A Paleo Summary for Endurance Athletes….

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

 

  

Paleo Diet
  I condense the Paleo Diet to these ideas:

  • As homo sapiens, we are genetically adapted to a hunter gatherer diet.  The introduction of domesticated animals, agriculture, and processed foods are very recent developments in the scope of evolutionary history.  As such, our bodies are not adapted to a diet derived from these technological development.
  • A proper homo sapien diet replicates the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

To follow this diet,

  1. Eat plenty of lean meats (fish, poultry, lean beef, wild game)
  2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  3. Avoid dairy
  4. Avoid starches and sugars (breads, grains, etc)
  5. Avoid processed foods.

Paleo Diet, Endurance Athlete Modified
Dr Condain says that we are genetically suited for this diet.  However, our ancient ancestors seldom did 2 hour runs and 6 hour bikes.  Certainly, they had periods of intense activity, but these where relatively brief and spaced apart. This diet is not well-suited to the needs of endurance athletes: to fuel optimum performance and recovery, so the activity can be repeated after a relatively short time, again and again.

Dr Cordain recognized this in his presentation.  In fact, he and Joe are working on a book that will adapt the ideas of the Paleo Diet to the needs of endurance athletes.  This is where Gordo’s ideas are particularly valuable.  He has begun to apply the Paleo Diet and has modified it to serve the unique requirements of endurance athletes. 

Gordo distills these ideas to what he calls the Key Three:

  1. Majority of nutrition from whole fruits, lean protein and fresh veggies.
  2. Starch and sugar only during and after training.
  3. Eliminate as much processed food as possible.

#2 is the break from the strict Paleo Diet, in order to satisfy the need to quickly replace glycogen stores after exercise.  This ensures the athlete is ready to repeat the activity within a relatively short time.

In summary, I’ll present the Team Crucible Six:

  1. Focus on achieving an optimal body composition that is a good balance between performance and recovery.
  2. Make good food choices rather than avoid foods.
  3. Make a plan, and measure it with the Geekometer.  Do the best you can to follow your plan, not beating yourself if you stumble from time to time.
  4. Get the majority of your nutrition from whole fruits, lean protein and fresh veggies.
  5. Limit starch and sugar to during and after training.
  6. Eliminate as much processed food as possible.

Ang is definitely a Paleo Athlete!

Does a ‘6 pack’ prevent back pain?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

This is a great blog from CrossFit Anaerobic:

I read once that only 5% of the population have the ability to attain a true and visible ‘6 pack’ of muscle in the abdominal core, irrespective of diet and training. I am glad that I am not one of that 5%. I don’t feel the pressure to keep something I don’t have so it then affords me the luxury of a glass or 5 of tasty carbohydrate laden Australian cool climate Shiraz every night.

Attaining the ‘6 pack’ of muscle in the abdominal core is a fine balance between genetics, good nutrition (often the low carbohydrate variety espoused by the bodybuilders and fitness competitors) and good training. But does a ‘6 pack’ guard against the dreaded modern day curse of low back pain.? Well I would argue that in fact it may, for a whole bunch of reasons.

“‘6 pack’ holders generally don’t use spine threatening machines like the abdominal curl machine. They are the clever ones who perform controlled ‘floor crunches’ and ‘plank’ type exercises. They don’t need or choose to use these gimmick machines.”

Firstly, in order to have the much sought after ‘6 pack’, you need extraordinary low body fat levels. Interestingly, one of the biggest predictors of low back pain is in fact obesity. Generally people who carry too much weight place too much stress on their low backs in bending due to the extra leverage that the upper torso places on the spine. Clearly, those with a ‘6 pack’ don’t carry any unnecessary baggage to place stress on their spines.

Furthermore, research shows that in the treatment of chronic low back pain, moderate exercise can sometimes be as effective as countless hours of physiotherapy and chiropractic work. Why? Because when you increase from being sedentary to slightly active, you immediately start to use and recruit dormant muscles particularly the ‘core stabilisers’. One would argue that you could directly measure the inner unit (or inner core) muscles of someone who sports a ‘6 pack’ and chances are the muscles will be reasonably functional. It’s because they use these muscles in all the movement that they do.

Those with a ‘6 pack’ generally also have above levels of flexibility. They are training machines who cover all bases including regular stretching. And what we physio’s know is that if you have flexion based back pain – the type caused or exacerbated by forward bending or prolonged sitting – then by stretching your hamstrings and gluteals your back pain should diminish somewhat.

