The Driving force behind Stadi Fit Running Coaching is the belief that running should be practiced as a skill rather than something that we just naturally do right and with our own signature styles.
90% out of all recreational runners suffer from various injuries every year and there's a reason for it. Our lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, changes the way our body is able to move and in most cases doesn't allow it to move in a way that it was designed to. Running being a highly monotonious motion, leaves the body really vulnerable to injuries if the movement is repeated time after time in a manner that is not loading up the body in a right way.
Stadi Fit Model:
The Pose Running Method - Natural Running technique
Why do we need a technique?
The established opinion was that there's no running technique that suits everyone, and there are different requirements for different distances and speed, for runners of different ages and different physical abilities. In short, it's impossible to have a comprehensive holistic model of running technique for all.
This kind of philosophy leads to several negative consequences:
- It excludes the necessity to learn running technique as a skill from childhood and makes getting it right a matter of chance or luck.
- It removes running technique from the training process as an unnecessary component, not one that's related to it.
- It makes it impossible to evaluate running technique due to the absence of an established standard. This means errors are, by definition, a deviation from the standard. But the absence of any standard makes the evaluation, identification and correction of errors practically impossible and dependent only on someone's subjective understanding or perception of running technique. It also makes it impossible to develop running technique as a skill and fine- tune it further. This kind of situation would be completely unthinkable in any other sporting event like swimming, tennis and so on.
- Improper movement is the main cause of injuries in running. So the right technique will eliminate this cause of injuries.
- Technique improvement has a positive influence on overall racing performance.The Pose Method is a formalized running technique and allows any athlete to take their running to a higher level.
What is the Pose Method?
The essence of Pose Method is to use gravity as a major propulsive force and let the other forces assist it. It's well-known that gravity pulls a body straight down towards the Earth. The Pose Method's objective is to redirect gravity's downward movement into forward motion.
For this we must determine the position where the body starts falling forward. It happens at mid-stance when you're supporting yourself on one leg - we call this position the Running Pose. It creates an 'S' shape to the body, which enables you to utilize muscle elasticity.
In order to increase a free-falling effect at this point, only one action should be instigated: breaking contact of the support foot with the ground while falling forward, And the easiest way to do this is to pull the support foot from the ground up using the hamstring muscles. in this way, the running technique could be reduced to a very simple sequence: fall forward from the S- shaped Pose position until you lose support, then swap support to the other to begin failing again by pulling the foot from the ground with hamstring muscles. It's simply Pose-Fall-Pull.
So what do I gain from mastering the Pose Method?
1) Less Injuries
- less impact on knees, hips and spine
2) More Speed
- Using the gravity as our major force instead of muscle strength will make you a better, faster and stronger runner
3) More results in less time spent running
- contrary to the traditional way of running, we concentrate on the quality rather than the quantity by getting rid of the "trash" kilometres and adding in technique and skill training
At Stadi Fit Health Center, our Coach and Personal Trainer Annamaaria Kangas is the leader of the running coaching team. You can learn more about our coaching packages and about Annamaaria here
Experiences over Stadi Fit Running Coaching
" Every step counts,
In the picture below, you can see a cadence trail and hear the metronome beating at the speed of 95 bpm in your ear, whispering in a coach-like way, “hamstring-hamstring-hamstring-hamstring”. The elderly gentlemen playing pétanque glance more than once at the person pulling up her legs (and swearing) on the sandy sports field in Kaivopuisto who once in a while spurts into the movement that everyone could understand as running. That was me, it was the summer of 2015, and I had decided to learn to run. "
" I wanted to learn to understand why running is fun, but I didn’t want to risk having an injury and being sore every few weeks or months. "
In addition to my inner motivation, an important reason to why I wanted to try a totally new way of running was my trust in the proposer and my knowledge of the coaching methods she and her colleagues practise in their CrossFit box. When I started CrossFit, I really started to rethink my ideas about training volumes, technique, performing methods and the meaning of mobility training. Our coaches in the box (Stadi CrossFit) impressed the meaning of skill work as a way to avoid injuries. They emphasized the importance of performing the workouts correctly rather than quickly. They didn’t let you avoid mobility training, and you learned the significance of the core muscles. I get bored easily and need new stimuli quite often. That’s why I appreciate the variety of workouts in CrossFit. I’m also someone who likes to have guidance, is interested in new perspectives on training, and is eager to learn new things in cooperation with professionals.
In that context, I was quite an easy target for trying out something new and also for a paradigm shift in my running habits. Coach Ansku suggested to me that instead of focusing on long runs, I could learn new priorities, such as running skill work, running form, balance and technique, and special strength training that could also help in avoiding injuries. Learning skills and a good running posture could give me the base for adding more distance, volume and intensity. Running and long-lasting (and long-distance) workouts in general were decreased to a few workouts per week in which technique work, time trial (tempo) running, and interval running alternated. Instead of running as much as possible, I had to rely on that the new way of training could give me a new start and enough training stimuli. Because it was summer time when I started and I hadn’t set my sights on any competitions, I decided to maintain my long-distance cycling routines in the background. But when the intensity of the running workouts increased, I also trimmed my cycling routine so that I could concentrate more on my running to build the basic level of skills.
