RUNNING TECHNIQUE FOR EVERYONE™: From Average Joe to Pro.
As we discussed before in the previous articles the idea of the existence of the same technique for everyone is still alien for most people. When we speak about the difference between an average Joe and an elite runner, it seems enormous. On the surface, for the naked eye it looks very different, indeed. In “average Joes” we can see slower pace, lower cadence, visible efforts applied and no harmony of movement in general, while in pro runners with their fast pace, high cadence, effortless and harmonic movement, everything seems to go just easier and smoother.
Well, it is certainly a good question: what makes them so different? First of all, it is not about some of them running faster. People usually indicate it as good running, confusing fast running with a proper running. Obviously, those elite runners have something undetectable and invisible that makes them run faster. I have to immediately make it clear that this is not about their VO2 consumption abilities. I knew lots of runners and triathletes with an incredible level of VO2 capacities, but with absolutely average performance in running.
No question, a high level of VO2 capacity is a good base to be a good runner, but it is not the most important one among other characteristics of elite runners. A well-known elite runner such as Olympic Champion, Frank Shorter, for example, had one of the lowest VO2 max among elite runners. So, what else distinguishes elite runners from others?
There are certain biomechanical characteristics distinguishing them from average runners. Among these characteristics is the ability to run with a higher cadence and longer stride length
, shorter time of support, lower vertical oscillation of GCM, a specific body position on support, visibly more leaning forward of the body, landing closer to the vertical line going through the GCM of the body on support, bent joints on support (especially, knees), etc.
All the above listed characteristics are different in average runners. So the question is, if they can get closer to them according to these characteristics? What is it that really makes them not elite? What makes them incapable of producing these characteristics? It is a tricky question, isn’t?
Yes it is, if we start again from the pace of running. But we are talking about the abilities of “average Joes” to run as elites, not by using the same pace, but through achieving the same effortlessness, gracefulness, harmonious movement and by that getting closer to their potential, being able to enjoy running as their self-expression. And at this point, it is not about their VO2 capacity, but about something else, which in the Pose Method I call the skill
of implementing gravity as a leading force into their forward movement. This is exactly what elite runners do well. It doesn’t matter, if they don’t know about this, they do it.
They run faster because they lean or fall forward more. They do it intuitively, found it by an accident, maybe, and then their high level of VO2 gives them the ability to express this falling for a longer distance. Following from this parameter, step cadence goes up as a necessity to maintain the given rate of falling through a higher rate of changing support. When our mind is set on these goals, then our muscles perform their task much more efficient, as well.
The rest of the above mentioned characteristics appear as a result of the body falling forward performance and fill in the pattern of movement that we call running. So the above said can bring us to the conclusion that an “average Joe” could run as a pro by using all biomechanical characteristics, that could make his run efficient and fluid. The difference will be in how long and at which level of speed he could maintain this performance. This is the way in which training of an average runner should go – development of his skill of movement in general and in running specifically