An Austin, Texas, entertainment website wrote up a quick article on the Pose Method of running
and included a short video on the basic Pose to change of support move. If you've taken one of my barefoot running clinics, you know all about transferring from the Pose position into the falling motion by pulling your foot off the ground. The woman in the video, Valerie Hunt, does an excellent job of demonstrating this pulling motion.
The article interviews a 48-year old man who says running is Pose "almost feels like I'm cheating a little bit." Once you get the muscle movement down and understand the concept of Pose, you're able to take advantage of gravity to do most of the work for you. I refer to it as lazy running since all you're doing is trying to get your legs out of the way of your body so you can fall forward faster.
If none of that makes any sense to you, please contact me
to come out to a barefoot running clinic in Central Park to learn all about it. Also, check out posetech.com
for more on Pose running, and visit the Links
page for some great barefoot running links.
Have an awesome Memorial Day, and enjoy the hot weather we're in for!
On the Coney Island Boardwalk near the finish
Along the routes of most NYRR races are photographers hired to take photos of sweaty runners in action. While they're usually not the most glamorous shots, they definitely capture the intensity of athletic struggle. Check out these three from last Saturday's half marathon in Brooklyn.
Exiting Prospect Park around Mile 7
Today's Quick Workout Of the Day won't be easy, but it will get your triceps, chest, and abs shredded. Enjoy!
(Start in a plank position with straight arms and then bring your right knee up to touch the outside of your right elbow. Place your leg back and do a pushup. Next, bring your left knee up to touch the outside of your left elbow. Place your leg straight back into plank position and do a pushup. Do 25 per side and try not to pass out! To change it up, bring your right knee inside under your torso to touch the inside of your left elbow, and then place the leg back. Same can be done with the left knee/right elbow combo.)
- 50 pushup/spider-ab combos (25 per side)
This Saturday morning I woke up at 4:45am and was out the door by 5am on my way to Prospect Park in Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. After grabbing a bagel from the place on the corner, I encountered some subway trouble, namely the trains weren't making all stops. It wasn't the most pleasant situation to face this early on a Saturday morning, but luckily I factored in extra time to my commute. The total trip took about 1:40 minutes or so, and the timing worked out perfectly as I hopped into my starting corral as the National Anthem was being sung just before 7am.
I used to play a lot of ultimate in Prospect Park, so I was somewhat familiar with the area, though I had never run it's three mile loop. I felt great in my new Vibram Five Finger Bikila's
for the first lap (I was probably still half asleep) and the second loop also went by without much problem. I chatted with a few runners about my shoes, and made a point to run up to (and then pass, hehe) other VFF runners. The four or five VFFers I spoke with (all males, though ages varied from people in their 20's to early 50's) all loved their shoes and were all enjoying the run. I even talked to a guy who was running in the Vivo Barefoot
Evo running shoes. He really liked them, though maybe it was because he worked for the company. I gushed about how I own three pairs of Vivos and that they need to get some other colors and styles in for next season. At that point he had enough of my ramblings and ran on ahead.
Once we left the park at around mile seven I started to get a bit tired, though I pushed through it and kept my pace up. I made sure to focus on my form and kept telling myself to "pull" my foot off the ground, a la Pose style.
My breathing thus far was perfect, as my heart rate stayed low and I was able to breath smoothly in and out through my nose. The next six miles were flat and straight as far as the eye could see down Ocean Boulevard, which was actually kinda boring. The road surface wasn't as smooth as Central Park, and I felt the balls of my feet tingling a bit as the miles wore on. This was a bad sign, so I kept checking in with myself and made sure my form was getting sloppy. Fatigue leads to injuries, and with only last weekend's 10k run as my longest recent run, I had to be careful. The worst part about running on the flat, straight, endless road was when I could have sworn I was approaching mile ten, but alas, it was only mile nine. Argh.
The route didn't get interesting until the very end when we made a turn onto the famous Coney Island boardwalk. I think by that time my form went to poop, as the soft planks yielded to my weight. At the very end there was a guy running next to me who said, "C'mon, you can do it!" So I picked up my pace and said, "Ok man, let's do this", and I took off like a rocket and sprinted across the finish. I could have sworn some spectator on the sidelines said, "Wow, look at him!", but I was going too fast to really hear. Boo yea!