Lastly, those with a ‘6 pack’ actually train their low back muscles and abdominal muscles. There is a lot of truth in the notion that some ‘abdominal’ training exercises place enormous and dangerous strains and pressures on the discs in the low back. For example, the abdominal curl machine (the one you sit on and have a roller against your chest and you ‘crunch’ to bring the roller to your knees) will place massive compressive pressure on the disc and potentially cause a low back injury. But the ‘6 pack’ holders generally don’t do these exercises. No they are the clever ones who do controlled ‘floor crunches’ and ‘plank’ type exercises. They don’t need or choose to use these gimmick machines.

So does that mean that in order to have a pain free low back you need a ‘6 pack’?. Absolutely not. But by implementing these principles, you may increase your chance of having a functional low back;

  1. Lose some weight
  2. Move. Do something as simple as walking, or better still walk in a pool.
  3. Stretch you hamstrings and glutes
  4. Train your abdominals in a smart and sensible manner.

Loud Snoring Predicts Metabolic Syndrome

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls
This is a great article taken from Medpage Today:
Patients with sleep symptoms are at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a prospective study found.
Difficulty falling asleep, snoring loudly, and unrefreshing sleep were significant predictors of metabolic syndrome (P<0.05). Snoring doubled the risk, while difficulty falling asleep increased the risk by 80%, Wendy Troxel, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported in Sleep.
Loud snoring also was associated with doubled risks of other metabolic abnormalities, and remained a significant metabolic syndrome predictor after further apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) adjustment, whereas other sleep symptoms were only marginally significant, the researchers noted.
Action Points  <!— —>

  • Explain that patients with sleep symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, unrefreshing sleep, and loud snoring are at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
The study evaluated 2,000 patients enrolled in an ongoing, community-based prospective heart health study. Patients were ages 45 to 74, lived in or around the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, and had no comorbidity limiting life expectancy to less than five years.
Exclusion criteria included non-black or non-white race, presence of metabolic syndrome or diabetes at baseline, and missing sleep or covariate data at baseline.
The final sample included 812 patients, with a subset of 294 patients agreeing to undergo further evaluation at home in a follow-up analysis adjusted for AHI.
The primary outcome was the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome at the three-year follow-up. Waist circumference, fasting glucose, and lipids were measured at baseline and annually for three years.
Patients were given the Insomnia Sleep Questionnaire and the Multivariable Apnea Prediction Questionnaire to evaluate sleep-disordered breathing and insomnia symptoms. Covariate measures included history of smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activeness, and depressive symptoms.
At the three year follow-up, 14% of patients developed metabolic syndrome. After adjustment for loud snoring, difficulty falling asleep remained a significant predictor (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.02), while unrefreshing sleep showed marginal significance (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.53).
The significant symptoms also were compared against the AHI. Only loud snoring remained significant as a predictor (OR 3.01, 95% CI 1.39 to 6.55), while difficulty falling asleep was marginal (OR 1.91, 95% CI 0.80 to 4.58).
Researchers noted the study was limited by self-reported sleep disturbance and lack of sleep duration measures. The AHI analysis was limited by small subsample size and the cross-sectional nature of the AHI assessment.
Healthcare professionals should look for common sleep symptoms while assessing a patient due to the measured health risks associated with some symptoms, the researchers concluded, adding that future research could look at subjective sleep complaints and psychological factors affecting patients’ poor sleep related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Do Cortisone Shots Actually Make Things Worse?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

Do Cortisone shots actually make things worse? This a great article taken from the New York Times….

