Recently, I have had quite a few clients ask me to teach them how to run properly following the Pose Method of Running I learned in London a couple of years ago from Lee Saxby, one of the highest level Pose coaches worldwide.
POSE AND FOOTWEAR
Conversations about Dr Romanov’s Pose Method of Running usually start when people see me wear my Vibram Five-Fingers shoes, which are also RKC “Party” approved for kettlebell training. Comfy, barefoot feeling and their varied colors can go from cool looking to clown looking.
While I have successfully improved my clients’ running styles and form, alleviating knee pain and re-training the body to move in natural ways that carryover to just about everything in real life, I have to admit I haven’t made much time for a nice run in about 6 months! Sad… Keep the following in mind: my wife and I had a 3-month old baby, and before that we were readying ourselves for his arrival. Maintaining my physical condition doesn’t require me running. As a matter of fact, I loathe running for fitness. Don’t run to get fit, run cuz you like it. Run for joy, for the fun of it! Southern California, where I reside has beautiful beaches and nice weather year round, as well as great trails minutes away in any direction.
Back to my running…
INSPIRED BY A BOOK
I mentioned in a recent newsletter (or was it a blog post? I lose track when I lose sleep. Thanks, baby Fletcher!) that I was reading Chris McDougall’s Born To Run. The book not only inspired me to go running again (and make time for it), it also educated me on a few things which I will share over time (you can read the book, just click on the banner, or you can wait for my findings…), such as Iskiate and chia seeds (coincidentally, a good friend of mine introduced me to them almost simultaneously as I was engrossed in the book).
During a marathon of a day that started with my first client at 6:45AM, with 7 clients over 7 1/2 hours, then 105 minutes to squeeze in a meal, workout and shower before tackling on 2 more clients, I missed my family, not seeing them for 12 hours by the time I’d get home. To relieve some of my stress (my workout that day felt more like part of my job duties, though I still enjoyed it), I decided to cool off with a run from the gym, breaking in my latest pair of Vibram Five-Fingers (the awesome grey/black camo ones!)
Man did it feel great! I had completed a long set of 32kg kettelebell snatches, working a revolving minute for 20 minutes, after some body weight circuits that included 300 push-ups, jumping squats and jumping lunges, hip bridges, inverted rows and prone shoulder presses. I was running on fumes and Chia Fresca, yet had enough steam to go “grease the groove” with a Pose run. It probably looked like a cheesy SoCal moment, with a goofy surfer looking guy, blond hair flowing in the wind, with an accoutrement that resembled a homeless runner who’d stepped in a bucket of paint (the shoes), but I felt freedom. Freedom from responsibilities, physical performance goals. I was in the moment.
Mind you, I am not saying I was happy to be away from my family. Logistics prevented a sensible visit home during the day. As I always tell my clients, “when you’re training with me, you’re training with me. If there is something important that needs your attention and you CAN make a difference, go do it. If not, BE here :)”
So, I “be” in the running moment, charging up on sun-drenched Vitamin D, balancing out my IGF-1 levels.
If you don’t run outdoors, you’re missing out. Forget the data your treadmill provides you. Who cares how many calories you burned, how far you ran and for how long or what your heart rate was. You don’t need a machine to tell you how you feel.
Just go. Go now!
QUICK RUNNING TIPS
1) Wear as flat a shoe as possible, or with a low heel if you must have cushioning. The high-heeled running shoes promote bad form by forcing a heel strike which you do not feel, but it does jar your knees and hips. I’ve run in my Sanuk sandals, which feel like slippers but offer no support of arch or other pronation/supination fancy stuff. Bare essentials force good form.
2) Stride length has nothing to do with speed. It’s the cadence, i.e. the tempo at which you pull your feet off the ground. Think cartoon characters, whose legs are a blur when running super fast. A longer stride actually slows you down, forcing you to use your quads to propel yourself forward and again, impact is felt on the knees. Keep your stride the same whether you sprint or jog. Notice I also said PULL your feet off the ground. There is no “push” in running. Let gravity do that for you, like a baby taking his first steps falling forward and using gravity and their forward lean as momentum.
3) Don’t try too hard right away. Better to run in short segments (30-100 meters/yards) and reset than to mindlessly log miles. Running is not as innate as you think and is still a skill you need to (re)learn.
4) Carry water with you, stay hydrated to avoid cramping. Best way to carry your bottle: under your armpit. Promotes a better upright posture as well as less arm flailing. And more comfortable than a carrier belt (hate how it slaps my butt or bounces on the side of my hip).
If you want to improve your form, email me your interest in a workshop and we can all go experience the freedom of running as a group. Connect with some new people, make some like-minded friends and learn something in the process!