Running Book Review: Pose Method of Running by Dr Nicholas Romanov

Dr Nicholas Romanov’s Pose Method of Running is the  book on running technique used by runners and running coaches, being one of the most popular running technique books.

The book itself is comprehensive when it comes to running technique and biomechanics.

Pose Method of Running argues that the benefits of using the method of and, subsequently, changing your running form can help:

  • eliminate injuries
  • improve endurance
  • raise speed
  • reduce recovery time
  • increase flexibility
  • improve coordination

The book addresses the subject of running from a very scientific point, as Dr Romanov studied physical education and was a track and field coach and teacher.  The origins of the Pose Method, as explained in the book, are Karate, Dance and Ballet.  In developing his method of running he also drew information and inspiration from  the Ancient Greeks vision of running, concluding that running is a skill that can be learnt and developed.

What I love most about the book is the different drills for developing the running technique. It’s not the usual, fitness style exercises, but drills that sort of reset the body’s nervous and muscular systems to move in a different way, especially the exercises to correct leg movement (my own conclusion here).

There are a few classic exercises as well, for flexibility and mobility, hips and to develop muscular elasticity.

After taking the readers and runners through the concepts of the Pose Method, Dr Romanov teaches them how to “build a runner’s body….and mind”. This is where you have strength and conditioning, muscular elasticity, exercises for hamstring, running on sand, uphill and downhill , trail running, developing flexibility and training programmes to integrate everything and ensure your risk of injuries are at a minimum (if you do all this) and your performance at a maximum.

One of my instructors once told me that when you’re not getting faster with speed training, look to eliminate the things that slow you down. In running this would be, for example, muscle tension, landing, how you use your lower body and how you use your upper body. I find the POSE Method is exactly the kind of running form, style or technique which discards what needs to be discarded (that which stays in the way of speed) and, in so doing, simplifies running (even if it doesn’t seem so when you first learn it).

Then it goes on to refining the running technique by looking at errors of legs, trunk and arms movement, and how to correct them so you run smoother, faster and reduce the risk of injuries.

In my opinion this book should be read by all of those who run on a regular basis. There is much more in the book that I haven’t mentioned here, such as the “Thinking, Seeing, Feeling” concept which I believe is essential because…..psychology interferes with body mechanics (my own note here).

This is the book for you if you:

  • experience recurrent running related injuries
  • want to fine tune your running so you can run faster (eliminate the movements which slow you down)
  • want to build up your endurance
  • reduce the tension in your muscles, so you run more relaxed (and faster as a result)
  • reduce the stress and pressure placed on your joint (reducing the wear and tear)

Check it out on Amazon (affiliate link)

Running Book Review: Natural Running by Danny Abshire

Running-Book-Review-Natural-Running-Danny-Abshire

Natural Running by Danny Abshire an excellent running book for the minimalist or barefoot runner and not only. Danny Abshire has worked closely with many athletes, from beginners to Olympic elite runners.

Natural Running is a shorter book than the previous ones we talked about, concise, but to the point.

It begins with explaining what Natural Running is, and the evolution of the shoe. I found the latter topic interesting, something I haven’t found in many other running books, at least not as detailed. This isn’t surprising though as Danny Abshire is the co-founder of Newton Running, where Newton shoes come from, so he knows his stuff.

The whole book is excellent, filled with information and very educations. There are three topics in the book that drew my attention in particular:

The science of motion. This is where Danny introduces us to the Three Gaits: walking, running and sprinting. Using pictures he presents the sequence the foot goes through in each gate. Very important if you are a runner.

A close examination of foot biomechanics, talking about how regions of the foot, foot types, foot imbalances, overuse foot injuries and how to avoid injuries with a natural running gait and how running with shoes impacts the foot. Your feet are your foundation, so learning a little about the foot biomechanics is very important for the beginner as well as advanced runner.

The physics of running: whole body kinematics. In short, here Danny talks about running being a whole body movement, the mind-body connection and how certain shoes affect this connection and, consequently, body alignment.

Natural Running by Danny Abshire

Throughout the book Danny talks about barefoot running or minimalist running style. So if you are a runner wishing to transition or to learn more about the minimalist running style this is the book for you.

Even if you are a runner not interested in minimalist or barefoot running, understanding foot biomechanics and adopting a natural running form can only benefit you long term, in my opinion.

There is also a chapter dedicated to running injuries, as well as strength and form drills to help you built a strong body and running form.