In the late 1940s, the steroid cortisone, an anti-inflammatory drug, was first synthesized and hailed as a landmark. It soon became a safe, reliable means to treat the pain and inflammation associated with sports injuries (as well as other conditions). Cortisone shots became one of the preferred treatments for overuse injuries of tendons, like tennis elbow or an aching Achilles, which had been notoriously resistant to treatment. The shots were quite effective, providing rapid relief of pain. Ballyscanion/Getty Images Related More Phys Ed columns Faster, Higher, Stronger Fitness and Nutrition News . Then came the earliest clinical trials, including one, published in 1954, that raised incipient doubts about cortisone’s powers. In that early experiment, more than half the patients who received a cortisone shot for tennis elbow or other tendon pain suffered a relapse of the injury within six months. But that cautionary experiment and others didn’t slow the ascent of cortisone (also known as corticosteroids). It had such a magical, immediate effect against pain. Today cortisone shots remain a standard, much-requested treatment for tennis elbow and other tendon problems. But a major new review article, published last Friday in The Lancet, should revive and intensify the doubts about cortisone’s efficacy. The review examined the results of nearly four dozen randomized trials, which enrolled thousands of people with tendon injuries, particularly tennis elbow, but also shoulder and Achilles-tendon pain. The reviewers determined that, for most of those who suffered from tennis elbow, cortisone injections did, as promised, bring fast and significant pain relief, compared with doing nothing or following a regimen of physical therapy. The pain relief could last for weeks. But when the patients were re-examined at 6 and 12 months, the results were substantially different. Over all, people who received cortisone shots had a much lower rate of full recovery than those who did nothing or who underwent physical therapy. They also had a 63 percent higher risk of relapse than people who adopted the time-honored wait-and-see approach. The evidence for cortisone as a treatment for other aching tendons, like sore shoulders and Achilles-tendon pain, was slight and conflicting, the review found. But in terms of tennis elbow, the shots seemed to actually be counterproductive. As Bill Vicenzino, the chairman of sports physiotherapy at the University of Queensland in Australia and senior author of the review, said in an e-mail response to questions, “There is a tendency” among tennis-elbow sufferers “for the majority (70-90 percent) of those following a wait-and-see policy to get better” after six months to a year. But this is not the case for those getting cortisone shots, he wrote; they “tend to lag behind significantly at those time frames.” In other words, in some way, the cortisone shots impede full recovery, and compared with those adopting a wait-and-see policy, those getting the shots “are worse off.” Those people receiving multiple injections may be at particularly high risk for continuing damage. In one study that the researchers reviewed, “an average of four injections resulted in a 57 percent worse outcome when compared to one injection,” Dr. Vicenzino said. Why cortisone shots should slow the healing of tennis elbow is a good question. An even better one, though, is why they help in the first place. For many years it was widely believed that tendon-overuse injuries were caused by inflammation, said Dr. Karim Khan, a professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia and the co-author of a commentary in The Lancet accompanying the new review article. The injuries were, as a group, given the name tendinitis, since the suffix “-itis” means inflammation. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication. Using it against an inflammation injury was logical. But in the decades since, numerous studies have shown, persuasively, that these overuse injuries do not involve inflammation. When animal or human tissues from these types of injuries are examined, they do not contain the usual biochemical markers of inflammation. Instead, the injury seems to be degenerative. The fibers within the tendons fray. Today the injuries usually are referred to as tendinopathies, or diseased tendons. Why then does a cortisone shot, an anti-inflammatory, work in the short term in noninflammatory injuries, providing undeniable if ephemeral pain relief? The injections seem to have “an effect on the neural receptors” involved in creating the pain in the sore tendon, Dr. Khan said. “They change the pain biology in the short term.” But, he said, cortisone shots do “not heal the structural damage” underlying the pain. Instead, they actually “impede the structural healing.” Still, relief of pain might be a sufficient reason to champion the injections, if the pain “were severe,” Dr. Khan said. “But it’s not.” The pain associated with tendinopathies tends to fall somewhere around a 7 or so on a 10-point scale of pain. “It’s not insignificant, but it’s not kidney stones.” So the question of whether cortisone shots still make sense as a treatment for tendinopathies, especially tennis elbow, depends, Dr. Khan said, on how you choose “to balance short-term pain relief versus the likelihood” of longer-term negative outcomes. In other words, is reducing soreness now worth an increased risk of delayed healing and possible relapse within the year? Some people, including physicians, may decide that the answer remains yes. There will always be a longing for a magical pill, the quick fix, especially when the other widely accepted and studied alternatives for treating sore tendons are to do nothing or, more onerous to some people, to rigorously exercise the sore joint during physical therapy. But if he were to dispense advice based on his findings and that of his colleagues’ systematic review, Dr. Vicenzino said, he would suggest that athletes with tennis elbow (and possibly other tendinopathies) think not just once or twice about the wisdom of cortisone shots but “three or four times.”

The Top 5 Places For Inspiration….

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

 

I found this blog from CrossFit La, check it out……

Where & when do you get inspired? Without thinking about it, I would answer that my ideas come sporadically and randomly. But when I actually sat down to think about it, most of the best ideas I’ve had over the years have come in specific places or situations.

1. In an airplane during a long flight
2. In the car on a long drive
3. During a seminar (topic of the seminar is irrelevant and usually unrelated to the idea)
4. During a long run
5. At 5am, drinking a cup of tea, in an a still, quiet and empty house before anyone else is up.

