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'Pose Running' Analysis

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator


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    I have been see this YT clip on Pose running appear as a paid advert at the start of some other YT videos:

    Watch it you can bear it. We should play a fun game of spot the logical fallacy and spot the statements that are directly the opposite of what the scientific evidence says - we could see who can get the most!. The Pose fan boys have a habit of doing that, yet still some how still manage to make the claims that the evidence supports it ... go figure that one out.

    I even got a promotional email from some Pose group after the Vibram settlement was announced about the making of unsupported health claims Vibram made for their product - the email mentioned what Vibram did wrong! ... guess what was in the rest of the Pose email? ... unsupported claims about the injury risk benefits of Pose running .... go figure they would claim that in the same breath that talked about the Vibram problem!!! .... obviously not the smartest thing to do if you were out to earn some cred.

    The above video has been getting some mileage recently. Simon posted in on the BB facebook page and it got condemned (except by one fan boy who reckons it was evidence based and could not understand all the negativity... go figure). John Foster has done a really good critique of it (its good as he quoted me ... :drinks ) on the inForm Running site.

    There is not one shred of evidence that you get less injuries with Pose running. The preponderance of evidence on different foot strike patterns is that the injury rates are the same.

    No elite level coach identifies with Pose .....

    There are now TWO studies that have shown that Pose running is a less economical way to run.

    If you ever wanted evidence that Pose is a cult with a religious like fanaticism, you only have to see the extraordinary lengths they go to in order to discredit the science they don't like and blindly accept the science that they do like (you can't have it both ways); we had a Pose fan boy posting in this thread here and reply to my blog post on Pose running economy - you only have to read them to see how blinded they are by their "religion" ...and the use of the whole gambit of logical fallacies to support what they want to believe in......but they do not see it that way.

    I have not seen any of the Pose fanatics yet point out what is wrong with the most recent study that it is a less economical way to run ... could be that they have not seen it yet; or that they can't find anything wrong with it (I found many problems with it), or they just keeping their heads in the sand and ignoring it, hoping it goes away.

    For completeness, we have had these threads on Pose
    Pose Running: before and after videos
    The BBC: Do Pose technique running....
    Does Pose Running Really Decrease Running Economy?
    Pose technique of running: do not wear orthotics

    I have done what I can to understand Pose running (I have two of Dr Romonov's books on it) ... I read what the fan boys say (I read a lot about this) and I just don't get it. It is not supported by the evidence. It is contradicted by the evidence.

    What say you?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    BTW, I have nothing against Pose running. It probably does help some people. I made the same views on Chi running in a rant in a previous thread and in a blog post - you can see the cult like fanaticism in the Chi community in the comments on my blog post.

    Its just the misuse, misinterpretation, misquoting and misunderstanding of the research by the fan boys that I calling them out on. I do not why they have to make stuff up for.
  3. Steve York

    Steve York Member

    I came across the Pose style of running about 6 years ago and decided to put it into practice. Whilst I may not run to the style closely as is demonstrated, I certainly attempt to focus on the leaning forward torso, mid to forefoot loading with high cadence. Running is not something that I overly enjoy, but since changing my style, I certainly do more running than previously. This may be psychological, but I generally go with what feels right and to me I get a sense that this higher cadence with forefoot loading has less and shorter impact than my previous heel loading style.

    I've made some very simple observations whilst out running;

    1. Running is all about getting from A to B faster than walking.
    2. So why do we have to run in the style that we walk?
    3. Do we have to land on our heels and mimic the rest of the gait style when we run?
    4. Why is it that the fastest runners do not land on their heels?
    5. Why is it that when we run up a steep gradient we don't land on our heels?
    6. What would happen if we tried? Would we fall backwards or would our torso be flexed more than it should?
    7. Why is it that when we run down a steep gradient we land on our heels to slow ourselves down?
    8. If we were to land on the forefoot we would certainly go faster downhill than landing on the heels.
    9. What would the footprint look like in wet sand along the beach when we walk, jog or run as fast as we can?
    10. Do most people who run landing on their heels because the footwear provides the comfort to allow them to do so?
    11. How would these people run in barefeet? Would they still land on their heels?
    12. Do most people run on their heels because running is such an infrequent activity their brains are programmed to land on the heels because they spend the majority of their time walking with heel strike?
    13. Why is it that when I tire in a long endurance event that I get lazy (or lose concentration) and resume to landing on the heels? Is this part of this repetitive behaviour pattern where the walking gait pattern becomes automatic?

    These observations are obviously based upon how I run in contrast to the majority.

