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Learning to Run Using the Pose Method

Whether you’ve just finished your last marathon, or are a beginner learning to run, it’s important to evaluate and refine your running form so as not to injure yourself and cut back on post-race recovery. At Urban Wellness Clinic, we help our patients practice the pose method of running to master their technique. Here’s an in-depth look at our approach with our Pose Method running coach, Garth Wakeford.

Simply put, learning to run is a skill.

What is a skill? A skill is something that can be learned, which means there is a correct and incorrect way to do it. There is a standard, and then there are deviations from that standard. The goal with running, as with any other skill you seek to acquire, is to learn and develop the skill to a point of mastery.

The consensus with running used to be, “to each their own!” Everyone had a unique yet natural method of running, and no technique was thought to be right or wrong. You just needed to lace up your shoes and hit the road.

Well, that made sense…until the advent of modern footwear. The shoes we wear, and in particular the sneakers we use for running, have caused our bodies to forget their natural rhythm. More importantly, they have introduced the body to a redistribution of weight that promotes injury and poor technique. When your body deviates from a correct and balanced standard, it is no longer using external and internal energies efficiently.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov, founder of the Pose Method of Running (The Running Revolution), faults our modern running shoes for their elevated heels and motion-controlled support. These shoes cause a departure from our natural gait; they create heel striking, muscle atrophy, and limited sensory feedback from the feet.

We must re-learn to run!

Stand up, walk across the room and then back. What enabled you to do that?

Gravity, of course.

You are not simply lifting your foot up and putting it back down, and you certainly are not floating in midair. Gravity enables you to fall, which, combined with your muscle contraction, force from the ground, and muscle elasticity allows you to move from one place to the next. Understanding the way these forces and energies interact is the secret to learning to run with the Pose Method.

When you run, the goal is to keep your body centered over your feet; thus, you must “fall,” pull with your hamstrings in order to keep your feet in a regular cadence, balance yourself, and “fall” again. The muscle work stems from your hamstrings, which in turn carry your quadriceps. The fall is a fall, and not a bend; it comes evenly from the hips.
If your calves hurt when you run, then your feet are on the ground too long! Keep up a regular rhythm, constantly picking up your feet. Are you swinging your arms out wide? Then you are over-striding, and upping your risk of injury.

It might sound complicated at first, but when done properly, this type of running requires less work and maximizes your use of energy, protecting you from the many common injuries that send runners into months of physical therapy.

The Pose Method of Running is a standard that allows us to interpret movement errors to a precise degree of deviation from the standard. We can measure these errors by filming a runner. We watch how many frames pass from the point that the weight is in your grounded foot until you are back in pose.

This information helps because once mistakes in technique become measurable and visible, we can better assess how to correct them. By improving technique, you can ameliorate your speed, endurance and efficiency and dramatically reduce injury.

How we can help

At Urban Wellness Clinic, we distil the complicated techniques that high-performance athletes use and teach them to you so that you can stay injury-free and committed to the active lifestyle that you love.

We work with running coach Garth Wakeford, who can make sense of the physics and theory of the Pose Method of Running and radically improve your run in under an hour. For some of us, it may require putting aside ego and trusting something totally new, but your body will thank you for it.