According to Dr. Romanov, the pull is the most overlooked aspect of Pose Running, and at the same time maybe the most important. Most people who take up Pose Running focus more on the landing than on the pull and as a result they end up with a "late pull". My experience bares this out. It is relatively easy to get people landing on the ball of their foot, but getting them to pull their foot off the ground quickly is very difficult.
What is the pull? The pull is very simply pulling your foot off the ground towards your hips. The timing of the pull is very important, and the faster you are running the more important it is. Ideally the foot is pulled up at the same time the lead foot begins to descend from the Pose "figure 4" position. Your feet should pass by each other in mid air. As the lead foot goes down and the rear foot goes up. If one's timing is perfect, the lead foot will touch the ground as the rear foot reaches its final destination underneath the hip.
Some important points about the Pull:
- The foot is never pulled higher than necessary to accommodate the speed one is running. When running slowly the foot is pulled only a short distance from the ground. When sprinting, the foot may very well be pulled almost high enough to to touch the hip.
- The "late pull" slows the runner down by delaying his or her recovery from the fall, thus delaying his or her next fall forward into the next stride. In other words, it interrupts the timing of the runner's technique.
- When running, the the runner should usual focus primarily on pulling his or her foot off the ground as quickly as possible. As soon as the foot touches the ground, the runner should be trying pull it up. It is impossible to pull too quickly, but it very easy to pull too slowly.
The Place (or the landing):
The Pose running mantra is "Pose, Fall, Pull". The placing of the foot and the landing are not even referenced. There are a couple of reasons for this. If you perform the Pose Running Fall and the Pose Running Pull correctly, the landing will happen quite naturally. The runner will land on the ball of his or her foot, underneath his or her hips or the general center of mass (also referred to as the GCM). However, in my experience, most people need to be taught how to land.
There are two things to keep in mind about the landing. First the runner should not break from the "figure 4" position until he or she has no choice (see my entry on the Fall). In other words, hold the Pose as long as possible. The runner should not rush his or her foot to the ground; this will result in landing too hard, and in front of the GCM. Place the foot down, don't stomp it down.
When running one should always feel light on one's feet. Any feeling of hitting the ground hard, or any loud noises when landing probably means that the runner is rushing to put his or her foot to the ground. When it comes to running technique, timing is everything.
Below is the sequence starting with the Pose moving into the Fall, then into the Transition, then to the Landing and then back to the Pose. I added an illustration of the transitional phase with the hope that the reader will see more clearly how the technique is executed.
Follow the sequence from the bottom right to top left, or from right to left depending on how your browser is displaying the pictures.