Pose Running – Nicholas Romanov

This is a summary of the book ‘Pose Method of Running’ by Dr Nicholas Romanov.

The book itself is quite thick and imposing; but upon reading it I found it could be condensed into a few salient points.  The majority of the first couple of chapters are the rationale behind the technique, and background of Dr Romanov.  It makes similar points to ‘Born to Run’ (the barefoot running manifesto), namely:

  • virtually everyone is not taught *how* to run; it is assumed to be something you are good at, or will improve at with training – ie not a skill to learn,
  • cushioned heel shoes are counterproductive and lead to more injuries through supporting poor technique,
  • the best technique for running in terms of efficiency and minimising injury is the forefoot strike.

I have found this to be an interesting philosophy as my running has progressed – I was previously a heel-striker and had knee trouble; shifting to more of a barefoot (ie, ball-strike) running style has helped me immensely.

He finally gets into the technique of Pose Running – so named after the ‘poses’ that you have to learn.  This is a reference to learning running technique in the same was as learning the skills of martial arts/ballet/dance – that is you start by learning poses, and gradually build them up into a flowing action.

The key points I took away regarding the technique itself are:

  • ball strike
  • impact point directly below centre of mass (not out in front)
  • foot is lifted in a straight line up along centre of mass line
  • focus on simply lifting foot rather than striding
  • using hamstrings rather than calves
  • lean forward for acceleration

The recommended initial progression is to start by doing heel raises (to get the sense of balance on the ball of your foot); then progress to practicing the pose in the drawing above for each leg; then to hop on the spot practicing the above.

Once you are comfortable with this, then it is simply (!) a matter of leaning where you want to go.   The next progression is in terms of extending the length of time that you can hold the pose for – from short sprints to longer runs, all the while focussing on the technique above.  Note that you should never feel like you’re pushing forward – it is up to gravity to do the work; feet should be lifted straight up your centreline.

I found the following drills on youtube which were of great help.

To be continued…

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