I did running technique workouts in which different drills helped to improve my performance technique. I had to replace long steps and heel strikes with a “brisk” running form. I started to learn a rapid cadence and more pulls per minute. Like at CrossFit classes, my running workouts included a variety of functional movements and strength training that improved my coordination, balance, core muscles and the art of pulling my leg up. After I had learned at least a little bit of controlling my body (from head to ankles, from hands to legs), maintaining a good running posture and understanding a cadence higher than 91 bpm, I started to do high-intensity interval workouts. But even in the beginning I was given challenges in the form of shorter sprints (25–50 m), which helped the new technique to become part of practice. I also realised that I could learn to run slowly by running fast sprints. Mobility work became part of my routines in every workout and even between them.
When we had reviewed my running on video and did the first drills in Kaivopuisto, the hardest part in the beginning was to accept being a beginner. Exercises that were appropriate for learning were hard at the first steps. I got frustrated, when the simple drills and high cadence got me exhausted, and I felt that I didn’t face anything else but new weaknesses. It was crucial that Ansku was and is a coach with a mission and passion for her work. She was always able to tell me what the meaning of each workout was as part of the whole and what its intention was and gave lots of feedback. Humbly and patiently I continued to jump back and forth on the sandy sports field. When I was learning something totally new, I needed a programme, instructions, visual and written stimuli and supervision. In addition, it was motivating for me that we did workouts in different places: We met in the misty Kaivopuisto in the early mornings, cycled through snow to the running tube at the Eläintarha sports field and “ran” with a rubber band and skipping ropes in the box. I was surprised to notice that my body responded little by little; I started to enjoy running and really felt like I was learning something. I started to feel how my body felt more stable when running 100-m sprints, I learned to use my hands while running, higher cadences started to feel normal, and it was suddenly easy to jump onto the block of wood on one foot. I got more aware of my training routines and my own ways of learning – also that I’m pretty lazy if I don’t do a weekly training programme. I felt that my running condition increased even if I did just sprints.
Between the springs of 2015 and 2016, I focused on technique and skill work both in running and in CrossFit in general and did mostly high-intensity interval workouts instead of long-distance/lasting workouts (in the winter time I had spinning or swimming once or twice a week). I took condition tests both in the summer of 2015 and spring of 2016 and I got better results in the latter. Never before had the start of cycling season been as easy as in the spring of 2016. Even though I started to manage a good technique in running and continued to combine that with a little more distance, my heel was still aching every now and then and I had problems with my breathing. I had a little decline in my training in 2016, especially in my new running routines, but I noticed that high-intensity training in the CrossFit box and cycling helped to sustain my condition. At the same time I noticed how a stressful working period and too goal-directed training might be hard to combine. At the end I abandoned wearing high heels and I got a new medication for my mild asthma. Not to mention changes in my stress levels. I started running again with indoors training in the winter of 2017. I knew how to start, what to do and how to programme thanks to the good advices I had got before. Running felt very nice and I started to feel that this could really be a part of my training repertoire.
Ever since then I have been running and doing CrossFit and my other sports without any pain, and the whole package is working now. I explore running with barefoot shoes and I’ve started to run on trails and playing in the woods with a compass. My goals are somewhere else than in competitions. Because every step counts, I want to maintain the meaning of good basic technique and a playful feeling. I want to know how I run and that my running workouts have variation. With the help of CrossFit training in general and experimenting with a new type of running, I have gained structure in my training and understood the meaning of technique and skills over loads, distance and speed. By concentrating in learning something new I gained new enthusiasm, perspectives and learning experiences. I have also learned that this CrossFit-type of running training helps me not only to develop but also sustain my endurance for example in the times when I don’t have lots of time to train.
Dominik Röttsches, 38
What was your initial goal that you searched help for from Stadi Fit?
I was searching for a technique focused coach in Helsinki for improving my running skills. I considered myself fairly good at endurance sports such as cycling or swimming. However, running always wore me out quickly and just adding more training did not lead to the desired results. It dawned on me a better technique was needed here. My goal is to attend triathlons longer than sprint distance such as the Joroinen triathlon event without falling behind in the running leg of the race.
Were you familiar with the Pose Running method before?
I was not familiar with it before, but I had started to research various running technique methodologies on the internet.
Describe a little how has your experience been with the pose running method and the coaching style of Stadi Fit's running coach?
Starting to follow and adopt the Pose Running method has been a bit like relearning running for me in a good way - becoming very aware of the elements of the complex motion that running is. Annamaaria’s focus on full body strengthening and the philosophy of running with your whole body, as opposed to just your legs, definitely resonates with me. I was often surprised just how sharp my coach’s eyes are when it comes to technique analysis. For every technique deficit or for every little runner’s ailment, there’s been an answer through new strength exercises, mobility pieces or a new helpful drill to practice. Precise guidance in executing those exercises and drills is something that Annamaaria excels at. She is also managing expectations well: After a journey of a bit over a year I am definitely able to see the progress I’ve made. I gained confidence towards longer distance running and triathlon events in the upcoming summer 2017 season. Her cheerful but at the same time precise and strict training methodology made this a very fun experience and kept me highly motivated throughout.
Any other comments you would like to make.
I am glad that at Stadi Fit I found the professional running coaching I was looking for and the hard work I’ve been investing into running practice has been rewarded with steady progress. Looking at weight lifting benchmarks or running timing records together with my coach have been useful tools to track this progress and make it tangible. The Joroinen triathlon finish line is just around the corner.