My official time was 1:40:26, which is a new personal record for me, beating January's time by over six minutes, and improving over my first half last July by over thirteen minutes! A lot of that has to do with my running form improving, my workout routine which includes more leg exercises, and my knowledge of what 13.1 miles feels like so I can better gauge my pace. My breathing the whole race was calm and easy, and I breathed through my nose the whole race, which I'm most happy about. I still have three more half marathons to run this year to complete the NYRR Half Marathon Series, and I'm eyeing the Bronx one in a few months to further improve on my time.
My new VFF Bikilas held up great, though I think I hit the pavement a bit harder than necessary during the latter part of the race, causing the slight tingling sensation on the balls of my feet, and a small blister under my left foot. Overall they held up really well, and I'm looking forward to wearing down the tread a little bit to made them thinner and more flexible. I'm definitely still a fan, and I highly recommend them to any newbie minimalist runners out there.
-Total runners: 7006
-My place: 988 (cracked the top 1,000!)
-Total time: 1:40:26
-Race pace: 7:40 minute miles
-Note to self: Coney Island is friggin' far from the Upper East Side
All Fours: opposite arm/opposite leg raises
You can do this Quick Workout Of the Day at any point this weekend. Kick some tush!
(If you're in Brooklyn Saturday morning, come on out and cheer me on at the Brooklyn Half Marathon!)
- 30 side lunges with kicks after each lunge (15 per leg)
- 15 per side of All Fours: opposite arm/opposite leg raises
- 30 front lunges (15 per leg)
- 5 floor bridges (hold hips high 10 seconds per rep)
- 20 burpees with pushups
- 20 V-ups per side (obliques exercise)
- Calf hops for 1 minute (stay on those toes!)
So I've been running either barefoot or in my Vibram Five Finger KSO's for over a year now and I was pretty excited when I heard about the new VFF Bikilas that were specifically made for running. Unfortunately, I heard about them many months ago from BirthdayShoes.com
and learned I had a long time to wait before I could get my hands on a pair. My KSO's were holding up fine until about two weeks ago, when the worn down, paper-thin forefoot of the right shoe developed a small hole. I knew that if I kept running, the hole would exponentially get bigger and the shoe would tear to shreds in another couple of weeks. I'm doing the Brooklyn Half Marathon through the New York Road Runners
this Saturday morning, and there could've been problems had the soles disintegrated mid-race.
LUCKILY, the new VFF Bikilas just hit the stores, and I was able to order a pair of the red and white ones online two days ago through CitySports.com
(great store, by the way). Somehow, they arrived arrived today, even though I used the free shipping method (it's good to live in NYC - it's a major shipping hub.) I unboxed them and they felt a bit stiffer than my well-worn in KSO's. I was very skeptical about this since my goal is to find a shoes that will do the bare minimum of protecting my feet from the elements - the thinner the better. I did really like the color scheme, and thought the podded soles looked pretty cool.
I had to order a size larger than my KSO's since they fit a bit snug, but they actually felt a bit loose from when I tried them in the store two weeks ago. Uh oh. There's ample room in the toes, and the heel isn't as snug as I'm used to, which is my fault in ordering the M46's instead of the M45's. There was only one way to see if I had made a mistake in my sizing, and if all the hype surrounding them was warranted: I had to go for a run!
From being unboxed to the ten minute walk to Central Park, the Bikilas were only breathing NYC air for maybe 15 minutes before I took my first strides in them. The verdict:
...Wait for it...
WOW! While they may have felt a bit loose while walking around, they fit perfectly once I began running. The extra padding on the forefoot limited the feeling I had with the ground, which may upset some more hardcore barefoot runners, but it allowed me more freedom to "fall" froward as I ran (read up more about the Pose-->Fall-->Pull here.)
I also felt I was using the ground reaction force and the natural spring in my foot to run more efficiently and faster, which felt awesome. I was a bit worried that the extra padding vs. my paper-thin KSO's would negatively affect my Pose form, so I made conscious efforts throughout the run to check in with myself to see if I was still "pulling" my foot off the ground and that my GCM (general center of mass) was landing over my forefoot.
