Updated: October 20th, 2011



Why do so many people fail in their efforts to learn and adopt Pose Running Technique? A lot of people start learning Pose, but most do not succeed. Why? Based on my experience, here are my opinions on this question.

Lack of Commitment
Like many activities, many people will start to explore Pose Running Technique, but other priorities in their lives will take precedence. They simply do not have the necessary combination of time, motivation and energy needed to learn Pose.

Unrealistic Expectations
Most people greatly underestimate how difficult it will be to change their running technique. I have consistently worked with people who show up for a lesson fully expecting to master Pose Running Technique within an hour, and plan on using their newly mastered skill for the 15K run they have planned the next day. When I explain to them that, for the majority of people, learning Pose is not a one day process, I can see the disappointment in their faces. Usually the next question is, “Well, how long does it take?” The honest answer to that question is that it takes as long as it takes. Everyone is different. Some people will pick it up quickly, but most people will not. It will also depend heavily on one’s level of commitment and willingness to do the required training.

Obsessive Mileage
I do see a fair number of people who are willing to do whatever it takes to improve their technique with the exception of reducing their mileage. Unfortunately, the process of changing running technique requires you to learn how to use your body differently, and because you are using your body differently, you will need to allow for a period of adjustment to build up muscles and tendons that were not used as much with your previous technique.

If you refuse to reduce your mileage there are two likely scenarios. The first is that if you maintain your new technique without temporarily reducing the mileage and intensity of your training, then you will very likely get injured. The second scenario is that you will begin to compromise your technique to avoid injury, and fail to make the transition.

Bad Timing
I regularly get contacted by people who are several weeks or months into training for a Marathon, and as an after -thought they also want to learn better running technique as part of their preparation. Unfortunately, this is the worst time to work on technique, because, as I mentioned above, heavy training and learning Pose Running Technique are not compatible goals. When I tell these people, that they will probably have to make a choice between continuing to train for their Marathon, and learning Pose, most people choose to continue training for their race.

Lack of Access to Pose Coaches
The unfortunate reality is that there are very few certified Pose coaches available. It is also another unfortunate reality that the quality of certified Pose coaches varies greatly. If you don’t have access to a Pose coach, then your only option is to try coach yourself. I have seen a few people do this with some success, but most people who try do not succeed. If you choose to go this route, you have your work cut out for you.

This may be controversial, but in my opinion, here in America (where I live and grew up), I believe that there is a cultural distain for “doing things by the numbers”. It seems as if everyone wants to skip the beginning steps, and jump directly into advanced training. This expectation of becoming an “instant expert” ultimately results in people becoming lifelong beginners who think that they much better than they actually are. This tendency may not be unique to Americans, but when I’ve had the opportunity to work with people from other countries, in general, they seem to be much more willing to accept that learning a new skill is a process that takes time and effort, and that there are no shortcuts.

The Takeaway
If you are planning to learn Pose Running Technique, remember these things:

It will probably take a while to master the technique. As with any new skill, some people will pick it up quickly, but most people will not.
Leaning a new skill is a process, do not expect find a shortcut to mastering it. Running is a skill, and learning to run with good technique is no different than learning any other skill.
As with any new skill, you will have to think about what you are doing while you are learning it. Eventually it will become second nature, but initially it will require you to focus on what you are doing.
You will have to allow for a period of adjustment that will require a reduction in both the volume and intensity of your training. You will be using your body differently, and if you do not allow your body time to adapt, then you risk failure, injury, and probably both.
There are no shortcuts, no tricks, and no secrets to learning Pose. For most people, it will take time, practice, focus, and self-discipline.

In my next post, I plan to discuss shoes for Pose Running. Until then, please feel free to contact me with questions related to Pose Running.

Ken Schafer


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