    It was interesting watching Cameron Brown running at an Ironman camp 2 weeks ago and some of our Olympic distance triathletes. None of them run like the majority of the population who heel strike and wear running shoes that are designed to lessen the impact with nice soft/firm cushioned heels. So with this in mind - our top athletes run fast and differently than the heel strikers - why is it that we don't promote people to run differently in order that their performance is enhanced. Would Cameron be the same athlete if he heel striked?

    Yes, maybe the claims are over exaggerated and sales pitched in these alternative styles of running, but I've been doing it somewhat long enough to appreciate some of the key points to put into practice and so far no problems.
  4. Sitting in the Qantas lounge in Brisbane International Airport currently waiting with my lovely wife to take our final flight or our trip to Townsville for next weeks conference. Couldn't let these comments go unchallenged.

    Steve, I've made some observations from my 40 years of being a competitive distance runner, my 30 years of being a sports podiatrist, and my decades of teaching running biomechanics nationally and internationally:

    1. Running is all about getting from A to B faster than walking.

    Not really, but it is true that running can be faster than walking. However, the fastest race walkers often walk much faster than the slower runners. So running is not "all about getting from A to B faster than walking", now is it?

    2. So why do we have to run in the style that we walk?

    I don't know what you are talking about. The energetics of walking is exactly opposite of the energetics of running and there are many very distinct differences between these two activities. Please explain what you mean.

    3. Do we have to land on our heels and mimic the rest of the gait style when we run?

    Over 90% of runners self-select to heel strike, and less than 5% of runners self-select to forefoot strike in the 8 studies that have been conducted so far. Again, I don't know what you are talking about. We don't "have to land on our heels", our central nervous system chooses our foot strike pattern for us.

    4. Why is it that the fastest runners do not land on their heels?

    Again you are wrong, Steve. The fastest runner at this year's Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi, is a heel-striking runner. Many elite runners are heel-strikers even at racing speeds. However, it is true that as running velocity increases, runners tend to be more likely to midfoot and forefoot strike and less likely to heel strike while running.

    5. Why is it that when we run up a steep gradient we don't land on our heels?

    For the same reason that we don't land on our forefoot when running down a steep gradient, but rather tend to heel-strike: the central nervous system of the runner self selects the most metabolically efficient, safest and least painful way for each running terrain, surface stiffness, running velocity and each running shoe.

    6. What would happen if we tried? Would we fall backwards or would our torso be flexed more than it should?
    7. Why is it that when we run down a steep gradient we land on our heels to slow ourselves down?
    8. If we were to land on the forefoot we would certainly go faster downhill than landing on the heels.

    Steve, please time yourself going down a steep downhill gradient at your fastest speed then when landing on your heel versus your forefoot. Please let us know which is easier and faster. Most elite trail runners will rearfoot strike going down steep gradients.

    Steve, it would help you if you reviewed the scientific research on footstrike patterns in running. I think it would help answer your questions and help you learn why, possibly, Pose Running is probably nothing more than one man's way to make a living out of trying to convince and sell the majority of runners that they are "running the wrong way".

    Here's some reading for you.

