Pose Running

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Michael Johnson: ‘Perfectly natural Pose running style’

London 2012 Olympics games are fast appraoching with expectations reaching fever pitch, the whole capital is excited. Modern day sprinting was one of the most over subscribed applications for tickets at the games, with everyone longing to see Usain Bolt in action.

Despite Bolt’s recent rise to sprtitning stardom, we must not forgot the legends of yester year that made the sport what it is today, Michael Johnson, Haile Gabrselassie, Linford Christie, Maurice Green, and Marion Jones to name a few.

Each athlete has their own individual style and technique which leads them to become world beaters but none more memorbale than Michael Johnson’s perfect technique of pose running.

The pose running style was invented by Nicholas Romanov during the 1970’s with the aim to produce easy, effortless and smooth flowing running. Romanov felt his technique would limit undue strain on joints & physical break down with increased training loads whilst collaborating with GB and Russian athletics teams. Romanov proposed one universal technique for all runners, regardless of speed or distance.

Typically, amateur runners naturally use the heel-toe technique but pose running’s distinguishing feature is that the athlete lands on the mid foot.
Naturally, this causes joint to be flexed at impact, with hamstring muscles used to withdraw the foot from the ground. The emphasis is on high cadence not stride length. See the picture below, with the pose running on top & the heel-toe running below:

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The smoot lines and increased forward posiont of the centre of gravity during Pose running style is well observed in this comparison.

The concept is simple and based on two models by Romanov:
> Mechanically, the centre of gravity, around hip position, should move horizontally without vertical up & down displacement.
> Biologically, the leg remains ‘S-like’ form and never straightens. This arose from animals like a cheetah which never land on heels but pulls through action after mid-foot loading.

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The cheetah in full flight as its about to make contact with the mid-foot

Despite its simplicity, rigours training and practicing the technique is essential. Having attempted 10 minutes of this style on a treadmill, personally I found it great. But the after affectes were calf-complex DOMS and patello femoral (knee cap) pain for me.

Should athletes change their running style? Only with dedication and patience of carrying out the correct technique alterations through perfect practice. Othewise, it may be those common injuries which comeback and bit you.

Check out my next blog to see drills on ‘how to train for pose running’.

If you think your running technique isn’t up to scratch, TA Physio offer a running assessment and advice service to assist smoother, faster, greater running.

Enjoy the Olympic games 2012 from everyone at TA Physio.

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