Friday, September 14, 2012

Pose running! And how it's actually helping!

I'm going to post on this topic because I'm excited.  I sure hope I'm not getting too excited too soon!

Anyways, I've been working with a POSE coach online.  Pose technique, for those unfamiliar (though I think most runners are familiar), is basically this: "Pose, fall, pull" and repeat.  Your body should be aligned a certain way - the foot landing under the center of mass on the forefoot, and the back foot should be "pulled" immediately upon falling, and it should be pulled under the center of mass (not behind your body).  Basically, you're keeping your feet under your center of mass.  You also use gravity to help you "fall" forward, and the cadence is very quick.  I thought I had the technique, but I did not.

I've been working really hard at the drills and focusing a lot on form, and I'll tell you what: it seems to be working.  My knee feels the best right now that it has since April, and I haven't stopped running.  I cut back when I saw other injuries coming on, but now that those are gone, I've kept running.  After talking to the coach, I realized how much I've been doing wrong.  I put my foot out too far in front of me when I land, I pull up on my foot too late and allow my back leg to go straight, and I put it behind my body.  It's a lot to think about, honestly, which is why you do the drills, so it comes naturally.  I did several drills yesterday morning, then went for a short run in my Vibram five fingers, focusing a lot on form.  I didn't wear my IT Band strap, which I have been wearing for the past month or so, or any type of "assistance" and I ran the whole distance (of only 2.5 miles, but still) completely pain free.  I've also been focusing on how I walk.  The coach found all sorts of things with that, and told me to try to pay attention to how I walk as well.  It's felt kinda awkward, but I'm getting the hang of it, and that ALSO seems to be helping.  As soon as I start straightening/locking out my legs, the pain comes back, but if I focus on not straightening my leg, nothing hurts.  At all.

I'm sure there were other factors at play here.  I've been using anti-inflammatory creams and working a lot on strength.  But if you read anything about Pose, they do stress having overall strength because the whole body has to work together.  I've gotten stronger, and I've used stuff to help make the pain go away, and it wasn't getting worse, but it wasn't getting better either, so I knew there was something wrong.  And whenever I notice pain on runs, I pay attention to my form and can tell when I'm locking out my knees.  Even though I don't heel strike, I put my foot way out in front of me, and that totally disrupts everything.  I notice when I do it, my knee hurts again.  When my form is good, nothing hurts.

So, maybe I'm getting excited too soon.  I hope I don't have to post how everything hurts again.  I'll probably still use the IT band strap on my longer runs because I don't think I have the technique down well enough to maintain it for long periods of time (yet), and I DO need to do the longer runs because, well, I have a marathon in about two months!   I plan on doing twenty this weekend.  I did the 18.12 mile race without too many issues, I was sore for a few days, but was back to running pretty quick.  Anyways, I plan to walk-run the 20 this weekend.  One mile run, one minute walk.  Hopefully the mini-breaks will help me maintain my focus for that distance, and of course help me recover quicker.  I did the walk-run method for my last marathon and kept up with the marathon veterans for awhile, and actually ran pretty quick, but due to lack of endurance training and struggling with this same injury, I kinda died around 20-miles, but averaged about an 8:30 minute mile for those first 20.  It also doesn't help when you have to stop and stretch your IT band every half a mile for the last six miles :)  I hope that I can make it through this next marathon with a much better base of endurance and minimal knee pain.  Marathons are gonna hurt regardless,  but I want muscle hurt, not actual pain.

All right, there is my testimony of the short time I've been doing this.  I sure hope I have positive things to report after this weekend's long run!  It would be AWESOME if I could actually get in a few 20-milers before the marathon so I can actually sort of aim for a goal instead of just surviving!

Oh, and not to brag or anything, but I outran all the guys in our mini triathlon we did here and averaged a 6:59 minute mile pace.  Though it was a short distance (like 1.15 miles, lol) and most of the people here are here because they're hurt.  I'm still proud of myself!  Someday I WILL break fourteen minutes on my two-mile run.  I think a little more speed work and I'll be there.  My eventual goal is to earn the maximum score on the guy's Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) run at thirteen minutes.  It's a 6:30 minute mile for two miles.  I think I could do it with more specific training.

Anyways, I shall end here as I have a paper due on Sunday that I need to work on :)


1 comment:

  1. How do you like the Vibram 5-fingers? What's the longest distance you've run with them?