    Bramble DM, Lieberman DE: Endurance running and the evolution of Homo. Nature, 432:345-352, 2004.
    McDougall C: Born to run: A hidden tribe, super athletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen. Random House, New York, 2009.
    Giuliani J, Masini B, Alitz C, Owens BO: Barefoot-simulating footwear associated with metatarsal stress injury in 2 runners. Orthopedics, 34(7):e320-e323, 2011.
    Salzler MJ, Bluman EM, MD, Noonan S, Chiodo CP, DeAsla RJ: Injuries observed in minimalist runners. Foot Ankle Intl, 33(4):262-266, 2012.
    Ridge ST, Johnson AW, Mitchell UH et al: Foot bone marrow edema after 10-week transition to minimalist running shoes. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 45(7):1363-1368, 2013.
    Lieberman DE, Vankadesan M, Werbel WA et al: Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature 463: 531-536, 2010.
    Hatala KG, Dingwall HL, Wunderlich RE, Richmond BG: Variation in foot strike patterns during running among habitually barefoot populations. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52548. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052548, 2013.
    Cavanagh PR, Lafortune MA: Ground reaction forces in distance running. J Biomechanics, 13:397–406, 1980.
    Williams KR, Cavanagh PR: Relationship between distance running mechanics, running economy, and performance. J Appl Physio, 63(3):1236-1245, 1987.
    Kerr BA, Beauchamp L, Fisher V, Neil R: Footstrike patterns in distance running. In Nigg BM (Ed.), Biomechanical Aspects of Sport Shoes and Playing Surfaces, University Press, Calgary, 1983, pp. 135-142.
    Hasegawa H, Yamauchi T, Kraemer WJ: Foot strike patterns of runners at the 15-km point during an elite-level half marathon. J Strength Cond Res, 21:888-893, 2007.
    Larson P, Higgins E et al: Foot strike patterns of recreational and sub-elite runners in a long-distance road race. J Sports Sciences, 29:1665-1673, 2011
    Bertelsen ML, Jensen JF, Nielsen MH, Nielsen RO, Rasmussen S: Footstrike patterns among novice runners wearing a conventional, neutral running shoe. Gait & Posture 38:354–356, 2013.
    Kasmer ME, Xue-cheng L, Roberts KG, Valadao JM: Foot-strike pattern and performance in a marathon. Int J Sp Physio Perf, 8:286-292, 2013.
    Kasmer ME, Xue-cheng L, Roberts KG, Valadao JM: The relationship of foot strike pattern, shoe type, and performance in a 50-km trail race. J Strength Cond Res, 7/15/13, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a20ed4
    Almeida MOD, Saragioto BT, Yamato TP, Lopesa AD: Is the rearfoot pattern the most frequently foot strike pattern among recreational shod distance runners? Phys Ther in Sport, In Press, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp.2014.02.005
    Kleindienst FI: Gradierung funktioneller Sportschuhparameter am Laufschuh. Shaker. Aachen, 234-235, 2003.
    Walther M: Vorfußlaufen schützt nicht vor Überlastungsproblemen. Orthopädieschuhtechnik, 6:34, 2005.
    Nigg BM: Impact forces in running. Current Opinion in Orthopedics, 6:43-47, 1997.
    Nigg BM: Biomechanics of Sports Shoes. University of Calgary, Calgary, 2010.
    PoseTech.com [Internet]. Coral Gables, FL: Pose Tech Corporation; © 2009 [cited 2014 March 1]. Available from: http://www.posetech.com/pose_method/pose-method-of-running-technique.html
    ChiRunning.com [Internet]. Asheville, North Carolina: ChiLiving Inc,; © 2011 [cited 2014 March 1]. Available from: http://www.chirunning.com/
    Dallam GF, Wilber RL, Jadeles K, Fletcher G, Romanov N: Effect of a global alteration on running technique on kinematics and economy. J Sports Sciences, 23:757-764, 2005.
    Cavanagh PR, Williams KR: The effect of stride length variation on oxygen uptake during distance running. Med. Sci. Sports Exercise, 14: 30-35, 1982.
    Miller RH, Russell EM, Gruber AH, Hamill J. Foot-strike pattern selection to minimize muscle energy expenditure during running: a computer simulation study. Proc ASB. State College, PA, 2009
    Gruber AH, Umberger BR, Braun B, Hamill J. Economy and rate of carbohydrate oxidation during running with rearfoot and forefoot strike patterns. J Appl Physiol, 115:194 –201, 2013.
    Ogueta-Alday A, Rodríguez-Marroyo JA, García-López J: Rearfoot striking runners are more economical than midfoot strikers, Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 580–585, 2014.
    Diebal AR, Gregory R, Alitz C, Gerber JP: Effects of forefoot running on chronic exertional compartment syndrome: a case series. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 6(4):312-21, 2011.
    Diebal AR, Gregory R, Alitz C, Gerber JP: Forefoot running improves pain and disability associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Am J Sports Med, 40(5):1060-1067, 2012.
  5. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member


    Not really, but it is true that running can be faster than walking. However, the fastest race walkers often walk much faster than the slower runners. So running is not "all about getting from A to B faster than walking", now is it?

    Michael Kinchington and I were out for a run on the training track in the Olympic Village during the 2000 Olympic Games. Naturally we were going hard and showing superb "form". We were overtaken by a couple of race walkers as easily as a Ferrari overtaking a Honda Civic.
    Looking forward to seeing you and Pam in Townsville Dr. Kirby.. welcome to the Great Southern Land!
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Again, I have nothing against those who want to do Pose running. I just do not understand why those who promote it as "one size fits all" lie. They lie about it being a more economical way to run (two studies show its not) and they lie about the injury rates. Why do they do that for?
  7. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

    Craig, been following this on FB and your blog.
    I think there's nothing wrong with this Pose running but it promises more than it can deliver, which is - faster running with less effort and fewer inuries. More for less is always an attractive proposition but is rarley found in this world.

