Pose Running and Running Economy

This is not exactly new research (its from 2005), but the response to the research in the blogosphere has been telling and follows a familiar pattern and it still continues to be mentioned, which kindled my interest to revisit this paper and review the reaction to it (which is what I like doing!). This study transitioned 8 runners to the Pose method of running and used 8 as a control group. They measured a number of kinematic and economy variables at baseline and follow-up:

Effect of a global alteration of running technique on kinematics and economy
Journal of Sports Sciences Volume 23, Issue 7, 2005
George M Dallam, Randall L Wilber, Kristen Jadelis, Graham Fletcher & Nicholas Romanov
In this study, we examined the consequences of a global alteration in running technique on running kinematics and running economy in triathletes. Sixteen sub-elite triathletes were pre and post tested for running economy and running kinematics at 215 and 250 m · min−1. The members of the treatment group (n  =  8) were exposed to 12 weeks of instruction in the “pose method” of running, while the members of the control group (n  =  8) maintained their usual running technique. After the treatment period, the experimental group demonstrated a significant decrease in mean stride length (from 137.25 ± 7.63 cm to 129.19 ± 7.43 cm; P  < 0.05), a post-treatment difference in vertical oscillation compared with the control group (6.92 ± 1.00 vs. 8.44 ± 1.00 cm; P  < 0.05) and a mean increase in submaximal absolute oxygen cost (from 3.28 ± 0.36 l · min−1 to 3.53 ± 0.43 l · min−1; P  < 0.01). The control group exhibited no significant changes in either running kinematics or oxygen cost. The global change in running mechanics associated with 12 weeks of instruction in the pose method resulted in a decrease in stride length, a reduced vertical oscillation in comparison with the control group and a decrease of running economy in triathletes.

This was a well designed and reported study. The authors conclusions were clear and supported by the data:

In the present study, application of the pose method of running instruction was successful in modifying the participants’ running mechanics as illustrated by a significant increase in stride rate and a reduction in vertical oscillation in the experimental group compared with the control group at a given treadmill velocity following the instructional period. However, the modifications in running mechanics elicited by the pose method were also associated with a significantly increased submaximal oxygen cost.

My random comments:

  • The experimental design was appropriate to answer the research question. The design is not flawed, as claimed on a few Pose method blogs. Their criticisms were directed at something that was not the research question and just shows a poor understanding of the scientific process and how protocols are developed to answer the question.
  • Many have criticized the small sample of 8 in each group (but no one was concerned about the 9 in a study on impact reduction and Chi Running). One thing you notice when you check out how those in the blogosphere comment on research is that the sample size is either adequate or not adequate depending if they like the results of the study or not. They are just showing their ignorance of sample size calculations, power analysis, statistical significance and effect sizes. Even though the numbers were “small”, the difference was statistically significant!
  • When it comes to the validity and reliability of the outcome measures, they all look fine to me. The study could have been improved with more rigorous blinding of assessors as to which group subjects were in during the follow-up assessments. The randomization process looked fine, but they did not report the values for the baseline characteristics in each of the two groups which would have been helpful. These are minor issues.
  • Yes it was on a treadmill, but the baseline and follow up measures were done under the same conditions. I see no reason to believe that the same results could have occurred if this was done overground (not that you can measure running economy overground!).
  • Probably the main criticism you read on this study, is did the subjects actually learn the Pose technique correctly and was the 12 week period sufficient? The athletes in the study had one-on-one coaching which is probably more than the average runner gets if transitioning to the Pose method, so you have to assume that they did learn the technique properly and as Ross Tucker pointed out in his analysis: “Now, if you cannot learn a technique when you have one-on-one guidance and teaching for 12 weeks, then HOW is it feasible to promote the technique to individuals to learn using nothing more than a DVD, a weekend seminar and a series of books?
  • Some have gone as far as dismiss the very basis of the ‘scientific method’ as they did not like the results of the study. Yet, paradoxically, happily accept the results of research that they do like the results of. You can not have it both ways. Many Pose method bloggers also like to dismiss this as ‘just one study‘, but happily accept another ‘just one study‘ if it supports their world view …. oh the irony!
  • It is also notable, the extraordinary lengths that a number of those who market promote tout try to impose their views on coach pose running went to debunk or discredit the research by grasping at insignificant straws in the study (eg), yet do not hold other research that they claim supports their views to the same standard of evaluation. Those that do this just open themselves to ridicule and do their cause no good at all. I am all for all research being critically appraised, I just object to those who do it to different standards depending on if it does or does not support their world view.