This is a great book for the runner who:

  • experiences recurring foot injuries and wants understand what the cause might be and how to manage their foot injuries best.
  • wants to transition to minimalist running or barefoot running
  • wants to adopt a lighter, more natural running style and reduce the risk of running related injuries
  • wants to understand how the shoes they wear affects their running form, their alignment and to understand the connection between shoes and running injuries

Check it out on Amazon. (affiliate link)

Running Book Review: The Runner’s Body by Ross Tucker and Jonathan Dugas

Running-Book-Review -Runner's-Body-Ross-Tucker-Jonathan Dugas

Runners World book The Runner’s Body: How the Latest Exercise Science Can Help You Run Stronger, Longer, and Faster is a fascinating book for the beginner, but also the advanced runner who want to learn more about how their body functions, why it functions the way it does and how to achieve maximum performance. 

The Runner’s Body takes readers through a progressive account of the human body by introducing them to the musculoskeletal system,  cardiorespiratory system, metabolic system, the central nervous system and the immune system. 

Each chapter explains the science behind each of these systems and goes into enough detail to educate the advanced runner but it also explains it in a way that the beginner runner can understand and benefit from as well.

From how muscles work, injuries, reducing impact on  your joints, developing more resilient legs, and how to train your cardiorespiratory system, to fuel, dehydration, fat burning zones,  the “mind over matter” concept, style of running and how to “outrun illness”, The Runner’s Body seems to cover it all. 

Among the many topics you can discover in Runner’s World The Runner’s Body  expect to educate yourself on:

The Musculoskeleon system

  • Stress and the adaptation process that leads to progress and achieving your goals
  • Exercises, with pictures, to strengthen and/or mobilise key joints and muscles
  • Understanding stress fractures
  • Knee injuries, ITB syndrome and achilles tendinosis , among other running related injuries

The Cardiorespiratory system

  • Understanding VO2 max
  • “Running economy 101”
  • How to improve your running economy

The Metabolic system

  • Sport drinks and the “drink, drink, drink some more” phylosophy
  • Muscle cramps – why they happen and how to manage them, the science behind it all
  • Nutrition and fuel supply and economy
  • Carbo-loading and Fat-loading diets
  • Whether runners can reduce the body’s reliance on carbs to delay fatigue
  • A 6 weeks example of daily detailed meal plan for runners
  • How to determine your optimal body composition

The Central nervous system

  • Pacing strategy and fatigue
  • Running technique guidelines, including the highly controversial footstrike!

The Immune system

  • Inflammation, free radicals and overtraining
  • Running and the immune system
  • Aging and running performance

I think The Runner’s Body  strong points are the science behind the mechanical aspects of running, from injuries to running technique. I really enjoyed the explanation of how the body works mechanically.

However the whole book is excellent, with scientific research quoted, charts and information boxes.  A lot of effort went into writing The Runner’s Body.

If you ask me this is a must read for anyone who runs regularly, to get a bigger picture of what takes places under the surface.

The Runner’s Body the perfect book to study if you want to become a complete runner from all perspectives: mechanical (avoid injuries and adopt a healthy running style), psychological (understand mind over matter and over training) and chemical (nutrition).

Another book that I recommend runners who experience recurrent injuries is Running Well by Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors.

Running Book Review: Running Well by Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors

Running Book Review Running Well by Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors

Among the many books in my running library you can find Running Well by Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors.

What I really liked about this book and made it one of my go to books for running injuries is the “Injury time” chapter.

It’s amazingly detailed, with pictures of joints and muscles involved in the injury, and what to do and who to go to when you suspect an injury, which I believe it’s extremely informative for the recreational runner.

Running Well also has “injury maps” which take you through an “injury journey” using arrows to guide you from the location of the pain to a possible diagnosis and a quick fix suggested by the authors. It goes like this:

  • where you feel the pain
  • what type of pain you feel
  • when you feel the pain
  • possible cause
  • possible diagnosis
  • quick fix

The maps are simple, straight forward, easy to follow and it makes for a book you go to over and over again.

For each injury you have exercises which help rehab or to manage the injury. This book has a rather complete approach to injuries.

Another topic I haven’t found so detailed in other books is on “Prevention and treatment of common running ailments and annoyances” where we find out how to manage athlete’s foot, blisters and corns, black toenail, the stitch, muscle cramps, hyponatremia (caused by drinking too much water) and more. Yet another plus for Running Well.

Other topics in the Running Well book include:

  • Running form
  • Training plans and exercises for strength, stability, mobility and flexibility and, to my surprise, because it’s the first book on running I find this topic in, nerve “flossing” exercises
  • Running shoes and running shoe anatomy
  • Returning to running from injury
  • Nutrition

Congratulations Sam Murphy and Sarah Connors for a very well written book on running.

Highly recommended for all runners if you want to:

  • keep your body healthy and keep running in the years to come
  • reduce the risk of injuries and understand what’s happening when you get injured
  • understand the important of running shoes and how to choose them
  • design training sessions and programmes to best fit you