The distinguishing characteristic of pose running is that the athlete lands on the midfoot, with the supporting joints flexed at impact, and then uses the hamstring muscles to withdraw the foot from the ground, relying on gravity to propel the runner forward. This style is in clear contrast to the heel-strike method that most runners deploy and which is advocated by some health care professionals.
In pose running, the key is to maximise your effort in removing your support foot from the ground; good training is essential to ensure that you don’t over-stride or create excessive vertical oscillation. The runner should fall forwards, changing support from one leg to the other by pulling the foot from the ground, allowing minimum effort and producing minimum braking to this body movement. The idea is to maximise the use of gravity to pull the runner forward.
The pose method is centred on the idea that a runner maintains a single pose or position, moving continually forwards in this position. Romanov uses two models to explain the rationale behind pose:
* the mechanical model – the centre of gravity, which is around the hip position, should move in a horizontal line, without vertical up and down displacement
* the biological model – the rear leg maintains an ‘S-like’ form, and never straightens
Perhaps the most useful imagery to help with this technique is to imagine a vertical line coming from the runner’s head straight down to the ground. The raised front leg should never breach this line, but remain firmly behind it. This focuses the effort firmly on pulling the ankle up vertically under your hip rather than extending forward with your quads and hip flexors.
Summary of the Pose Principles
1. Raise your ankle straight up under your hip, using the hamstrings
2. Keep your support time short
3. Your support is always on the balls of your feet
4. Do not touch the ground with your heels
5. Avoid shifting weight over your toes: raise your ankle when the weight is on the ball of your foot
6. Keep your ankle fixed at the same angle
7. Keep knees bent at all times
8. Feet remain behind the vertical line going through your knees
9. Keep stride length short
10. Keep knees and thighs down, close together, and relaxed
11. Always focus on pulling the foot from the ground, not on landing
12. Do not point or land on the toes
13. Gravity, not muscle action, controls the landing of the legs
14. Keep shoulder, hip and ankle in vertical alignment
15. Arm movement is for balance, not for force production