The take home message from this study for me is that major changes in running form come at a cost.  As always: I go where the evidence takes me until convinced otherwise.

POSTSCRIPT: I just had a thought on this when out for a run this morning and not sure why this did not occur to me before, as it is obvious.  When you go from heel striking to a midfoot or forefoot strike there are greater ankle dorsiflexion moments and greater rearfoot eversion moments. This means that the calf muscles and posterior tibial muscle are working harder when midfoot or forefoot striking than when heel striking, so it is commonsense and logical that Pose running is less economical, which is exactly what the research showed. Not sure how I missed  this point as it is obvious.

POSTSCRIPT 2: Another study has shown that Pose running is not more economical.

Dallam, G., Wilber, R., Jadelis, K., Fletcher, G., & Romanov, N. (2005). Effect of a global alteration of running technique on kinematics and economy Journal of Sports Sciences, 23 (7), 757-764 DOI: 10.1080/02640410400022003

Last updated by .

, ,

31 Responses to Pose Running and Running Economy

  1. Ken Schafer April 13, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    I’m sure you are referring almost exclusively a single blog post on my blog. Otherwise please show me the some evidence of the “extraordinary” effort to discredit this study, or any other, by Pose coaches. As far as I am aware, no one else has written a critique of this study, certainly no other Pose coach, and I don’t think that one blog post qualifies as an extraordinary effort.

    While I do teach Pose running technique and charge for lessons. That is true. I hardly think my little website can be considered a massive marketing effort to impose my views on anyone. You also seem to freely cast aspersions about the integrity of Pose coaches, by hinting that our biases are influenced by money. Many people would say the same thing about Podiatrists, although I would never question someone’s integrity so freely. In any case, my income tax statements clearly show that I lose money teaching Pose.

    Despite your clear effort to wildly exaggerate the reaction of the Pose community based on my one blog post, I will say that some of your criticisms are almost fair.

    I didn’t offer any other scientific articles in my post as evidence. However, in the blog post, I was not making the claim that Pose is more efficient, I was simply making the point that this study was not adequately designed to fairly assess effect of Pose running technique on efficiency when taught properly. I did not see any reason to offer support for a claim that I was not making.

    Your claim that many people have double standards on research depending on whether or not they like the results is absolutely a valid point, but it not unique to the Pose community. This is pervasive problem that is common outside (and inside) the scientific community. Also, in my blog post, I linked to another post where I essentially made that point while explaining why I don’t generally like to quote scientific studies. I believe it was you who commented positively on that post on Podiatry Arena.

    The study may have answered the question it was designed answer. I will concede that point, but it did not answer the question of whether or not Pose when taught properly is more or less efficient as a running technique. While I understand that this study may not have been designed answer that question, many people are incorrectly claiming that it did. This study did not use the recommended Pose training methods. No Pose coach would ever train runners in the way they did in the study.

    Ross Tuckers Criticism is not really valid. “Now, if you cannot learn a technique when you have one-on-one guidance and teaching for 12 weeks, then HOW is it feasible to promote the technique to individuals to learn using nothing more than a DVD, a weekend seminar and a series of books?“ His 12 weeks of one-on-one coaching did not follow the recommended training methods. This is not an insignificant point! If you teach something wrong, then don’t be surprised when the students fail to lean it properly. Also, no one is claiming that learning Pose is easy. I’ve even stated that in my critique. Nor does anyone claim it can be done in the way Ross Tucker described.

    To other readers, here is link the “extraordinary effort by Pose coaches” to discredit this study. It took me less than an hour to write it. You will also notice that I was very clear about my lack of academic credentials, and that I was open to criticism of my blog post. I invite you to read it and please send me your comments if you wish. I believe you will find it to be an honest attempt to give a fair and balance, if flawed, critique.

    http://www.posecoachblog.com/2010/10/critique-of-one-study-of-pose-running.html

    I leave you now as I have to meet with other Pose coaches to start another extraordinary effort to discredit a study that had results we don’t like.

