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“It’s Easy, Just Fall!”: My Experience at the Pose Running Clinic

Unlike any other athletic sport or skill, running often goes un-coached. Even in college cross country, coaches focused on the mileage, speed, hydration, or the mental game involved in running–but not the actual form of running itself. I left the world of running all together because I found my body felt more broken the more I ran. So I was excited to learn Slipstream was hosting a Pose Method Running clinic, which seeks to provide the framework to run more efficiently and (most importantly) pain free.


  “The Pose Method is simple: Pose—Fall—Pull”

Image result for the pose method

“The Pose Method is simple: Pose—Fall—Pull!” The clinic began with John running us through different body-awareness drills. We removed our shoes (gasp!) and practiced walking around pointing our feet outwards (duck walk), pointing our feet inwards (pigeon), and pointing our feet in neutral. I could feel all of the little muscles in my feet and ankles groan and awaken with this diversity of movement. I realized that in CrossFit I take the time to feel what my body was doing, but I was hardly mindful about my movement during a run.

Related:The Mindfulness of Movement

Similarly, I realized that I do not pay attention to my breathing patterns when I am not exercising, and so was shocked to see how much my chest rose when John had us lay down with a kettle bell on our belly to see if we were belly (diaphragmatic) breathing or chest breathing.


Pose

After becoming more aware of our bodies, John began teaching us about the Pose portion of the method. The Pose is essentially a position that anyone, regardless of how efficiently they run, reaches at some point during a stride. In this position shoulders, hips, and ankles are stacked, the body leans slightly forward, and the knee bends such that your ankles are under your hips.


Fall

Once in the Pose, your body is optimally positioned to use gravity to help you fall forward. Everyone has a Center of Mass (COM) also known as a Center of Gravity somewhere around the belly-button/midsection (depending on your build). If you can learn to gently lean your COM past your base of support (which is the ball of your front-foot) then you don’t have to waste any energy pushing away from the ground; you literally just fall.


Pull

The Pull relates to the foot that will be moving as you fall forward to catch yourself. Instead of driving your knee forward and out, which is how we normally practice running, in the Pose Method you pull your heel up to your hip and quickly relax that pulled leg so that it falls beneath your hips. Gravity is what gives you forward motion, not your quads. Below you can see the difference between traditional perceptions of the running form and the Pose Method running form.


Below is my before and after video. As you can see, in my before-video I aggressively pushed off the ground and reached my front foot in front of my COM. If you look at my after-video, you can see that my shin is more vertical and is beginning to land closer to my hip. I’m also thinking about how I can use gravity to help me move forward as evidenced by my forward lean. Maybe running wasn’t the problem for me after all. Maybe it was the way I was running that was leading to my injuries.

Take Aways:

  • Running doesn’t have to be painful and synonymous with injury

  • There are efficient and inefficient ways to run. If you are experiencing aches, pains, or injuries, you are likely running inefficiently.

  • Running is something that needs to be learned, just like any other sport and it begins with BODY AWARENESS

Here are some tips to begin teaching yourself how to have more BODY AWARENESS when you walk/run:

  1. Take your shoes off and try walking around barefoot. How do your feet naturally hit the ground?

  2. Slowly move your body weight on different points on your feet: heels, balls of your feet, outside, inside. How do your feet respond?

  3. Go on a shoeless 60 meter jog. What do you notice about how you land? What feels sore after?

Related:Why Personal Training?

This article can’t encompass all of the intricacies involved with learning and re-programing your body and mind to do the Pose Method. So if you are interested in learning more about the Pose Method, or in potentially receiving personal training in the Pose Method, feel free to contact john@crossfitslipstream.com.

–Jasmine Gerritsen

Coach/Trainer

Jasmine@crossfitslipstream.com