All over the Internet, in running circles, there has been a lot of discussion about Pose Running and Dr. Nicholas Romanov who is the creator of the Pose Method®. Based on what I’ve read, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what Pose Running is and the theory behind it. This confusion is not just confined to those who are skeptical of Pose, but it is even present among those who are open to the technique and Dr. Romanov’s ideas. So what exactly is Pose Running Technique? To answer that question, I have to answer some questions that generally go unasked. Firstly, who is Dr. Nicholas Romanov, and how did he develop Pose Running Technique? Secondly, what is the Pose Method®? And finally, what is Pose Theory?
So, who is Dr. Nicholas Romanov? Dr. Romanov was born in and went to school in the former Soviet Union. As an athlete, he was a world class high jumper, not a runner. As part of his training in Physical Education, he was assigned to coach track and field athletes. While the all of the field events all had accepted techniques on which he could coach the athletes, to his surprise, he found that there were no such techniques for running.
The laws of physics dictate that there must be an optimal technique for the normal human form to run, just like there is an optimal technique for doing everything else, and because of this void in knowledge for one of the most fundamental athletic skills, Dr. Romanov began researching this subject. And ultimately, through his research, he was able to define optimal running technique, and his definition is what we refer to now as Pose Running Technique. At this point, I want take the opportunity to make an important distinction about his work. Dr. Romanov discovered and defined what optimal running technique is. He did not invent it, nor did he create a new running technique. People have always been running with the elements of good technique. Some more than others, but Dr. Romanov simply defined those elements, and in the process created a way to conceptualize and teach them.
Dr. Romanov is a teacher of movement, and Pose Running is just one of the movements he teaches. To teach movement he created the Pose Method®, and to conceptualize movement he developed Pose Theory. To understand Pose Running, it is important understand what these are, because Pose Running is an extension of both. The Pose Method® is a methodology for teaching efficient and effective movement, and it is not specific to running. This method teaches movement as a series of poses. Each pose in the movement is a reference point that is stable against gravity. In running, for example, there is only one pose. To learn a movement, one must learn to move from one pose to the next efficiently and effectively.
Another important aspect of the Pose Method® is that every movement has a precisely defined standard. This idea of a standard is very integral to Pose. A standard gives everyone learning Pose Running (or Pose anything) an objective way to measure the quality of his or her technique. The more one’s technique varies from the standard, the worse one’s technique is. To the best of my knowledge, no other running technique offers a standard by which runners can objectively measure their progress.
Now for the final question, what is Pose Theory? Pose Theory is the most controversial aspect of Pose Running. Pose Theory states that human movement is defined by how we interact with and manipulate gravity to move from one pose to the next. According to Pose Theory, runners move forward only by manipulating the downward force of gravity via rotational torque and the disruption of balance. In other words, the downward force of gravity pulls a runner forward because he or she is leaning forward and rotating over his or her leg. Also, according to Pose Theory, in running there is no pushing forward, there is only falling forward. If a runner attempts to push off as he or she runs, it will result in problems with his or her running technique.
Dr. Romanov was the first person to introduce the idea that we fall forward rather than push off to run back in 1977. Although this theory is still controversial, it is the same theory taught by the proponents of Chi Running, Natural Running, Guided Muscles Running, and perhaps other techniques of which I have not yet had time to study.
In this post I’ve given a quick overview of the background information needed for discussing Pose Running Technique. In part 2, I’ll discuss Pose Running technique in more detail. Until then, please feel free to contact me with questions.
Here is the second part of the introduction to Pose Running.