The Pose Method – What to watch out for developing this running technique

Nov 30, 2021

What are the key markers for Pose Method?

The Pose Technique was possibly the most well known running form moving through the running population and is still well recognised and used as a training system today. Looking at this as both a running coach and movement specialist it is a sound and well structured sytem for training to improve running, however there is a real method to the progress made.

Unfortunately all too often runners ignored the plan and moved straight to the technique focused point. As a result we treated many runners who had transferred to the Pose, essentially a form of mid foot contact running, without undertaking the necessary training to allow their body to be ready for the changes and challenge from the new technique. The two most common injuries seen are Achilles tendinopathies, not one of the easiest to resolve unfortunately, and Plantar Fascitis, pain under the sole of the foot and again difficult to resolve. Both created by a sudden increase in loading of these tendons / fascia without the necessary graduated stress training in place to provide adaption to the new running form.

So if you are going to work with the Pose Technique please make sure you work through the steps, as you will see when we discuss the other changes made, if you skip steps you will find yourself in trouble. That is not the plan at all. Work through the different Poses, build the strength and mobility required and gradually build your mid foot landing running over time, and most importantly if you take a break form running or your volume decreases then realise you nee dot build up again slowly to develop the tissue tolerance again. There are no short cuts to running with good form.

Looking at the technique itself I can mostly see the why and how but still have a few concerns. The aim is to move a runner to mid foot, creating a lighter runner and to prevent over striding. It is remarkable then to consider the numerous runners I videoed in our performance centre that ended up running with a greater over stride than they previously had. Why? They had not followed the method and so had just changed to mid foot running, so aside from now lacking the odd toe nail, they had decreased their running efficency. The point here is changing to midfoot should be the result of training not something you are forcing your body to adapt to. As a result of improving your movement patterns and dynamic strength you will feel lighter and faster and the natural progression will be that you land with more of a flat foot or mid foot contact point. Please remember that, let your training result in the change rather than forcing the change. Time period required would be a minimum of six months but personally from my anecdotal information it will take up to two years to transfer to this form effectively.

The second technical aim is for the magical 180 strides per minute. The biggest issue here is the advancement of watches that can tell us our stride frequency, so again we have a way to change in an instant to the new form. This means we are changing and not adapting to the training, allowing our bodies to develop and progress naturally through to the new form. There are many other questions around aiming for 180 strides, your height, your fitness levels, your form. As you can see two you can change and improve through training, one you are unable to affect but the point is still the same let your stride count be the result of good training and form not a forced change on your body.

Finally it is worth considering the Fall Phase, as it is probably the hardest to get right in terms of strength and positioning. Essentially most runners end up hinging at the hips and create a lean forwards, not the aim at all. This point in the pose is actually just a natural point in your running form really, as you work through a strong ankle and foot to move forwards, unortunately working alone makes the actual position more difficult to find and so we naturally over correct the pattern. Plus you need really good glut (your butt muscles) strength into inner range to be able to hold the position effectively. Again don’t force it complete the training and it would naturally happen.

All in all the Pose Technique is a sound method to use to improve your training and create a more effecient runner. It will work effectively for longer distance running as the lifting of the foot works more effectively at slower running speeds and can prevent bounce at slower speeds too. It can create a relaxed runner and the extra work is well planned to improve your tissue tolerance, mobility and strength to achieve your end goal.

The main thing here is that the Pose and most other running forms are not that different. They might stop at different points in time, have a different structure to get to the form they want you to achieve but the end result is not hugely different. With time and energy put into your technical training each week you will improve form and with that cadence, running speed and eventually mid foot landing can all be achieved as the result not the starting point.

Train Form & Strength to Build A Better Runner