Running: pose training and path optimisation

For various reasons (mainly constant pain in muscles and wallet) I have decided to only go to the CrossFit box twice a week. So I need to pick up my running again.

Hopefully this also helps with strengthening my injured calf, which still goes stiff and sore when put under pressure. Very annoying.

Today I went for a very low intensity “run” with the main purpose of finding a roughly 5km route that I won’t hate. Running in Peckham is less than inspiring with Queens Road on one side and Old Kent Road on the other.

There are great parks close by though, it’s just a matter of sticking to the residential roads, and I realised this morning looking at Google Maps that the beautiful old canal path that leads up to Burgess Park is just a few side streets from my flat.

With that theory in hand, I then needed some sort of focus for running practice. Just putting one foot in front of the other is a) bloody boring and b) surely something that I can improve on…

Several months ago Tom at the box made us practice running posture and foot work. I did a few searches on “crossfit running” and “running improvements” and quickly found that the exercises we made are part of something called “pose running”.

No, it’s not a runner version of “vogueing”. It’s supposed to “prevent injuries and to dramatically improve your athletic performance”.

The core benefits of pose running seems to be using less energy, and reduced risk of wear and tear on your knees, hips and shins. Hey, all the cool kids do it, so it must be good right? ;)

It seems to me that the key points to keep in mind when running “pose” are”

  • Let gravity do as much work as possible by “falling forwards” rather than pushing yourself forwards.
  • "Falling forward" is mainly achieved by keeping your body straight and leaning forwards into the run.
  • When planting your foot, land on the ball of the foot and not the heel. This happens naturally if you take your shoes off…
  • When lifting your foot, actively pull the heel high straight towards your butt, as if an elastic is pulling it back up.
  • When your foot is going back up towards your butt, relax the ankle.
  • If you are lifting your foot correctly, when your leg is at the top position the profile of your legs form the number “4”.

Found these helpful videos to help visualising the move, and practice a few drills to hit the right stride.

Makes a lot of sense.

The run following the backstreets to the park and back turned out to be just over 6km. Perfect. Burgess Park looks amazing after the recent make over. Cafe, big playground, skate ramp, out door gyms… With the rolling hills to run up and down, plenty of opportunity for exciting and playful outdoor WODs!

Running “pose” is a lot to think about, but it feels like it will be much more efficient once I get used to it and do it naturally.

Calf held together well, although hard running uphills is right out. Just hurts too much. Gentle running is fine though, and although I now after the run feel sore, I would think this is just what is needed to get the strength and flexibility back.

Thanks to Auntie P for sharing her vogueing photo under Creative Commons.