Beginner's Guide to Pose Running
Beginner’s Guide to Pose Running is a video guide for runners of all levels that provides step by step instructions, visual demonstrations of all drills and exercises necessary to learn how to run efficiently and stay injury free.
If you happen to be an experienced runner and you consider yourself to be in quite a good shape, then this video program will help you take your running to a whole new level. We’re confident there are a few more PRs hiding in there. And if you’re a recreational runner that just wants to run better and without injuries or pain, then you will find your solution in this program as well.
As you begin, remember – training and learning are not about pushing your limits but rather gradually expanding your horizons and steadily gaining confidence in your own ability. ‘Confidence’ is a rarely considered ingredient of a successful race or a new PR. Confidence in their ability is what gives champions that subtle (or not that subtle) air of superiority. The race, the competition, is when you push what you thought were your limits and go for it, and break through.
If you have a moment of free time, pull up online videos of as many runners as you can think of: any distance, any level. Watch each video in slow motion and you will notice that all runners have one thing in common. Every single runner, regardless of his or her skill level or distance they participate in, goes through what Dr. Nicholas Romanov called the Running Pose.
The Running Pose is a whole body pose, which vertically aligns shoulders, hips and ankles with the support leg, while standing on the ball of the foot. This creates an S-like shape of the body. The runner then changes the pose from one leg to the other by falling forward and allowing gravity to do the work. The support foot is pulled from the ground to allow the body to fall forward, while the other foot drops down freely, in a change of support.
This creates forward movement, with the least cost (energy use), and the least effort. The end result is faster race times, freer running and no more injuries!
This simple sequence of movements: the fall and the pull, while staying in the pose, is the essence of running technique.
The Structure of the Program
The program is comfortably paced through the span of 12 weeks, but you can either speed it up or slow it down, lighten it up or make it tougher – all at your convenience. That’s the beauty of this program – it is easily customizable to fit your needs.
- It’s a 3-month program. This is an approximate amount of time needed to produce tangible good difference in your technique. A difference that has a staying power. Some will see the difference after grasping the concept and practicing a few drills, but most of the runners will start seeing the difference shortly after starting the actual recommended training schedule. Some other runners will require more time and more effort to relearn better movement patterns after years and years of bad habits and injuries. Remember, everything worthwhile takes time. A bit of effort now will allow you to have a lot of great running times just a bit later and most likely for a very long time.
- Month 1 – Foundation. Have to have a good understanding of what it is you’re about to get into and why. Understanding the concept before actually performing the task inevitably changes the outcome for the best. Understanding the theory helps you become a better runner and offers an opportunity to progress quicker. Take your time learning, you might have heard bits and pieces before, but it’s almost a guarantee that once your get the correct information straight from the source you’ll connect the dots, and be that much closer to your “Aha!” moment.
- Month 2 – Practice. You will spend 4 weeks focusing on the fun part of this program – your skill development and practice. Make no mistake – you will be doing plenty during the first month of this program, but it’s this part – months 2 – that allows more room for doing what you love – running. There will be plenty of opportunities to experiment with various drills and exercises demonstrated in this program (if you have the Pose Method of Running book, you have a whole lot of additional exercise to choose from)
- Month 3 – Mastery. At this stage you will be familiar with the entire thing: the theory and the practice. So you’ll be busy mastering what you’ve learned. On top of that you will be shown how to handle various challenging running surfaces – uphill and downhill, trails, sand, etc. Some running shoe related questions will be covered as well. (If you are already subscribed you can take a peek any time!)
This program ensures that your transition to better running technique happens gradually and at a level that is comfortable for you. We made sure to put together very simple and clear videos to show you how to do the necessary running drills and movement exercises correctly. You don’t need to guess if you got it right. Watch the video on any device whether you’re at home, out on the trail or at the gym. There are several follow-along routines to help you create a continuous training routine for yourself. And if you ever need an affirmation or a video analysis – get in touch with a Certified Running Technique Specialist online or in your area. You’re also welcome to discuss your progress and post your questions on our Running Forum.
When this program was created, there was a special effort made to present theory side by side with practice. It is not enough to know what needs to be done. Knowing how it must be done and why, makes all the difference. Knowing your goal and understanding how to get there – changes the outcome for the better. If you are interested in digging deeper into the scientific foundation of this program and this approach, a good place to start is a list of published scientific research and papers on the Pose Method.