Note to self… Keep this list and USE IT when “stuck” and in need of a breakthrough. What about you… where do you go for inspiration… and/or what do you do?

The Health Benefits of Snow Shoeing

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

CrossFitters are always coming up with new and innovative ideas for working out ….

so why not snow shoe for time?

Here is a quick informative video from the people at Livestrong on the health benefits of snow shoeing.

Check it out and let us know other innovative ways of working out in the winter……

3…2…1…. SNOW!!!

“Recovering from High Intensity Workouts”

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

This is a tremendous article from the Washington Post on “Recovering from high intensity workouts”.

Check it out and post your comments and thoughts as well…..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/09/AR2010110903278.html

Another Great Video from the One and Only KStar!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

Today’s piece is all about using a super friend to enhance your mobility outcomes.

Test/Retest Overhead–pres/push/press/ohs

Pulling in Pose style running

A Paleo Thanksgiving!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

This blog was taken from Robb Wolf’s website: 
For a full list go to:
http://robbwolf.com/2010/11/20/the-paleo-table-grain-free-dressing-stuffin-recipe-plus-a-thanksgiving-links/

Thanksgiving is only days away
I love Thanksgiving. A grand excuse to spend the day in the kitchen creating delicious food for the people I love is a holiday I can get behind. Thankfully, staying Paleo at Thanksgiving is easy enough. Most of the dishes traditionally served are naturally Paleo with a few easy modifications. The big culprits to watch out for? Bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes (maybe) and desserts.
Bread: just skip the dinner rolls. Most of the time, these are an afterthought anyhow. Who wants to eat a store-bought, over-processed gluten bomb when there are countless other great dishes to fill your belly? Don’t even bring them to the table. And if you’re at a relative’s house just stick the package of rolls under a nearby throw pillow. No one will even miss them.

Stuffing: this one can be a little more tricky. Everyone wants stuffing. Or is it dressing? I grew up in south Georgia and it was only ever called stuffing in my house, although not once was it actually stuffed inside anything. I love the idea of stuffing inside the turkey, soaking up all that juicy goodness, but if we’re not using bread or grains of some kind, that technique is hard to do justice. So we’ll stick with the stuffing-on-the-side concept of my youth. A super yummy grain-free, dairy-free recipe is below!

Mashed potatoes: if you’re avoiding nightshades or just trying to keep it low-carb/dairy-free, mashed potatoes can be a booger. I’d like to propose an alternative: mashed sweet potatoes! Yams and sweet potatoes are another traditional thanksgiving food (although in my youth they were always smothered with corn syrup and toasted marshmallows), and one that can be made into a delicious Paleo-friendly dish. Bake (or microwave) sweet potatoes, peel and mash them, mix with coconut oil or grass-fed butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a touch of maple syrup and you have one delicious side dish (or main dish, if you’re visiting my plate).

Desserts: if you enjoy pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving, you’re in luck. It’s super easy to make a really satisfying Paleo version. Sarah from Everyday Paleo has a great recipe plus a demo video on her version of pumpkin pie. I made something similar recently and for the crust, used almond flour and coconut oil. Yummmm. My husband couldn’t even tell it wasn’t a graham cracker crust.

A delicious, foolproof Paleo Thanksgiving
I’ve taken the traditional Thanksgiving menu from my youth and made a few tweaks. Here are some great, tried and true recipes from around the Web.

•Pre-dinner munchies: Italian sausage skewers, Bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed dates, Deviled Eggs (Fat Guacamole Devils would also be welcome), shrimp cocktail, olives, nuts
•Alton Brown’s roast turkey (video)
•Cranberry sauce
•Holiday yams
•Tarragon green beans
•Pumpkin pie
•And finally, stuffing!
Savory Sweet Potato Stuffing
Serves: 8
Time: about 2 hours (40 minutes hands-on time)

This has all the savory depth of flavor you’d expect from a traditional bread stuffing, and you’ll recognize familiar fall flavors in there, but get ready for some unexpected notes: the burst of sweetness from the raisins and the crunch from the pecans.

