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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

POSE and Science: Need some clarification

First, I have to preface this entire rant with this disclaimer: I like POSE.  I use elements of POSE.  I recommend POSE as one option for new barefoot runners in the event they can't develop good form based only on feel.  This is in no way meant to belittle the ideas behind POSE, I agree with 99% of the entire POSE running program.

Having said that, many POSE followers will cite "science" that "proves" POSE is the pinnacle of running.  Correct me if I am wrong, but the five peer-reviewed articles posted on the POSE cite use control groups of heel-toe runners (what we often call "heel strikers".) 

I don't doubt that POSE is better than the typical overstriding/heel strike we often see from most recreational runners.  This research indicates this trend.  I also think the vast majority of barefoot running research could be generalized to POSE (found here.)

What I question- is there any peer-reviewed research that indicates POSE is superior to ChiRunning, Evolution Running, barefoot running, or any other form of "natural" running?  My review of the literature turned up nothing.

It would seem that POSE followers often recite POSE marketing information as if it were actual research.  Romanov's writings, no matter how logical, cannot be used as a substitute for reliable, valid peer-reviewed published research. 

I agree that POSE makes sense.  I agree that it is vastly superior to heel striking.  A very good logical argument can be made for the premise behind POSE.  What I disagree with is the belief that it is superior to any other similar method.  POSE followers, please provide me with anything from the literature that would clarify this issue. 


  1. As far as I know, these various techniques have never been compared in a scientific study. However, unlike most of the other techniques, Pose Running is the product of scientific research. I think some followers of Pose Running are confused about what research has been done, and what is actually supported by that research.

    I also think the the reality is that these techniques are largely the same, and when some actual research is done to compare these techniques, there will be a lot of conflicting data.

    My suspicion is that the techniques that can be learned and adopted most easily within the length of the average college semester will be the ones that will come out looking the best. Because most of the research will be done on by grad students who need start and finish their studies within a semester for very practical reasons.

    Ken Schafer

  2. Why not contact Dr. Romanov directly? He will be glad to fill you in. I don't know of a comparison of Pose versus the others, but I don't think that's how science is done - more typically study would ask "does this one method work or not work?"