Now you have guidance and support and no excuses. You can become a better runner!
Before You Begin
Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting started:
- Do as much as possible barefoot especially when practicing the bodyweight or balance drills. Those can be done at home, in socks or barefoot. If you have access to grassy area – great. Got sand? Even better! Sand is the great revealer of technique errors and strengthener of feet.
- Make sure you have the right shoes – thin soled, lightweight running shoes. Something along the lines of racing flats or track spikes but without the spikes. While we always say that technically it is possible to run well in any footwear, wrong shoes will hinder your learning and slow down your transition. So at the beginning, please make an effort to get the right shoes if you don’t have them already.
- The program is geared towards a mid level runner. Meaning if you’re a complete novice or simply want to start slow and take it down a notch (less reps, less number of drills and exercises) – you can and you should. And if you’re an experienced runner or require larger volume of training – you can increase the volume of drills, the number of reps, BUT NOT the distances. Increasing the distance or continuing to do high mileage when transitioning will make you more vulnerable to potential of getting injured. Get your technique down first, then enjoy the miles.
- As a runner/ athlete you need to be able to assess yourself and your ability in order to derive the most benefit from any training and to avoid overtraining. For that, it is highly recommended to read chapter “Big Monkey, Small Monkey: How to gauge your body’s training needs” (The Running Revolution, p 189). This will help you to correctly determine the programming and the volume you require when training.
- While you can immediately jump to practical sessions and do the drills, it is recommended to soak in the theory. To do better you must know better. The beginning portion of the Guide is packed with theory and examples. Enjoy the simplicity of the theory behind the Pose Method, take your time practicing the technique through drills and exercises and you will never look back. Your running experience will change forever.
It is highly recommended to keep a training diary. It will help you see your improvement or how to adjust your training, it’ll help you to figure things out. At the very least it will help you keep track of your training. Not training enough is not an issue, it’s the overtraining that you need to keep an eye on. Often by the time people start suspecting that their training needs adjustment they’ve already gone a bit far. Pay close attention to how you feel throughout your training and write it down after each training session, you’ll be surprised at how helpful that can be later down the road.
Recovering From an Injury & Training
This program was created based on a healthy middle level runner. If you’re recovering from an injury, you must make the appropriate adjustments to your training. We recommend working with a Physical Therapist to speed up your recovery.
The best part – you can and you should start training. The old recommendation of resting and icing is only helpful immediately after the injury and not in all cases. The drills recommended in this program were used in several studies, one of them was on CECS, and a specific regimen of these drills aided in recovery and reduction of pain and disability associated with Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome¹. The follow ups confirmed the initial findings.
What you will need to adjust is simple – for the first month of training do not run at all. Do the drills and exercises, use caution, but don’t be afraid to be active. A human body does better with active recovery. Use basic drills for the warm up, increase the reps for the technique part of the session, use the drills and flexibility exercises for the cool down. As you progress, gradually add short runs with minimal effort. Do not rush to go for a mile long run the minute you feel a bit better, give yourself a chance to get stronger.
Warm Up Routine
Your warm up routine can be what’s recommended in the program or a set of drills done at half the effort, with less reps. Our video program offers complete follow-along routines: warm-up & cool-down, strength training, flexibility. Once you’re comfortable with the drills and exercises, you’re welcome to put together your own sets based on what you think needs your focus the most. Is your running pose adequate? Is your pulling timely? Is your falling angle right? The further you progress the more you should be able to tell and devise the appropriate sets for your training.
The drills in this program range from the most fundamental and simplest ones to advanced. When you begin, make sure to take your time with the fundamental drills presented in Weeks 1-4 of training. Believe it or not, many seasoned runners have difficulty with those. These drills are all about perception and balance – key ingredients of good technique, which is the foundation of speed and endurance.
The most important thing to keep in mind about drills is that they are meant to help you focus on a specific movement, perception of that movement and correct execution of it, so drills are exaggerations of movement. When you will run you won’t be hopping or skipping (if you are – that’s a problem), you won’t be pulling your foot up to your hips though this is the cue that you can often hear in training (what’s meant here is the trajectory of movement not the height of the pull which is naturally determined by the speed you’re running at) Make sure to watch this video before starting with the drills.