Ingredients
•4-5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
•4 tablespoons olive oil
•salt &amp; freshly ground pepper
•4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
•2 medium onions, chopped
•1/2 cup dry white wine
•8 oz. country style (not in a casing) pork sausage
•2 large eggs, beaten
•1/2 cup chicken broth
•4 tablespoons golden raisins
•3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage•1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions
1.Preheat oven to 400° F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stick the baking sheet in the oven and roast potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sausage and cook through until thoroughly browned. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, 2 to 4 minutes.
3.Transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the roast sweet potatoes and let everything cool for 10 minutes or so. Turn oven down to 375.
4.Add the beaten eggs, sweet potatoes, broth, pecans, raisins and sage to the veggie mixture and combine well. Use olive oil to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

POSE METHOD – The Revolutionary way to run faster…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

Rambo in the Perfect "Pose" Position

 

This article is taken from Triathalon Magazine from April 2003.

It has some great points about pose and why and how to help you perform it better to make you a better runner.

The thinking behind the Pose method’s development is the absence of a commonly accepted approach to teaching running technique, from a theoretical and practical standpoint. The absence of a clearly defined teaching method is explained by the following:

    Tim Don

  1. The general belief that running technique is a simplistic movement pattern
  2. That individual differences between people make it impossible to have a comprehensive holistic technique for all
  3. Different distances and speeds require a different running technique
  4. Various coaches’ points of view based on unsubstantiated, non-mechanical models
  5. Lack of a commonly accepted running model within the field of running and triathlon

The knock-on effect of these ‘stumbling blocks’ is that there are many areas that can be improved upon. The key one is that running is practiced but not taught as a skill. Hence, the Pose method proposes to teach running as a skill with its own theories, concepts, rules and variety of exercises.

If you need convincing that your running technique can’t be improved upon, recent research may convince you otherwise. Two separate studies stated that injury rates in runners and triathletes ranged from 50-70% of total available training time. A clear indication that poor technique is the underlying cause for such large numbers of runners and triathletes being injured at any one time.

The concepts
So it’s clear that there’s scope for some major changes to your running action. And, with this in mind, the following four facts are the basis behind the evolution of the Pose method of running. Take a look:

  • Running technique is the same for all athletes regardless of the speed or distance run
  • Without getting too scientific, the human organism exists and develops with the force of gravity. Consequently, when running, we should stay within a certain biomechanical framework whose limits are appropriate for utilizing gravity. In layman’s terms, let’s take advantage of gravity to help us run faster
  • Any movement is built on an infinite number of ‘poses’, or positions, through which the body goes in space and time
  • Only specific body positions play an integral role in efficient movement, other actions outside these movements are wasteful

The Pose model
In running, only one pose is used, which is known as the ‘running pose’. The running pose is a whole body pose that vertically aligns your shoulders, hips and ankles on your support limb (where you’re standing on the ball of your foot), creating an ‘S’-Iike shape in your body. You then change from one leg to the other, or one pose to another pose.

The running pose is designed to allow the body of the runner to maximize the external force of gravity, by allowing gravity to pull the runner forward by a resultant of different force vectors.

The Pose model utilizes gravity as an integral external force that moves the body forward by resultant vector composition. This is because gravity is a source of free energy producing an uninterrupted constant force, whereas other forces are intermittent, such as ground reaction force only being active during your stance. Basically, if your body is in an S shape, you can use gravity to over-balance you forwards. Consequently, you’ll be more efficient because you’re not driving yourself forward with your legs.

Efficiency is defined as the energy required to perform work divided by the work completed. In running, efficient movement occurs through the minimization of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) breakdown (the breakdown of glucose without oxygen being present) and the maximization of free energy from gratuitous forces (produced through muscle elasticity and gravity).

Dr.Romanov training Tim Don applying Pose Method®
Dr.Romanov training Tim Don
applying Pose Method®Click on the photo
to see a larger image

Use gravity
The combination of your body torque (the turning force from your body falling forwards from the support foot), produced from the vertical force of gravity, and the position of your support limb in relation to your general centre of mass creates forward movement without the necessity to push off from the ground. Efficiency, you see. Here’s the three-point plan to enable you to make the most of gravity:

  1. Your foot needs to be pulled from the ground quickly, while maintaining the vertical alignment of your ankle, hip and shoulder
  2. The recovery of your leg is initiated by the hamstring muscle group, which flexes your leg with a rapid firing action. The rapid removal of your foot from the ground initiates your body to fall forwards
  3. In the meantime, your other leg is allowed to fall towards the ground without active muscle force, due to the gravitational pull on the mass of the leg. Your leg falls naturally under your body and lands on the ball of your foot, ready again for a rapid recovery. The speed of recovery allows you to maximize the elastic stretch of the tendons of the feet, Achilles and patella (knee), while further reducing the need for energy production by ATP breakdown

The Pose method teaches you a whole new, but energy-efficient, way of running. You learn that your body leads and creates the forward momentum, while your legs need to follow by recovering in a vertical alignment of ankle, hip and shoulder.