    The theory of how Pose running gives you more for less is fraught with inconsistencies of physics and logic. I especially giggled at the maths of dividing the number of steps into the distance covered to sum the totral loading thru the legs, which of course was only applied to heel toe gait and not the toe strike pose gait which by its nature significantly increasees the number of step per unit distance, which by their own logic must increase the toal sum of load thru the legs on over each run. One can go on and on pointing out the errors of logic and physics but I've got a life to get on with. :sinking:

    BTW I'm pose running right now but since there is no push off (coz it just a waste of energy pushing the body vertically) I'm just jogging on the spot at 180 spm.

    LOvely:boxing: oh hang on I've just crashed into the floor :bang:

    Regards Dave
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  8. Steve York

    Steve York Member

    Kevin, thanks for passing on your observations and I'd be a brave man to point out the errors in some of your comments considering your extensive history and expertise in the area of biomechanics. I note in your introduction of your video in one of the recent posts that you again outline your lengthy running and podiatry history and your apparent disdain for anything else but heel strike running. You generally refer to anything else within the "fingered quotations."

    I originally posted that I was a heel striker before modifying my running style resembling something similar to the Pose method. My question to you would be, did you at any period of your running history explore different styles of running or would you now appreciate there are other styles besides heel striking?

    As I pointed out, I didn't buy into the Pose hype. I took some of Romanov's theories and applied them somewhat to my running style. I've run more miles in the past 6 or so years than I ever did in the previous 30 odd. Although I've run less miles whilst heel striking, I certainly had more injuries requiring cortisone, physio and orthotic treatment.

    I can only recall 2 injuries since changing my style and both were lower calf strains requiring 2-3 week rest and no other treatment. Both strains were caused by running downhill on a 2-3 degree gradient and I'm guessing its the eccentric loading whilst running fast.

    Kevin, I appreciate your views and it would interesting for me to know if you've ever tried midfoot or forefoot striking? Barefoot running? If you did run barefooted, would you still land on your heels? In your competitive running, did you sprint on your heels? The point I'm making is that you are dogmatic in your viewpoint in regards to foot striking so knowing if you are open minded to personally explore other possibilities would certainly show me your opinion is flexible and not single minded.

    Kevin, yourself, Craig and others in my opinion are in an elite group of current BMX experts and your research determines this and I know that there are many fan boys out there that get under your skin with their purported theories and business pursuits, but for me sometimes it pays to experiment with something you may not necessarily agree with, with the possibility that you're able to use it or some of it in order to produce a better product with something you already have.

    I will never run barefoot. Too soft.
    I can't see myself running minimalistic. I'm 103 kgs. Kayanos serve me well.
    I can't see myself looking at another style such as Chi. I've already got one, plus a back up when I get tired.
    Will I ever go back to heel striking? Who knows, I'll have to do some testing for speed, heart rate etc to appreciate any difference.

    But in the meantime, I'll carry on with what I feel comfortable with.:cool:
  9. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    The only ones that get under my skin are those who lie and make stuff up and use the full trope of logical fallacies when they promote their agenda ....which is what the Pose, barefoot, etc fan boys do. Just because I call them out for that, does not mean I am promoting the opposite.

    I do half my runs in minimalist shoes; I midfoot strike when running (heel strike when fatigued). I just do not believe in evangelizing that what works for me will work for others. ... which is what the fan boys do - I just call them out on that.

    I advise transition to forefoot/midfoot in some runners. I advise against it in others. I have convinced some who have transitioned to minimalism/forefoot striking that they need to go back to heel striking.... and that is all in the context of what the evidence is saying, not what the propaganda and rhetoric is saying.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with any foot strike pattern - its just the fan boys paint heel striking as something evil, when no one has actually shown that it is. Pointing out that there is nothing wrong with heel striking does not mean "promoting" heel striking. It will not be OK for some runners and forefoot/midfoot will not be OK for other runners .... all depends on what combinations of joint moments that they have and where you want to shift loads for better running economy and reducing load in what tissues (and keeping in mind you increase it in others).

    Pose increases the loads in some tissues and will probably increase the injury risk in those tissues. Why do the Pose propagandists not mention that?
  10. Steve, thanks for replying.

    First of all, I don't know where you came up with the idea that I have a "disdain for anything else but heel striking". I have never stated such. However, I do have a disdain for people who seem to think that heel striking is an improper way to run or is a bad way to run.

    It really doesn't matter to me if a runner heel strikes, midfoot strikes or forefoot strikes since I've seen all three of these footstrike patterns for well over forty years. What does matter to me is when a runner comes to me as a sports podiatrist being injured right after they listened to some "know-nothing self-proclaimed expert" who told them that heel striking running is an improper way to run and then started trying to run on their forefoot because of what their coach or friend told them. That is what irritates me and is why I am so vocal on these matters.