As you progress through the program you will be given more drills and specific sets to follow, but you will also have the option to mix and match all the drills given in this program based on what you feel you should focus on. If, for example, you do video analysis and determine that your trailing leg is left way back and it takes you extra frames to get into the running pose, then you should do more pulling drills. And so on. A Running Technique Specialist could help you with this assessment and recommendations.
This video program is built with a mid-level runner in mind, so the running sets are based on that and should be adjusted accordingly. Here’s a simple way to do it. A rule of thumb is: do what you’re able to do, quality is more important than quantity at this stage. Do a trial run with each of the recommended distances and its time range in each set, and if you have trouble keeping up it’s perfectly acceptable to slow down the pace at the beginning.
Rest in between each interval is absolutely important. Give yourself approximately 2-minutes of rest between intervals. Keep in mind, some beginners will require much more recovery time in between intervals to allow for a maximum level of physiological adaptation. As you progress through the program, note your improvement.
Weekly Training Schedule
This program comes with a weekly training schedule. That’s 12 weeks of guided training to help you progress safely and efficiently. But at the same time, as mentioned in Part 1, you are free to modify this program to suit your needs and your level (physiologically speaking, please refer to the “Big Monkey, Small Monkey: How to gauge your body’s training needs”, The Running Revolution, p.189). However, at the absence of a coach at your side, to stay safe a simple rule of thumb should be “if in doubt – do less”.
Your weekly schedule will consist of
- a warm up routine,
- skill development drills and
- daily running sets.
All training will be scheduled for 3 days a week. This is what works for the majority and is a standard minimum required for optimal results.
Should it be Monday, Wednesday, Friday? Or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday? Or any other combination of days? Entirely up to you. Plan so that your training and your daily life allow for day(s) off in order to adequately recover. There is a relatively small number of runners that literally requires running and training 7 days a week. That is very rare, however. Majority handles 3-5 days of physical activity, 3 being the most common. The best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment with the number of days in your training schedule.
Each week you will find a video called ‘Week # Training Schedule’ that contains the 3 day layout of recommended training sessions. If you need to add an extra day or two, feel free to either repeat a combination of training from any day of the same week or take a day from the previous week, and of course you can experiment and make up your own training from the combination of the recommended sets. At the beginning of this program, for the first 4 weeks you should only do the drills listed in the training program for those weeks. As you progress through training, however, you will become more adapted and familiar with more and more drills and exercises, so you will be able to select which drills you want to focus on, add more to your training, substitute with other drills or follow the program.
Prevent Running Injuries
The final 4 weeks of this 3 month long program bring it all together and address one of the most important topics – injuries in running. What technique error are you making to cause your injury? How does it happen? And most importantly – how you can prevent running injuries. Now that you know what good running form is and how to maintain it with proper running technique, it will be easier to see and understand the simple mechanism of getting injured.Got knee pain? Shin splints? Lower back or hip issues? We got you covered.
We’ll also cover the additional topics like running on different surfaces, running uphill and downhill, running on treadmill.
As you begin this part of the program remember that it’s divided into three parts for ease of reference and simplicity of use. You are not expected to be at an advanced level of literally mastering your technique now. If you feel you got there – that’s great, but if you don’t – no pressure. The 3 sections of the program are titled so to help you identify which part of the program to turn to and get information from when you need it.
If you follow this program to the T, by the time you’re done with it (12 weeks from start) you should be ready to run a marathon. Yes! Run a marathon. Anyone can run a marathon, it is only a matter of ‘how fast’. The key to running one, is the runner’s ability to maintain proper technique. If your form breaks down and you suffer an injury or your knees start to hurt somewhere at mile 10, it won’t matter how good you thought your endurance was, or how good your VO2Max is. The foundation of endurance is technique. The better you can keep your technique, the better are your chances of getting to the finish line. Faster. This is what this program is for. To help you learn and maintain good running technique for life.
Remember, this video program was developed so it could be used again and again. Simply mix and match the drills and exercises, increase or decrease the number of reps, and keep on training and running! It gets better and better!