The 5 P’s Of Running And The Pose Method for Triathletes

The five P’s of running stride and the pose method. It is difficult to know where to start when discussing the running stride, as the success of each phase is determined by how well the previous phase was carried out.

The five P’s of running stride


After the leg has swung down from its position close to the upper thigh, the preparation phase begins. This is the time when maximum knee lift occurs, which depends on the speed of the run. Faster running means more leg lift.

The foot should point upwards, with the middle and front sections in a straight line below the knee. This is because the knee joint takes on a lot of the force when you run, so it makes sense for it to be directly above where your foot strikes the ground. By keeping your foot in a dorsiflexed position, you can stop your calf muscles from having to absorb too much energy from the impact.

For the push-off phase to occur properly, the foot must be plantarflexed (the movement that occurs at the ankle where the foot is pointed downwards). By plantarflexing the foot, the calf is forced to lengthen which creates a push-off role. However, this is a very costly way to eccentric contract the calf as it puts a lot of strain on the body. It would be much better to land on the mid to forefoot as this would minimize “braking” and trauma on other joints. If you were to land on the heel, impact forces would be transferred up the legs and could even reach the back.

The leg begins its downward swing when the hip muscles extend, causing the foot to move backwards when it hits the ground.

The foot should land slightly in front of the centre of mass so that it will be directly under the COM by the time it becomes useful.


For the most efficient stride, all of the energy of motion must be in the direction of travel, which, in the case of running, is forward. Any alternative motions are merely wasted energy. The centre of mass should remain at a constant height to eliminate the use of energy in any vertical component of forces.

There is a vertical component to the forces in a running stride due to gravity. However, to be most efficient, the forces supplied by the body should be just enough to counter gravity, with no extra force used. This means that there is no net change in the height of the centre of mass.

The main cause of forward motion while running is the extension of the hip. To make each stride as long as possible, it is important to have a sufficient range of motion in the hip so that it can extend as much as possible. The more force you can exert with each step, the longer your stride will be, and thus the greater your speed will be overall.

. If you want to lower your centre of mass, you need to extend your hip and knee simultaneously. Your ankle will also play a role at the end of your stride.

Push off

The push phase is a continuation of the propulsion phase, but paying special attention to it is important because it can affect how fast you run and how high you bounce while running.

This final push-off phase is responsible for wasting the most energy. The two main components of the final push-off are extending the knee almost to the maximum and Flexing the ankle joint.

Vertically lengthening your stride will only increase the jump or bounds you feel with each step, rather than running. As was discussed earlier, completely straightening your knee joint will put extra strain on your hamstrings and calves as they try to bend it back into place for the next step.

Additionally, it will take more time to get the lower leg into the recovery phase, which will create more upper-body twisting. Excessively tired quads can be a product of having too much of a vertical component in the running stride. The final aspect of the running stride is the toe-off.

The text is saying that when the hip has been fully extended, the ankle joint is the last chance to add horizontal movement. This horizontal movement will add length to the stride. The time cost for this added horizontal movement is small.

The toe-off must be a horizontal component for the leg to be as far back as possible. The timing of the toe-off also coincides with the beginning of the leg’s recovery phase [pull through] to reduce the amount of time it spends in contact with the ground.

To create the most powerful toe-off, you must follow the principles of plyometrics; a muscle that is stretched or compressed will create more force than one that is not stretched or compressed.

If you land on your foot with your ankle in a plantar-flexed position, the extra weight of your body on your calf muscle will cause the load to become too much and too slow. The Golgi tendon organ, which is responsible for muscle relaxation, will take over and cancel any potential benefits of load-fire coupling.

Any extra strain from the landing will tire the calf and decrease its potential to give back energy. Strong quads are important for a proper toe-off because they will support much of the body’s load, leaving the calves available for propulsion.

Pull through

It is said that performance increases come during the recovery phase, rather than during the actual training session.

An increase in stride efficiency during running comes from the recovery phase of the stride, or how quickly the leg can be brought through to begin the next cycle of preparing, propelling, and pushing off.

