Strike a pose, part 2

Week 3 of the transitioning program. What did I learn so far?

Analyse your running gait

heel versus forefoot strike
Heel strike vs. forefoot strike - ©

The base of Pose method is forefoot strike. Meaning you land on the ball of your foot. If you’ve never run on your forefoot, you need to learn this. This is the primary focus of the transitioning program. So I started to do those excercises and filming my workouts. Especially the drills that make you run in place on a high cadence (94-96 BPM).

screenshot from my running gait
Screenshot from my running gait drill video - focussing on pulling with your hamstrings

I find it very hard to pull with your hamstrings so I tried various techniques - lifting your knees, leaning forward a bit more, all small variations to my current gait - to activate them and feel the difference between those techniques. I couldn’t get the hang of it. It was very difficult for me. So this drill actually made it worse for me because I started overpulling and using my hip flexors too much. A small but present nagging in my right hip was noticeable. So after only 2 or 3 short runs in the entire transitioning program I was “injured” again. Major bummer. Another 4 days of RICE was forced upon me.

This gave me some time to do some analysis.

What am I doing wrong?

I obviously was missing out on some crucial information. So I started to reread some of the chapters in the Running Revoluton and Unbreakable Runner books. Also made some playlists on Youtube (1 2 3 4 5 6) and rewatched every video several times. Then it hit me. They focus on landing on the ball of the foot by getting the right pose and leaning (read: falling) forward to get that forefoot strike. But wait … I already am a forefoot runner. So I don’t need these excercises.

I started forefoot running in June 2014. After a run with my long lost niece An, a triathlete, I noticed here forefoot stride. I was jealous. Everything seemed so smooth and easy. So I started to incorporate forefoot strike in my running routine. First a few intervals of a 100m. Gradually building up until I could run 1k and more. It took me 6 months until I could run 16k (10mi) with a forefoot strike. Then my left ankle couldn’t take it anymore.

So I already had the correct technique. Although it could use some improvement ;-) I already was a forefoot runner but my muscles weren’t ready for it. I changed my training in the transitioning program a bit. Less drills and a lot more core excercises and lower leg strengthening excercises and more actual running. Still no more than 10k due to strict doctor’s orders.

Journal log

Current feeling during running: Relaxed and everything seems to go smoother. My speed increases while my heart rate is a bit lower than before. Calves are still a bit sore after running. Will have to look into that. My right shin is “itching” a bit so injury paranoia hits me again.

Let’s see how this will turn out.

To be continued…