  2. Craig April 13, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    One only has to look at the length you went to over several posts on your site to discredit the study, yet you do not apply the same standard of evaluation to other research you like to see the point I was making. Its called cherry picking.

  3. Ken Schafer April 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Your insistence on exaggerating what is on my blog only serves to undermine your credibility and further expose your biases. One post and one follow up post with some comments does not qualify as going to great lengths.

    You also have no way to know what standards I use to evaluate any other studies. So your argument that I was cherry picking falls flat. Also, many of your counter points to the arguments in post, are flawed, but I’ll leave it to others to judge which of us is cherry picking. Unfortunately, getting into a bickering match is not like to be productive.

  4. Michigan Biomech April 15, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    Ken, I am with Craig on this one. I have done a lot of reading on the Pose Method as I teach the biomechanics of running and can not see a compelling reason why anyone would even want to do it. The biomechanics of some aspects of it do not make sense. The only evidence on it above show it is less economical. All the physiologists and biomechanists I know, who have no vested interests, accept that research. The only people who do not accept it are the Pose method people who have a vested interest and the only reason I can see for that is the almost religious like fervour that adherents to the Pose Method show. Like any religion, it stops you seeing the wood for the trees. Can you not see how the vested interest in your ‘religion’ of Pose blinds you?

  5. bob April 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    If you look at pose it has only 3 real elements. Leaning forward, landing under the hips, and recovery of the foot towards the hip. Nearly every running coach who advises on technique finds these traits desirable. Watch most good runners and that’s how they run.
    Michigan Bio – I would be interested to know how you teach some one to run.
    I don’t believe pose is flawless but it does have some good merits.

  6. Craig April 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    For those following the comments, i just added a postscript above:

    POSTSCRIPT: I just had a thought on this when out for a run this morning and not sure why this did not occur to me before, as it is obvious. When you go from heel striking to a midfoot or forefoot strike there are greater ankle dorsiflexion moments and greater rearfoot eversion moments. This means that the calf muscles and posterior tibial muscle are working harder when midfoot or forefoot striking than when heel striking, so it is commonsense and logical that Pose running is less economical, which is exactly what the research showed. Not sure how I missed this point as it is obvious.

  7. ray April 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Better tell bolt, Geb and Rudisha to switch to heel striking to speed up.

  8. Craig April 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Why?

  9. ray April 17, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    Because then they would be more efficient. As you state ‘This means that the calf muscles and posterior tibial muscle are working harder when midfoot or forefoot striking than when heel striking, so it is commonsense and logical that Pose running is less economical’
    Pose is not the only running style that uses a forefoot landing and hence uses those muscles.

  10. Craig April 17, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    I still do not get why a sprinter would want to heel strike for and what that has to do with Pose running being less economical?

    The evidence from the research above is that Pose Running is less economical – its that simple and that is what the research says.

    There are plenty of elite runners who heel strike just fine and can still run fast (just look at how many heel strikers there where in the finals at the men’s 10k at the US Olympic trials for a perfect example)

    Midfoot or forefoot striking uses muscles more to enable them to get on to the midfoot or forefoot, so its logical that it will be harder work –> less economical. Being on the forefoot allows you to run faster –> the best way to run is going to be trade off’s for individuals between them.

  11. ray April 17, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    Logical or scientific fact? Read what I quoted you wrote. You say that landing forefoot means calf and post tib work harder so it’s less economical. So by definition you are saying forefoot running is uneconomical compared to heelstriking. I’m not talking pose just ff in general.

  12. Craig April 17, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Of course it is. You can not forefoot or midfoot strike without the calf muscles firing more.
    It is logical (ie biologically plausible and theoretically coherent) and it was shown in this study I discussed here: http://www.runresearchjunkie.com/impact-reduction-with-chi-running/
    higher pre-activation of the gastrocnemius lateralis

  13. ray April 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    So if its more economical to heel strike why wouldn’t geb, rudisha and bolt etc turn to heel striking.
    Do you have any links to running economy improvements in heel striking subjects.
    Also do you have any further info on changes/injuries etc post 12 week to the pose trained athletes.

  14. Craig April 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    ….probably because they would not be able to run as fast.

    No one has any data on injury rates before and after Pose running. All we have is the wishful thinking from those that promote the Pose Method that there is less, but they are making that up and have no idea if its true or not – they just wish it was true. We have anecdotes from some that they get less injuries after starting Pose running and anecdotes from others that they got more and clinicians saying they see injuries in those doing it … but anecdotes are not data.

