A couple months ago I told you guys I was working on changing my running gait. I never thought it would be easy, but I can confirm it really isn’t natural or easy.
I basically gave up for fear I was going to injure myself. Then I realized there are things I can do to slowly help me get there rather than just trying to do it without much knowledge, getting frustrated, and quitting!
The first thing I did was switch from shoes with a 12mm drop to shoes with a 4mm drop. Basically, that means the difference between the heel and forefoot of the shoes is 4mm (the heel sits 4mm above the forefoot).
Contrary to what some people think, this won’t automatically turn you from a heel striker into something else. But I believe it will help me as I go through the process.
Secondly, Kelly and I attended a Pose Running clinic a couple weeks ago. It was only a couple hours and just a brief introduction to the technique.
The Pose running technique is designed to prevent unnecessary strain on the joints by landing midfoot and using hamstring muscles to lift the foot from the ground, propelling the runner forward. (It’s not simply landing on your mid or fore foot.)
We started right in by doing some drills I hope to incorporate into my training. I understood the drills and was able to properly complete them after a few adjustments. They started from very simple (like standing with your foot in proper line) to partner drills were you essentially Pose run in place.
At the end we took some time to go from drills to running short distances. It fell apart quite quickly for me! Then, I’d go back and do some drills and it would feel better the next time.
It was the last thing I felt like doing on a blustery winter day, but I’m so glad we made the trek so I can start somewhere.
From what I’ve read, a lot of people struggle when they go from drills to actual running. The clinic coach suggested practicing drills a lot before starting off slowly with running. Incorporate sections of Pose running into your run- maybe a few lampposts- and slowly increase to a few blocks.
I have a LONG way to go. And honestly, I’m not sure how it’s going to work right now. I find running outside in winter takes certain concentration already and footing can be a struggle to begin with. Then I’ll (hopefully) be upping my mileage for our two summer races.
I know it’s something I have to try, as I hope it’s one key to injury prevention.
If you’re interested in learning more about Pose check out these resources:
How do you prevent injury? Technique, strength training, foam rolling?