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DR.ROMANOV'S ARTICLES Dr.Romanov has written many articles. Easy to read and understand, these articles will help you understand Pose Method® better and will introduce you to a new approach to running and training.

February, 2005

by Dr. Nicholas Romanov and Steve Freestone

Speed up your run and stave off injuries? Yes, it can be done. Join the revolution with Dr Nicholas Romanov's updated Pose Method of Running

Running - the most natural of skills. We're born, we walk, we run. It's easy, right? Well, no. It's time to rewrite the book that says running is a simple movement, which everyone can do from birth - something that's inherent. That's where the revolutionary Pose Method of Running enters the fray. Join us for the next few issues and you'll speed up, reduce the chances of injury and, more importantly, enjoy your running more than ever before.

Running must be developed
Before we delve into the intricacies of the Pose Method, we should ask why this form of running has been developed? Pose running came about through the lack of a scientific model to teach correct run technique.

The established opinion was that there's no running technique that suits everyone, and there are different requirements for different distances and speed, for runners of different ages and different physical abilities. In short, it's impossible to have a comprehensive holistic model of running technique for all.

This kind of philosophy leads to several negative consequences:
  1. It excludes the necessity to learn running technique as a skill from childhood and makes getting it right a matter of chance or luck
  2. It removes running technique from the training process as an unnecessary component, not one that's related to it
  3. It makes it impossible to evaluate running technique due to the absence of an established standard. This means errors are, by definition, a deviation from the standard. But the absence of any standard makes the evaluation, identification and correction of errors practically impossible and dependent only on someone's subjective understanding or perception of running technique. It also makes it impossible to develop running technique as a skill and fine- tune it further. This kind of situation would be completely unthinkable in any other sporting event like swimming, tennis and so on
  4. Improper movement is the main cause of injuries in running. So the right technique will eliminate this cause of injuries
  5. Technique improvement has a positive influence on overall racing performance
The Pose Method is a formalized running technique and allows any athlete to take their running to a higher level.

What is the Pose Method?
The essence of Pose Method is to use gravity as a major propulsive force and let the other forces assist it. It's well-known that gravity pulls a body straight down towards the Earth. The Pose Method's objective is to redirect gravity's downward movement into forward motion.

For this we must determine the position where the body starts falling forward. It happens at mid-stance when you're supporting yourself on one leg - we call this position the Running Pose. It creates an 'S' shape to the body, which enables you to utilize muscle elasticity.

In order to increase a free-failing effect at this point, only one action should be instigated: breaking contact of the support foot with the ground while falling forward, And the easiest way to do this is to pull the support foot from the ground up using the hamstring muscles. in this way, the running technique could be reduced to a very simple sequence: fall forward from the S- shaped Pose position until you lose support, then swap support to the other to begin failing again by pulling the foot from the ground with hamstring muscles. It's simply Pose-Fall-Pull.

Learn to Pose
So the Pose Method consists of a few major elements that are easy to remember and control. Furthermore, you can easily determine and correct errors as deviations from the standard.

There are drills for each of the three major elements of Pose Method (Pose-Fall-Pull). The Pose is an S-shaped body position balanced on one leg, with your knee bent and your body weight located on the ball of the foot. You can practise this in front of a mirror. After getting comfortable in this position, try to bounce a little and feel the muscle elasticity at work.

It's better to start the failing drills by standing on the balls of both feet with your knees bent, in front of the wall or a partner. Lean forward from this position, keeping your head, shoulders and hips in a vertical line with the ball of the foot [pic 1]. Repeat a couple of times. Then, standing in Pose, try pulling your foot from the ground while leaning on the wall or your partner [pic 2]. After the pull, land on the opposite leg, then Pose on the other side.

Remember: the support foot is raised before the airborne foot is allowed to reach the ground. Focus all your attention on the support foot and pulling it off the ground with minimal effort. Each drill should be combined with a short run at a comfortable pace with controlled technique.

Strength Exercises
To perfect the Pose running technique, you can use specific strength and conditioning exercises for each of these elements, For example, failing requires hip strength, which you can develop with hip exercises. Balance yourself on your side using one hand and one foot. Then, keeping your other leg straight, raise and lower it [pic 3]. Your leg's weight should be ample to begin with but, once you start to progress, you can use a partner to gently push against your leg to add resistance.

Pulling your foot from the ground depends on the specific development of strength and neuromuwular patterns in hamstring muscles. These can be developed by exercises with a partner using medicine balls and/or rubber resistance bands [pics 4 and 5].

Muscle elasticity is an important component of changing support, too, and is achieved by pulling your foot from the ground. The exercises that can be used for its development vary from bouncing up and over boxes [pic 6] to hopping with a rope [pic 7]. In addition to elasticity development, jumps are also helpful for the development of perception to keep your body weight on the balls of your feet. All strength exercises should be combined with short runs, in order to transfer their effects to running.

Always remember: Pose running is a movement skill that requires constant focus on the major elements to develop a deep understanding of it over the various distances and speeds. Also, flexibility is crucial, not only to Pose running but all athletic performance, with the three main components being:

1. Mobility in joints
2. Elasticity in ligaments and tendons
3. Relaxation in muscles

1. The running Pose is the ability to allow your body to freefall under the influence of gravity, directed through the general Centre of mass (GCM) of your body.
2. To prevent yourself falling forwards completely, you need to swap support by pulling your foot from the ground vertically under the hip, using the hamstring muscles.
3. Using all the forces involved in running - gravity, inertia, ground reaction and muscle elasticity - is intended to help gravity pull your body forward. Co-ordinating the timing of these forces (the time when each force is acting and when it's not) produces a comprehensive running model that will enhance your performance.
Strong hips, no blips
The importance of these exercises is because the biomechanical position of the hips affects the movement of the whole body. Also, strong hips provide the foundation for the loads experienced on the lower back and therefore reduce any potential damage from impacts.

Strength training for Pose running requires specific preparation. Sadly, a poorly conditioned body will display trademarks of poor running technique. Pose running is very simple, but there's a substantial amount of strength required to perform these movements.

In Pose Method the technique is understood and accepted as being universal for any distance and speed of running, and also for any sporting event, age group and gender.

Practise the drills mentioned here and you'll be in the perfect position to build on the basics and refine your technique before next issue's look at the next step in the run revolution.

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