My plan was to only run four miles at a moderate pace to train for the upcoming half marathon, but I just felt so friggin' amazing that I kept going for an extra mile, opting to include the southern tip of the Central Park loop
instead of cutting across at 72nd St. My form felt great, my breathing was steady, and all I wanted to do was go faster and faster. It was an amazing feeling, very different than what I thought would happen (I'm pretty skeptical about new, hyped-up products.) I actually sprinted, straight-up sprinted, uphill for the last minute just to see how my feet would react, and let me tell you: it felt awesome! My form was perfect, and the Bikilas pulled up effortlessly from the ground. The five plus miles over the forty minute run (probably 7:45 or so pace) flew by, and I had an extremely fun time running them in my new shoes (when was the last time you had that much FUN running?)
I even stopped for a minute to talk to another runner who was wearing the green and white Bikilas. He only had good things to say about them too. I think Vibram may have a best seller on their hands.
By no means do I get paid to endorse VFF's (I wish I did), but take this review as you will. The more rigid forefoot might not be an improvement in the eyes of some people, but after just one run in them, I'm a believer. Good job Vibram Five Fingers!
If you live in the NYC area and are new to barefoot or minimalist running or just want to improve your running form, check out the running clinics over at Barefoot Benny Personal Fitness.
Just because you're running barefoot or in VFF's, you may not necessarily be running in the most efficient way possible - your joints may still be taking a beating.
Please enjoy the pictures below of the unboxing and first time putting them on (I think my cat Brady likes them as much as I do!)
Here's your Quick Workout of the Day:
- Run 5 minutes
- Do 20 staggered hand pushups (break it up into mini-sets of 5 if you need to)
- Run 10 minutes
- Do 5 pushups SUPER SLOW (10 seconds down, 10 seconds back up - you WILL feel the burn!)
Score one for the minimalist and barefoot runners! This past weekend, Californian Patrick Sweeney, 31, won the Palos Verde Marathon while wearing his Vibram Five Fingers.
He came in with an amazing time of 2:27:14, which is pretty out of control! This just proves that running in minimalist shoes doesn't mean you have to run slow. In fact, it actually makes you faster since forefoot landing is more efficient and less painful on your body than running in cushy sneakers. Congrats to Patrick on the win!
On a personal note, I set a PR (personal record) in the 10k this weekend at the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park, organized by the New York Road Runners.
I finished in 46:02, for an average mile time of 7:25! I was extremely happy with the results, especially since I've been getting over a cold. Up next on the race roster is the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday morning, and this 10k was great training for it.
My VFF KSO's may be getting incredibly thin on the soles, but it's fine by me as the more I can feel, the better my form will be. Sign up for a running clinic to learn more about barefoot and minimalist running - your joints will thank you!
Keep the blood flowing and your muscles firing by doing Thursday's Quick Workout Of the Day! If you have any questions about a particular exercise, feel free to ask
. *Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.Today's QWOD:
- 2 minutes of jumping jacks (circle clockwise for 1 minute, then circle counterclockwise for 2nd minute)
- SLOW leg lifts for 45 seconds (should take about 10 seconds to lift legs up, and 10 seconds to lower legs)
- 2 minutes of jumping rope (if you don't have a jumprope, just do quick jumps for 2 minutes)
- 5 supermans, holding each one for 10 seconds
The book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall
is an excellent and articulate sports adventure book about extreme endurance running. The races talked about in this book make marathons seem like walks in the park. 50 to 100 mile races over rough terrain are the norm. Besides telling the stories of races in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, in Leadville
, Colorado, or in Death Valley, McDougall
goes in depth about the theory behind the movement of running. He waxes about movement by our Ice Age ancestors, as well as by groups in Africa and other remote locations who have escaped the plight of modern, high tech shoes by Nike and Asics
and the like. As someone who is interested in barefoot running and being able to run pain free while enjoying the run, this book is right up my alley. McDougall
did a ton of research for the book, and made the stories and characters exciting and mysterious. Without a doubt, check out this book and open up your mind to the possibility of running pain free while improving your health on more than one level.
I had a chance to meet the author last week at a book signing at the Vivo
Barefoot store down in NoLita
, but had yet to read the book by that point. I truly regret that, as it would have been very rewarding to question him and hear his stories firsthand. For more book reviews and links related to the book, check these out:Photos from the main race discussed in the bookCaballo Blanco's siteBarefoot Ted's reviewArticle about the book by the author