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.
220 TRIATHLON (UK)
April 2005 #180
RUN REVOLUTION: Part III
THE FINAL POSE
by Dr. Nicholas Romanov and Steve Freestone
Reduce your chances of injury and get faster on your feet?
Dr Nicholas Romanov reveals how in the final part of our series on the Pose Method of Running
- Freedom of running means free failing
- Breaking contact with the ground is achieved by pulling feet from the ground
- Pull support foot vertically up to the hip
- Learn to pull not push
- Running is a skill of movement
Over the past few months, you've hopefully been practicing the Pose Method of Running and are now heading towards quicker, injury-free running. So far, we've given you some technique pointers and focused on Pose conditioning to elicit a proficient run. In the final part of the Pose series, we're going to look at two main areas:
We'll also give you the drills and sessions to hit the race season in the run form of your life.
- Pose as a skill to be learnt
- The benefits of barefoot running
Pose as a skill
While we've stressed the relationship between Pose and strength exercises, you must remember that the foundation of this new technique is skill development. And in Pose, the most important factor in skill development is the evolution of the psychological side of things, although this inter-relates seamlessly with strength conditioning and elements of running technique. To refine the mental component, you must have a clear understanding of the different elements, of run technique (see the Pose principles box, left) and focus on these. For example, when practicing Pose, you must clearly visualize pulling your foot from the ground.
The psychological aspect of Pose necessitates developing perception of performance and the ability to execute specific commands. Perception is a notion often overlooked in running, but in the Pose Method it plays a critical role in grasping the concepts and executing good running technique.
|ADVANCED POSE METHOD DRILLS
|If you've followed our Pose series over the last two issues, you'll be ready to progress to these...
|Get a partner to hold one foot, while you keep the other off the ground. Then quickly switch leg support from right to left. This builds your core.
|Lying face down, get your partner to gently push your feet in the air. This'll establish hip strength
|... An advanced version is to support your weight in the press-up position
|Base jumping requires a partner and stretch bands. It'll encourage hamstring use...
|...You can improve hamstring use on your own, however, with bands and jogging on the spot.
Essentially, perception is the ability to understand and feel the difference - a difference in pressure, muscle tension, tactile sensitivity, time and efforts, and the ability to perceive the difference of all of this during rising fatigue levels and other destructive factors.
In running and triathlon, this means you have to pay less attention to what you think your body is doing and more to what it is actually doing.
More often than not, athletes believe that they have positioned their bodies one way and feel totally convinced of this, only to find out that their bodies aren't positioned in the way that they imagined at all. This is what is commonly referred to as 'errors in perception'.
Through mirrors, videos and an objective eye, you can work more with the field of perception to improve your running. This is an important field of development in Pose and, as such, it cannot be overstated enough.
Mind meets body
To reiterate, the technique drills and strength conditioning exercises cited in the Advanced Pose drills box (right) and the past two issues are aimed at developing our perception and focus, both of which are mental and psychological components of skill development.
As mentioned in the previous feature, our main strength conditioning exercises are devoted to three major areas: hips, hamstrings and muscle elasticity. Developing mental and psychological skill will allow for progression in the intensity and complexity of the exercises while still being able to execute them with precision.
This simultaneous development of the mental and psychological part of the skill along with the physical skill (strength and elasticity) is critical for success in imparting the tenets of Pose Method into your running.
These 10 drills are simple to practice but will make a huge impact on your Pose learning. Note that the objective of each drill is stated after each exercise.
1. Pose stance - balance.
2. Change of support - to change support from one leg to another.
3. Hop in place - keeping balance and support on one leg.
4. Forward change of support - as drill 2 with forward movement.
5. Hop moving forward - balance and pick up of ankle.
6. Forward lunge - learn to pick up using ground reaction forces.
7. Single skip forward - to maintain 'S' position.
8. Base jumps - co-ordination and quickness.
9. Heel touch - minimize time between change of support.
10.Double skip forward - shift weight from one leg to another.
Note: combine all drills with 40-60m of relaxed running
|POSE CONDITIONING EXERCISES
Note: can be repeated as session or combined with run drills. For explanations of drills 1-6, see Pose features in the previous two issues.
- Hips up and down, face down.
- Hand plank, hips up and down.
- Box foot pick-ups.
- Hips up and down, face up.
- Hamstring curls with band, face up.
- Hamstring curls with band, face down.
- Partner-assisted hip pushes.
- Band-resisted base jumps.
- Partner-resisted Abductor movement.
- Partner-resisted Adductor movement.
To develop higher levels of skill in mental focus and perception, you will need to isolate those factors through exercises that represent the three major elements of running technique: Pose-Fall-Pull. Through this, you will be able to reach a much higher level of skill that you can then integrate into your running.
Let's go back to the example of pulling your foot from the ground... This command is actually very difficult to action psychologically during the run. To remedy this, you should isolate the movement in the drills and exercises to fully master it and make it more automatic, and enable you to execute these elements more fluidly while you are running. In essence, perfection of these exercises will help you overcome the psychological stumbling blocks that prevent you from eliciting good technique.
While you are performing these exercises, you should always keep in mind why you are doing them. Always remember that the physical appearance of your running is the direct result and manifestation of your mental and psychological skill components and capacities.
One final and proficient way to get your mind and body used to the Pose Method is by barefoot running. Need convincing? Take off your shoes and you'll quickly realize that landing on your heels is not a very smart way to run (it hurts). Even on a short run, you'll move quickly towards the Pose style of running taking shorter strides and landing on the forefoot. If you study the form of African runners, you'll see solid Pose style running. This running form wasn't coached but evolved from years of childhood barefoot running.
On the physical side, barefoot running will help develop local strength around the ankles and feet. Stability shouldn't come from wide platform shoes, but from strong muscles, joints and connective tissue. Developing this strength instead of buying it will reduce your chances of being sidelined by Achilles tendonitis, Plantar fascitis or other common injuries (see page 46 for more on preventing and curing common run injuries).
Pick up your feet
It stands to reason that correct alignment of the entire body comes from correct foot placement during the landing phase of the stride. Barefoot running pretty much forces you to land on the ball of your foot. Next, you have to work the muscle elasticity and reduce time spent on the ground. Imagine you are running on coals; this will enable you to pick up your feet quickly and reduce your contact time with the floor. The best places to start barefoot running are on soft surfaces like sand or grass. Sand will help with building strength, while grass will help you be more precise. You may want to start with just walking barefoot to harden up your soles before trying barefoot running.
Now we've given you all the drills to perfect your Pose running, it's time to give you an exact plan of Pose training. Ideally, you should start Pose running with 4-6 weeks of drills, with 40-60m of relaxed running following each drill, three times a week. Combine this with Pose style conditioning exercises two to three times a week, full body mobility warm-up exercises before each session, and flexibility and recovery sessions after each session.
You can progress to adding stretch bands to some of the run drills and resistance to conditioning exercises. Therabands (StretchCordz) can be introduced to assist with your flexibility work. Now get out there and Pose.
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