Sunday, November 27, 2011

How Are Running Techniques The Same?

Usually people discuss what differentiates one running technique from another, but I think there is something more important to discuss, and that is how are they the same?  Other than Pose, I've looked closely at several other "formal" running techniques like Explosive Running, BK Running, Evolution Running, Chi Running, along with various techniques devised by and for barefoot runners. Of the styles I've looked at, Pose Running, Evolution Running, Explosive Running, and BK Running were all devised by track coaches to allow highly competitive runners to get the most performance for the least amount of effort, and to prevent injuries. Chi Running is the only "formal" technique I've studied that was not devised by a track coach.

Three technical points have consistently stood out, among all the techniques developed by track coaches. The first is that they all teach the athlete to land on his or her forefoot underneath his or her center-of-gravity (COG). The second thing is a cadence of 180 steps per minute or greater. The third thing is they all have the equivalent of a rapid "pull". I'm using Pose terminology here, because the term "pull" is only used in Pose. In any case, these three elements also seem to be present in most barefoot running styles as well. It's unlikely that these common properties are merely coincidence. In one form or another, track coaches and barefoot runners have learned that these technical elements help runners to run faster, and prevent injuries. 

Chi Running is the only "formal" technique that does not have the equivalent of a rapid pull. I've written about this before, and explained why this makes Chi Running less efficient - Why Chi Running is Less Efficient than Pose Running.

I'm a Pose coach, so clearly I'm of the opinion that Pose is the best technique. So, I'm not suggesting that there are no technical differences between these techniques, because there are. I am saying that there are some very interesting commonalities, and I think they represent elements of running that are undeniably important to good running form.

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