Beginner’s Guide to Pose Running
Improve Running Technique & Get Ready to Run a Marathon in 12 weeks
Improve Running Technique & Get Ready to Run a Marathon in 12 weeks
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.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting started:
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 above, 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
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!