The movement during the “pull-through” phase can be remembered with the pneumonic “heel up, toe up, knee up.” This emphasizes the need for a toe-off motion to complete the propulsion phase of the stride.

The heel-up begins with the toe-off, which raises the heel. The goal is to get the heel to the upper thigh as quickly as possible, which shortens the lever that needs to be brought forward, making the pull-through phase faster.

The three events happen simultaneously to appear as quickly as possible.

As the heel moves towards the upper hamstring, the knee is driven forward. The foot swings through and is then raised slightly so that the toes point upwards. This position is maintained until the foot comes into contact with the ground. The action of raising the foot in this way also helps to start the process of flexing the knee.

The action of “knee up” does not create a vertical component of movement; rather, it allows the lower leg extra time to fall into position for the landing. This is accomplished by pausing the motion of the upper leg while the lower leg uncoils.


Side-view mirrors are best. The final “P” in the running stride is percussion, which is just a way to check in on yourself when you don’t have a coach or video equipment. Looking in a mirror is not very helpful because you can’t see enough of yourself or check your stride in real-time. Side-view mirrors are the best.

A mirror on the side is not a good way to see your form while running because you have to turn your head to see it, and that’s not a natural part of the running stride. Energy can’t be created or destroyed, it just changes form. Two of those forms are movement and sound.

While running, the goal should be to put all your energy into a movement for the most efficiency. Therefore, the most efficient stride would also be the quietest.

The sound you hear when your feet hit the ground is created by the transfer of energy from your body to the ground. This transfer of energy happens because you are exerting a force on the ground.

The goal is to create as little sound as possible in a gravitational environment.

The pose method

Brian Mackenzie, author of “Power Speed Endurance: A Skill Based Approach to Endurance Training,” summarizes the Pose Method as a way of using gravity to fall forward and shifting supports by “dropping the feet directly under the body as you move forward.”

Romanova (Russian distance runner and Olympic athlete)explains that changes in support are like different positions or poses that we go through while running in each cycle.

One of the most important things for beginners to understand when learning the Pose Method is that gravity is the most influential force on movement. Running efficiently means using gravity to your advantage rather than fighting it.

Top 5 tips for learning the pose method

Susan Hunt – Everest climber, Ironman athlete and Artic explorer

1. Start by learning the Pose position

To improve your balance, start by practising holding the position for one minute on each leg, as recommended by Hunt. To do this, stand with your weight on the ball of your foot and bend your knee. Make sure your lifted foot is relaxed with your ankle under your hip. Finally, align your upper body.

2. Practice falling

Whenever you come across a wall, lean into it until you fall. Practice falling from a standing position and from the yoga pose. As long as you can keep your body stable, move further away from the wall.

3. Learn to pull your foot properly

If you want to learn how to use your hamstring correctly, start by sliding your ankle up your leg barefoot.

4. Change support between the Pose positions

To complete the move, stand in the starting position and lift your foot off the ground before the lifted foot lands. “This is a priority,” Hunt says. “Then fall and change supports. Check to see that you land in the correct Pose position. Now work up to doing three in a row. Once you can do that, you’re ready to run!”

5. Develop a rapid cadence

The ideal cadence for Pose running is much quicker than what you may be used to. Pose coach, Susan Hunt says to aim for 180 footfalls per minute or 90 running strides. “You can get a metronome to help you with this and set it for 90 beats per minute or higher.” This will help you develop the proper speed and elasticity while Pose running.

Here is some additional advice from Hunt on getting started with Pose running: be patient and consistent with your practice. She suggests setting aside one day each week to work on Pose drills and practice the technique with shorter running intervals. This way, you can still maintain your regular running schedule without interruption.

” Hunt advises not to make a rapid transition from motion control shoes to minimalist shoes as it can lead to tendon problems. Instead, he recommends easing into minimalist shoes by wearing them one day per week of skill work. Next, slowly integrate them into longer runs as your feet and legs adapt.


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