For almost 20 years, I thought that heel striking or forefoot striking was like being left or right handed. One wasn’t really better than the other, you could change if you wanted to or you could learn to do use both. Either way it didn’t make any difference – we are what we are…or so I thought?
How wrong I was…
A chance pick up of a “mens fitness” magazine in a waiting room (the sort of magazine where you can smash/destroy/blast your fitness goals – every issue!) started me thinking.
There was an article about a revolutionary way to run, run in such a way that you would be qualifying for the olympic team in your spare time.
I had seen the pose method of running but dismissed it as elite athlete fodder. And like I said, I thought it made no difference.
At that time I was working away, living in a hotel in the week. I had money and time on my hands at night.
So, I thought, why not? and I sent for the book and the DVD and got to work.
So I got the book, had a look at the forum – everyone talks of special drills to develop previously inactive muscle groups. Spent some free time in the evenings doing these (and feeling rather silly doing them).
To say that trainers with large heels protect your calf muscles and make them lazy is an understatement and run… don’t make me laugh. I couldn’t even walk forefoot style for more than a couple of hundred yards without pain.
But I persisted with the drills and most of the time, the next day, I felt like I had been shot in the calf muscles.
In May 2006, I went on a course as part of a study. The course was 1 hour theory and 2 half day practicals. It completely revolutionised my thinking.
I now understood the basic physics of the running action and why heel striking is biomechanically inefficient.
Of course, the hardest thing for a runner to do is stop running and thinking about races and events. This was no problem for me as hotel food meant I put on some weight…
Did it work?
The first 10k I did forefoot striking felt like I had concrete setting in my calves from around 6k but I am able to do slightly slower times on a lot less training time.
Converts to pose are criticised because they are very vociferous in online forums.
Why is this ?
Because we now understand why we couldn’t go any faster without risking injury or overtraining.
Will it work for you? Maybe, the only way is to try it.
Here is the link
One final question?
In the photograph, the runner on the left is showing a classical pose action and the runner on the right is a classical heel striker.
Which looks more graceful and athletic and which looks more cumbersome and awkward?
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Sites That Link to this Post
- Running Blog Carnival - Issue #2008-04 | kdays.com | February 21, 2008
- roadrunning.net » Pose running or chi Running? | February 25, 2008
- roadrunning.net » The shoes have arrived… | May 9, 2008
- Benefits of Running – Seeing things other people miss : roadrunning.net | December 12, 2010