  15. Tord April 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    While it might be correct that mf-ff striking is most often less economical, you cannot draw this conclusion from the fact that the lower leg backside muscles become more active, since in this situation the upper leg muscles can reduce its power output, while still maintaining speed. Whether the total power output is increased or not depends on how efficient the elastic recoil and the fuel+oxygen->power conversion is in the lower leg compared to the upper leg.

    Even if economy is worse for ff-mf than heal (it probably is in most cases), it might still increase performance for some runners that are limited by their capacity in the upper legs, since load on the muscles are more evenly distributed with ff-mf striking. There can be too much focus on running economy sometimes when it is the performance that counts in the end.

  16. ray April 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    So running economy is not that important then?
    So really what that study shows is that pose running training doesn’t improve running economy after 12 weeks of training.
    I would like to see more of what happend once adaption had been given a chance to take effect and also pre injury rates and post training injury rates after a substantial time had elapsed.

  17. Craig April 19, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    I still don’t get why you think sprinters should start heel striking for based on this research?

    @Todd:

    “Even if economy is worse for ff-mf than heal (it probably is in most cases), it might still increase performance for some runners that are limited by their capacity in the upper legs, since load on the muscles are more evenly distributed with ff-mf striking. There can be too much focus on running economy sometimes when it is the performance that counts in the end.”

    Exactly, for a competitive athlete it is about getting from point A to point B the fastest way possible and there may well be tradeoffs between “form” and “economy” to get there the fastest way. I suspect that what and how much of each tradeoff will be very subject specific and no ‘one size fits all‘ (ie the point I made in the comment above about the variations of the foot strike pattern in the men finals 10k at the US Olympic trials … and NONE of then were using the Pose Method!). The form used by sprinters is not going to get you very far in a marathon (which is why I just don’t get the point that ray keeps going on about).

  18. ray April 19, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    To my knowledge geb and rudisha are not sprinters. We can leave bolt out of it if you like so you don’t keep just mentioning sprinting.

  19. Kevin A. Kirby, DPM April 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    The foot striking pattern for one runner may be less economical for another runner depending on their particular structural and/or functional characteristics.

    For example, in my experience of many years of examining the ankle joint dorsiflexion of runners, the runners who tend to forefoot strike also tend to have the least amount of ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed (knee extended dorsiflexion of the ankle doesn’t seem to correlate to footstrike).

    My hypothesis is that runners that have the least ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed self-select to forefoot strike since this requires less metabolic energy than heel striking, where they would need to devote a significant amount of muscle energy at the end of the forward recovery phase to be able to dorsiflex their ankles sufficiently to heel strike.

    This means that those runners that have plenty of ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed will tend to naturally rearfoot strike because they have to spend more metabolic energy to forefoot strike since they would need to use their ankle joint plantarflexors excessively just before footstrike to forefoot strike. However, in those runners who naturally have a “tighter soleus muscle”, will find they are quite comfortable forefoot striking since their more natural plantarflexed ankle joint position at footstrike doesn’t require extra metabolic energy in order to land forefoot first.

    These are hypotheses based on my observations. However these observations have been quite consistent over my 30 years of examining runners and correlating their footstrike patterns in running to their ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion with the knee extended and their knee flexed.

  20. Kevin A. Kirby, DPM April 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    The foot striking pattern for one runner may be less economical for another runner depending on their particular structural and/or functional characteristics.

    For example, in my experience of many years of examining the ankle joint dorsiflexion of runners, the runners who tend to forefoot strike also tend to have the least amount of ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed (knee extended dorsiflexion of the ankle doesn’t seem to correlate to footstrike).

    My hypothesis is that runners that have the least ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed self-select to forefoot strike since this requires less metabolic energy than heel striking, where they would need to devote a significant amount of muscle energy at the end of the forward recovery phase to be able to dorsiflex their ankles sufficiently to heel strike.

    This means that those runners that have plenty of ankle joint dorsiflexion with their knee flexed will tend to naturally rearfoot strike because they have to spend more metabolic energy to forefoot strike since they would need to use their ankle joint plantarflexors excessively just before footstrike to forefoot strike. However, in those runners who naturally have a “tighter soleus muscle”, will find they are quite comfortable forefoot striking since their more natural plantarflexed ankle joint position at footstrike doesn’t require extra metabolic energy in order to land forefoot first.

