you hips up and shoulder blades pinned. Don’t let the “water spill” out of your chest and hips. If done correctly you will feel like you are falling forward… and you will be. The further you lean forward and hold this position while applying what I wrote above about footwork, you’ll find VERY fast, that leaning and your center of mass are your gas pedal and your legs are just things that carry you.

Your Action Steps:

1 – Run 2-3 times a week for the month of July and August and try to practice some, is not all of the above in. No headphones, no distractions, just pay attention to your body the task at hand.

2 – Stuck and looking to get further, faster? Let me know if you’d be interested in attending single day seminar this Fall. OR… Book a free goal setting session with me. Email me at [email protected] and I will gladly set up a time to connect!