Friday, October 25, 2013

Video Intro - What Makes Skilled Running?

Less waste, better running.  First rule to avoid waste in running - use the least force necessary to oppose gravity.  This will allow gravity to accelerate your mass forward with the least effort from you.

The best runners don't have their feet on the ground long because they expend the most force in the least time (relative to the speed they need to run).

In other words, as they fall forward, their feet strike the ground under the general center of mass, and immediately pull back towards the runner's hip.  The more force the runner can generate in the least time, the greater the degree of lean (GCM ahead of point of ground contact) a runner can sustain.

Watch a great runner.  Do their feet contact the ground way in front of their body or right under their body?  Is their torso relatively vertical or bent at the waist?  Do they keep a high tempo or a low tempo?   Do their knees reach full extension behind them or do they pull the foot quickly, before the leg is fully extended?  Each of these is an element of:
-Minimal time in ground contact (expend high force against the ground quickly, then pull foot to hip)
-Working with gravity (feet are not in contact with the ground way ahead or behind body)

Dr. Romanov says he's teaching "perception."  First a student who wants to run with skill must learn a new concept of what running is.  Most of us think of running as propelling ourselves forward, but we are mostly using our support leg to repel us from the earth (so that we can keep falling forward instead of falling down!).  Running is the act of falling forward while changing the supporting leg.

Once a student begins to understand the concept, they will still struggle to run with skill, just as a nascent juggler can understand what the hands should do without being able to do it.

This is where drills come in to play.  Drills allow a student to practice better movement patterns with reduced kinematic load, so that they can be applied while running.

For most of us, POSE won't transform us into Carl Lewis, we will still have many of the same neurological limits that we were born with.  The point of POSE for most of us is to enjoy running more, to run with less pain, and to run with better movement that will not beat us up more than necessary for the job at hand.   For me, this has been like magic for my injured left knee!

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