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Saturday, March 20, 2010

POSE and ChiRunning... a Clarification

After reading the comments, then re-reading my original post, I felt a clarification was necessary.  My original post was poorly worded and made a few points that were not clear.  I would consider this my "official" stance on both POSE and ChiRunning:

  1. Both methods are excellent techniques that would help the vast majority of runners.  I use elements of both in my own running.  I teach elements of both to my students.  I list both books as resources for new barefoot runners.
  2. POSE and ChiRunning's commonalities far outweigh their differences.  The differences are minor, especially when compared to the overstriding heel striking stride used by so many recreational runners today.
  3. I do not fault Romanov or Dreyer for profiting off their respective techniques.  Both have dedicated their lives to improving the running experience for others.  I may not agree with their marketing at times, but I do not consider either to be a "gimmick" in any sense of the word.
  4. My criticism of Romanov's research is simply that he's profiting off the same techniques his research supports.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it should raise some degree of skepticism.  We should demand ALL research be replicated by disinterested third parties, especially if there is a profit motive in the original research.  A single study or line of research by a single researcher or team is always prone to experimenter bias.  Example- Lieberman's research was partially funded by Vibram.  While I agree with his results, we shouldn't treat it as gospel until others are able to replicate his findings.
  5. My use of the term "pseudo-science" in describing POSE was unjustified.  If POSE research is guilty of anything, it would be over-generalization.  Again, that is an issue with all research.
  6. My problems with POSE AND ChiRunning has to do with the respective proponents of each technique, not the techniques themselves.  I do not believe either technique is appropriate for everyone.  Some elements of POSE may work for some but not all.  The same applies to ChiRunning.  As some of my Runners World Barefoot Running Forum friends have pointed out, both techniques fall into the same category as barefoot running.  It's not appropriate for everyone.  The followers of POSE and ChiRunning will often argue that their method is infallible.  What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.  It is up to each goose to find their own way.


  1. Agreed on all points! Now where is that smiley icon?

  2. Agreed, and just to further confuse the issue and stir the pot, I also like "Evolution Running" as nicely between Pose and Chi.

  3. @Jason,
    Re: #2 ... I disagree - there are significant differences between Pose Method and ChiRunning. They both suggest engaging gravity via a slight forward lean and simply picking up your feet to keep up with your forward fall. But all of this is different:
    - foot landing
    - leg motion to pick up feet
    - use of cadence for speed
    - pelvis position and motion
    - arm swing focus

    Note: I am not suggesting either is right or wrong. But they are significant differences.


    David Stretanski
    ChiRunning® Certified Instructor