    These are hypotheses based on my observations. However these observations have been quite consistent over my 30 years of examining runners and correlating their footstrike patterns in running to their ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion with the knee extended and their knee flexed.

    Cheers,

    Kevin A. Kirby, DPM

  21. Peter Millard April 30, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    I agree with a lot of the above. Pose running has very little going for it and I can’t believe that people are that gullible to fall for it. The biomechanics experts have debunked the “physics” that its based on. The above study shows its less economical to run that way. There are some elements of the method that might be useful to some runners, but to continue to promote it has the way for everyone to run is now just making people like Ken look like religious fanatics promoting their religion. Kens post above just confirms that perception.

    • Hans May 2, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Peter Millard. I am interested in your comment about the physics of the POSE method being debunked. Could you provide some references for this statement. I have myself seen several statements like this, and some actual attempts of lines of reasoning, but none that can be seen as very in depth, and also quite easy to debunk themselves. But there are also several problems with Romanov’s, POSE theory. The debate on the issue seem to suffering from a lack of clarity and precise theory from both parties. It would be great if you could refer me to your source.

    • Grunde July 20, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Peter,

      Like you I do believe that Pose idea that gravity (ohh sorry; gravity torque) is driving us forward as we run (sorry again; fall) is bullshit. In fact as a physicist it makes absolutely no sense. Still “Dr. Romanow” claims that the ground reaction force doesn’t move us forward and that “the science community” have formed an agreement on this…

      So even if it’s easy to explain why the physics (or physics explanations in Pose ™) in Pose is flawed, I like Hans I would like to see references 🙂

      Cheers,
      Grunde

      • Hans Holter Solhjell July 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

        Hi Grunde.

        Could you expand on your comment that the Pose theory of the physics of running makes no sense?

        Cheers,

        Hans

  22. CarrotChasing May 2, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Thank god shoes came along to make us all heel strikers and therefore more economical…talk about religion.

  23. Craig May 2, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Where did you get the information from that heel striking and shoes was more economical? I thought I had read all the research on running economy and I do not recall seeing that study. I must have missed it. Could you please send me the reference as I would like to read it.

    • ray May 26, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      In response to your question above to carrotchaser, perhaps he got it from this …..Quote ” forefoot striking uses muscles more to enable them to get on to the midfoot or forefoot, so its logical that it will be harder work –> less economical”

  24. Brent June 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    12 weeks is probably not enough time for the body to adapt to changes in movement patterns and usage of different muscles. It takes a long time to develop economy for any type of mechanics you follow.

    I don’t have any opinion on Pose or any other approach. Just pointing out that, if there are actual advantages, it may take some time for the body to adapt before they really take hold. The study still certainly proves though that Pose is not a magic overnight solution.

  25. Rob June 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    I am new to this debate and I hope my perspective may add to the pool of meaning.

    I’ve bee training for awhile and wonder about the multiple dimensions that all can impact gait.

    Body Size
    Body type
    Genetics/Ethnicity
    Gender
    State of Training
    Ankle Mobility/Stability
    Hip Mobility/Stability
    Glute/Hamstring/Hip Strength
    Posture
    Assymetries Resulting from the Above
    Trunk Stability
    Foot type
    Shoe Type
    Experience
    Age
    PREVIOUS INJURY

    These are just some of the dimensions to look at when evaluating any person/client when running. We do not do a service to any particular dimension when we choose to skip over these elements or refuse to evaluate their impact.

    Here’s what I want to know as a coach and as a curious human.

    How does adaptability and state of training impact the efficacy of one running style compared to another.

    I like that the study puts some measures on Pose. However would the study be different if we took experienced Posers (say 2-5 years experience) versus non Posers and evaluate the same measures.

    From there should we evaluate the dimensions of all elements I listed above?

    For example, if I evaluated how certain types of strength and mobility training impacted both populations over the course of 6 months? What would the result be? Would one population get better? Worse? No change?

    While I cannot draw any real conclusions, what I care about as a coach of those in the Recreational Running World is are clients running effectively and safely without compromising their long term health?

    I still see too many variables. We need more data.

