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7 Day Experiment: Learning to Run

The experiment of the week for May 25 - May 31st


1. What is the experiment?

To learn the proper form for running.

2. Why are we doing it?

So that I can be one of those people who "enjoy running" and so that my left hip does not hurt after every run.

3. What is our goal?

To be able to run 10 minutes without any hip pain.

4. What am I testing?

The Pose Method

5. Method

The Pose Method as outlined in The 4 Hour Body:

  1. Use gravity (via forward lean) for forward motion instead of push-off and muscular effort.

  2. Land on the balls of your feet and aim to have the feet land under your center of gravity instead of in front of you. 

  3. Never fully straighten your legs. A slight bend in the legs at all times prevents push off.

  4. Pull each foot off the ground and towards your buttocks (rather than pushing off) using the hamstrings as soon as it passes under your center of gravity. 

  5. Maintain at least a 180 step per minute rate (90 step per minute rate per leg). This helps use muscle elasticity to your advantage.  

Experiment Results

1. What happened?

I ran for 5 out of 7 days. 2 of those days I ran barefoot on grass, and 3 of those days I ran with shoes on sidewalk/dirt paths.

My hip pain completely went away the first day I began to use the method. Thanks Tim.

2. What did you learn? Any obstacles?

The most difficult part of the pose method is the part of pulling the legs off the ground instead of using your legs to push off. If you are correctly leaning forward with your body, you should be catching your forward falling body with your legs instead of launching your body forward with your legs. I believe there were moments in my running when I was only pulling, but I can say for a fact that I did not complete one whole run without reverting back to my old habits of using my legs to push.

Another obstacle I faced after the 5th run was knee pain/discomfort in my right leg. This was something I had not had before, and I believe it is my fault for not landing my feet under my center of gravity instead of in front of me.

3. What will you do moving forward?

There is still a lot of practice to be done after only 5 days of running. I want to run at least once a week moving forward. HOWEVER, there are already other physical activities I am doing that I enjoy much more like kettlebell swings and gymnastic rings workouts. With that being said, I know that if I want to be able to run marathons and long distances in the future and picking up the gentle art of running right now would definitely be in my best interest. STILL, I don't know if I'll continue running. To be continued...?

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