    Yes, Steve, when I was in high school, over forty years ago, running 60-100 miles per week, doing often double workouts, I did experiment with different foot strike patterns during my running workouts. What I found was that at slow speeds I was most comfortable heel striking, when I ran faster I was most comfortable midfoot striking and when I sprinted I was most comfortable forefoot striking. I also noticed that most other runners on my team and that I competed against ran very similarly to me.

    My question to you is this: what does this all matter?! Was I somehow less of a runner if I did heel strike like over 90% of runners do during races? Or do you think that if a runner midfoot or forefoot strikes this somehow makes them a better or more efficient runner or will give them more "style points"?

    The only thing that matters in a race for a competitive runner is place and time, not whether you heel strike, midfoot strike or forefoot strike or how your "running form" is. For the non-competitive runners, then the things that seem to matter most is if they enjoyed themselves and didn't get injured doing the race. I doubt many runners really care about footstrike pattern. They just want to run and not get injured doing so.

    Yes, Steve, as I mentioned earlier, I did run with other footstrike patterns in high school and in college, as a member of the UC Davis Aggies cross-country and track teams for four years. I ran with all three footstrike patterns depending on speed, terrain and shoes I was wearing. In fact, I often ran, along with many of my teammates, barefoot during our one mile interval workouts on a grassy field next to the track.

    I would often run a mile in about a 5:03 minute mile pace while barefoot and would run, at a equivalent effort, about a 5:08 minute mile pace with shoes and orthotics on. So, after having this experience as a competitive runner over 35 years ago that I could run faster while barefoot, this certainly made me laugh when people who don't know my history as a runner seem to think that I somehow am ignorant about barefoot running or that they and their barefoot-loving friends somehow invented something new a few years ago when they were all promoting barefoot running as the best and most natural way to run.

    Steve, many college distance runners were training barefoot over three decades ago. This is no big deal. It was just part of our training and, by the way, we didn't think anything less of a runner if he was a heel striker, midfoot striker or forefoot striker. We only cared if he beat us in a race which then increased our respect for them as competitive runners. I beat many runners who were forefoot or midfoot strikers or heel strikers and I was beat by many runners who were forefoot or midfoot or heel strikers over my many years of distance racing.

    Coming from my long history as a competitive distance runner and student of running biomechanics for many decades, I don't understand this bizarre focus on footstrike patterns. What I am trying to accomplish, as a sports podiatrist and podiatric educator that has been teaching running biomechanics for three decades, is to provide a counter argument to those who are so focused on running footstrike patterns that they seem completely ignorant and oblivious to running biomechanics as a whole by dong so. They seem to be so focused on the trees that they can't see the forest!
  11. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Not Pose related:
    For example, I just now finished reading this absolute huge piece of excrement:
    Should they not be called out on that? Some people are so gullible that they fall for that excrement and actually believe it. There is no evidence for; it contradicts the basics laws of physics; its full of made up stuff ... its total snake oil and pseudoscientific woo. They use big 'sciency' sounding words to try and fake the credibility. It is a made up pure fantasy that they delude themselves into wanting to believe .... all to sell a product.

    Just because I call them out on this, does not mean I don't think people should not go barefoot.
  12. Steve York

    Steve York Member

    Thanks for your responses Craig and Kevin. I certainly respect your pursuit to challenge the misleading and fictitious claims made by a few out there and continue to do so. And I appreciate your background history with respect to running - walking the talk, so to speak. Not that your research credentials were not enough, but together with your running pedigrees have given me a better appreciation of your thinking.
  13. Steve:

    I believe both Craig and I have similar backgrounds. Both of us were distance runners in our youth and have tried to use our knowledge of running biomechanics to counter some of the nonsensical statements made by many others regarding barefoot running, minimalist shoes and footstrike patterns in running. Neither of us have a problem with barefoot running, running in minimalist shoes or with forefoot or midfoot strikers. We do, however, tend to have a problem with those that promote these styles of running as somehow better than other forms of running.

    I'm glad you have been able to run more recently and you should continue your reading of the literature because, currently, these subjects are still very hot topics and should keep us all busy staying up with the literature for many years to come.:drinks
  14. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Here is a long video on Pose from the horses mouth.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  15. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


    Connie Sol;
    A DISSERTATION Submitted to the Faculty
    of the University of Miami in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
    the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
    Coral Gables, Florida
    December 2016

  16. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Nope. Wrong. Fail. Next.

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