    As a coach, I will continue to focus on resolving as many issues that result in gait dysfunction. Asymmetries, lack of strength, trunk instability, mobility and stability problems, poor posture, etc. My theory is if you focus on delivering more balanced athletes that their running style is quite irrelevant because they will have the necessary ability to adapt to any style because of their general physical preparedness.

    Thanks for the discussion and the opportunity to share my perspective as a coach. It has been enlightening.

  26. Yogi July 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    I’m quite late to this party….but I wanted to chime in;
    I will be 60 years old this year. I began ‘serious’ cycling in 1978 and added running about 1990, participating in countless races (duathlons, etc.) until 2002. That year I was diagnosed with a
    DVT (blood clot in the left leg) and a Pulmonary Embolism (parts of the clot travelled through the heart and lodged in both lungs). Needless to say, I was out of commission as far as returning to my previous athletic level, especially since I had a recurrence of the DVT in 2007. I’ve taken blood thinners every day since then.
    Gradually, I began cycling and running again. A very long, slow process, but I refused to just quit.
    Last year (October 2012) after many months of enduring a lot of pain in my left knee while running, I was diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus. A visit to two surgeons resulted in the same thing: the blood thinners, history of DVT’s and (probably) my age made them ‘hesitant’ to operate. They advised that I just give up running and stick to cycling.
    Again, this ‘old heel striker’ didn’t want to give up.
    So I started googling terms such as “running with a torn meniscus”. Something called “Pose Method” had helped a few people, it seemed, so I purchased the related book.
    I followed the instructions pretty closely, not jumping ahead and trying the new technique too soon. My first attempt outside the house was 3 short .25 mile segments, alternating with walking, thinking and practicing what the Pose book had instructed.
    That was February 2013 and I’m now capable of running 3 miles on a regular basis, non-stop and even an occasional 4-5 mile effort. My pace has gone from the 12min. per mile range to 9 mins.
    Occasionally I’ll have a twinge of discomfort in the injured knee, but the moment I re-assess my form and begin to ‘pull up’ and land flat, the pain disappears.
    I’ll have to agree with the findings that Pose (at least at this point) seems less economical than heel-striking. But as I put more time into improving, the economy of Pose is getting slowly better.
    I can’t recommend Pose Method to a non-injured runner, but I don’t think I would be running today without it.
    Hope this helps someone.

  27. Canute January 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    I have only just discovered your excellent blog. I agree with the main points of your review of the paper by on efficiency and Pose, and would like to add a few comments.

    First, the reduction in vertical oscillation reported by Dallam and colleagues is an almost inevitable consequence of increased cadence. The vertical oscillation is largely determined by the duration of airborne time. The body falls freely under the influence of gravity for half of airborne time and magnitude of the fall is determined by the acceleration due to gravity and the duration of the fall. Thus any change in style that increases cadence will decrease vertical oscillation unless this effect is nullified by a substantial shortening of time on stance In fact Pose does aim to decrease time on stance thereby partially nullifying the reduction of vertical oscillation due to increased cadence but nonetheless, some reduction occurs.

    Second, in response to the question raised by Hans, I think the most definitive refutation of Pose theory is the fact that the COG does not fall between mid-stance and lift-off. The sequence ‘pose-fall-pull’ central to Pose theory does not actually happen. The forward and upwards motion of the torso during this period can be seen by observed video recordings (eg Usain Bolt’s hips rise by approximately 7 cm during this period in the video stills showing him winning the World title in Berlin in 2009, shown on the PoseTech website.) The inevitability of upward motion in late stance can be readily demonstrated by simple calculation. The illustration in the paper by Romanov & Fletcher (Sports Biomechanics, 2007) showing a resultant forward and downwards force acting on the body in later stance is simply wrong because the authors erroneously assumed that vertical component of GRF is equal to body weight. Force plate data shows that it is usually several times body weight. The law of conservation of momentum demands that this must be the case if airborne time is greater than stance time (I illustrated this a few years ago on my blog post at http://canute1.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/problems-with-pose )

    Although Pose is based on false theory and also can increase risk of some injures (eg to Achilles and metatarsals), it does reduce the risk of other injuries, especially at the knee. Therefore despite the risk of inefficiency, it can be a very good technique for recreational runners who suffer such problems.

Leave a Reply