Theory summarized
To master the Pose method, the first skill to learn is to stand in the running pose (S-like stance). Your support limb must always be flexed and in vertical alignment through your ankle, hip and shoulder (see Running drills below).

Once you’ve achieved this, you need to get used to your body leading you on the run. There’s a number of drills to achieve this skill of free falling (see Running drills below).

As you become familiar with the freefall concept, breaking contact with support is then taught through various drills used to teach you to pull your foot up from the ground, using the hamstring muscles. The hamstrings are key in this method of running (see Running drills below).

Running drills
The Pose S-like body position has your ankle, hip and shoulder in one vertical alignment. This allows the forces of running to be integrated into one efficient system.

Developing the concept of free falling
What to do Your weight is initially on the ball of your foot, but you then fall forwards (over- balance) onto your partner’s hand. As you do this, it ‘un-weights’ your foot allowing it to be pulled from the ground. Practice to experience the feeling of falling.
Key points Your body over-balances and falls forward under gravity. Your body moves forward with no muscular effort. Note: you can do this with a coach or on your own.

Drills for pulling your foot…
What to do Again, you lean onto your partner’s hand and feel your foot ‘un-weight’. As soon as this ‘un-weighting’ is felt, you pull your foot from the ground. Repeat again for the other leg. Your partner’s hand can stay on your chest or it can be removed each time.

Practice this drill until you can do it in a rhythmic manner. This will use the elastic properties of the muscle, and will ensure you get used to just using the hamstring muscle action, not your hip flexors. To increase your awareness of the hamstring pull, you can get your partner to hold your foot at your heel. This creates resistance for the foot on the pull upwards. Also, you can then place your hand on your hips flexors to see if they are being used effectively.
Key points In the Pose S-like position, your foot is pulled up towards your hip in a smooth vertical line.

Teach your body to lead you…
What to do The pony drill allows you to feel your body lead the movement, while teaching you to pull your foot from the ground. Basically, you go through your newly learned technique in slow motion. You’ll be able to clearly feel the body leading while forcing your feet to pull vertically from the ground.

You can also perform the Pose technique with the use of rubber bands. The use of rubber bands is a good way to see if you’re performing the correct leg action. (Bands are available from Proactive Health on 0870 848 4842, quoting TB220. Cost is P-22 a pair.)

Key points Practice the skill of destroying balance. If your body weight is on your heels, you can’t destruct balance. You have to come through to the ball of the foot to do so.

These drills show you how ineffective your current running technique – pushing off the ground with your foot – really is. It pushes your body upwards as well as forwards and requires significant muscular effort due to you working constantly against gravity.

Another negative point is that it your leg is driven forwards, your foot will land in front of the body and cause a breaking of your body’s forward momentum. Finally, if your foot is behind your body at toe-off, it requires significant effort to overcome inertia to drag the leg through. Whether your leg is in front or behind your body, it will affect your whole body’s ability to change from a balanced to unbalanced position without losing momentum.

Extra Tips
The best way to learn to run Pose is one step at a time. Begin by understanding the concepts of the model in your mind. Then look carefully at the photos in this feature or the Pose video (www.posetech.com), and see how Pose runners run visually. Then begin to feel these movements in your body as you complete the drills.

How long will it take to perfect? This is basically how long is a piece of string. Some athletes have picked up the method in as little as 10mins, while others have taken years. The best method to help you learn is to always to focus on technique when you run and to practice drills each session. Only run as long as you can hold technique and use the bands to keep the feel of the movement. For example, take the ankle bands and hold them at your hip, and the other end around your feet, and pull up your foot with the bands to help you maintain leg cadence.

Conclusion

  • The running pose is the ability to allow your body to freefall under the influence of gravity, directed through the general centre of mass (GCM) of your body
  • In order to prevent your body falling forwards completely, you need to change support by pulling your foot from the ground vertically under the hip, using the hamstring muscles
  • The use of all forces involved in running – gravity, inertia, ground reaction and muscle elasticity – is aimed at helping gravity pull the body forward. The coordinated timing of these forces (the time each force is acting and when it’s not) produces a comprehensive running model that can enhance your performance

The use of this method allows coaches to teach running technique much easier and faster, because the principles and drills allow direct practical improvements. Use of this method allows you to run with less effort and tension, reducing injury risks, and improving results.