Secrets of Successful Running with Dr. Romanov’s Pose Method

– The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen Episode 097 with Dr. Nicholas Romanov

Dr. Nicholas Romanov graduated with Honors in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. As a teacher he later discovered that while there was plenty of instruction on techniques in other sports, in running there was instead an eclectic collection of ideas. The Pose Method was developed out of necessity in 1977. It is now widely popular among recreational and elite runners and triathletes, practiced by professional athletes, used by Physical Therapists that appreciate its framework for preventing and treating running related injuries.

In October of 2020, after 11 years of active implementation, the Pose Method became the running method of choice for the US Army and included in the official Army Field Manual (FM 7-22). Dr. Romanov’s books are sold worldwide and “The Running Revolution” (Penguin Random House) became a bestseller translated to 12 languages. As a sports scientist and an Olympic Coach, Dr. Romanov is on a mission to advance the science of human movement and make it useful to people. Preventative approach is the best way forward but while everyone insists that an active lifestyle is the answer, nobody talks about injuries that prevent people from staying active if proper movement is not taught or learnt. Dr. Romanov is committed to empowering people to take greater control of their wellbeing and enabling them to prevent common running related injuries.

Listen to this episode of The MOVEMENT Movement with Dr. Nicholas Romanov about secrets to successful running using the Pose Method.

Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:

  • How there are poses that are relevant to running and what they are.
  • How energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another.
  • Why runners should be using simple physics to help them run faster.
  • What potential and kinetic energy are, and how they work.
  • How every movement we make starts with our gravitational pull to earth. 

Connect with Dr. Romanov:

Guest Contact Info
Twitter
@posemethod

Instagram
@posemethod

Facebook
facebook.com/groups/runningforum

 

Links Mentioned:
posemethod.com

Connect with Steven:

Website

Xeroshoes.com

Jointhemovementmovement.com

Twitter
@XeroShoes

Instagram
@xeroshoes

Facebook
facebook.com/xeroshoes

Steven Sashen:

Every person is their own little snowflake. Their bodies are different. They move differently. If you look at runners, they all run differently and that’s the way it should be, right? Maybe not. We’re going to find out more about that on today’s episode of the MOVEMENT Movement, the podcast for people who want to know the truth about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body. Starting feet first because those things are your foundation. After all, where we break down the propaganda, the mythology, sometimes the outright lies you’ve been told about what it takes to run or walk or hike, or do yoga or play or do CrossFit or dance, whatever it is you like to do and to do that enjoyably, efficiently, effectively. And did I mention enjoyably? I know I did. It was a trick question because look, if you’re not having fun, do something different until you are.

Life is way too short to put yourself through more stress. Anyway, we call this the MOVEMENT Movement because we’re creating a movement that involves you. It’s really simple. I’ll tell you how in a second, about natural movement. We’re trying to help people rediscover that natural movement using your body the way it’s designed to move is the obvious, better, healthy choice, the way we currently think of natural food. The movement part that involves you is really simple. Just spread the word, share it however you can. Go to our website, www.jointhemovementmovement.com. You’ll find previous episodes. You’ll find all the places you can interact with the podcast. You’ll find all the places you can interact with us, on Facebook and YouTube and Instagram, et cetera. And all the ways that you can spread the word, share and like, and give us a thumbs up and hit the bell icon on YouTube, subscribe so that you can hear about upcoming episodes.

In short, if you want to be part of the tribe, please subscribe. I’m Steven Sashen your host. I’m the CEO of www.XeroShoes.com and the host of the MOVEMENT Movement podcast. And I’m very happy to have with us today, Dr. Nicholas Romanov. Nick, welcome. It is a pleasure to have you here. Why don’t you do me a favor by starting and just telling people in brief who you are and what you do and why what said at the beginning of this is completely not true.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’m glad to be on your show.

Steven Sashen:

It’s a pleasure.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

You are very sparkling and very much alive. And this is what I do like about you.

Steven Sashen:

Thank you.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And I’m not much around people who are producing so much… Living the sparks.

Steven Sashen:

It’s very sweet, but enough about me, let’s talk about you.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. At least I have to mention why I’m here it’s because of you.

Steven Sashen:

Well, thanks. And here I’ll preface that. It was a real treat that you and your son Severin were passing through town a few weeks ago. We got together and spent a few hours talking about running and life and everything that we know and really I had a wonderful, wonderful time. I learned new things about what you’re doing that I didn’t understand before, which is one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you because I’m sure I’m not the only one who has some misunderstandings about what you do. And you’ll say more about that a second. And I really was looking forward to diving in more deeply into the work you’ve been doing for all this time, clearing up the confusions and helping people run, walk, hike, do everything better based on what you’ve been doing for, what? Almost 50 years?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a number which could get scary.

Steven Sashen:

Trust me, when I say things like, “I remember when I was doing that thing 50 years ago. Oh my God. I’m going to be 59 soon.” That’s crazy.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. I will not mention how old I’ll be soon in a couple of days.

Steven Sashen:

Hold on. When’s your birthday?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

May 25th.

Steven Sashen:

Oh my God. I’m three weeks behind you.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

So, we will pass this. And the about me, I am a teacher. I’m not sales person. I’m not a businessman. My son is, but not me. And I’m a scientist and this is what my background is. This is what I’m coming from. And I should probably mention that I’m the founder of Pose Method known in the field of-

Steven Sashen:

Let’s start with this. What many people know you for and what most people misunderstand is what you call pose method and pose method running. And that’s what we’re going to dive into. And let’s also say for the fun of it so people don’t keep guessing you’re originally from Russia?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

My accent probably will be.

Steven Sashen:

I was going to guess New Jersey. Originally, most people would think New Jersey, but they’re wrong. It’s not.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Plus, my name doesn’t resemble anything from Eastern country Asia.

Steven Sashen:

Well, that’s the other question people might ask, are you a Romanov from the Romanovs or a different Romanov?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’m trying to keep this open, whatever, if people like this attachment of my name to that bloodline of Romanovs, it’s fine. I don’t negate this.

Steven Sashen:

It could be yes, it could be no, it no depends on what you think.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Once in the Mexican consulate at the console when he did this paperwork for me, he told, “And I know someone from this family and I will ask them about who is there hiding in Miami, Florida.”

Steven Sashen:

Oh my God, that’d be hysterical. So, I guess we could do this in reverse order. So, you’ve been for quite a number of years, teaching pose method running, but let’s back up and say a bit more about you and where you came from, if you will, and what led you to pose method before we dive into what pose method is and how it can be so helpful for people.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

A short introduction in this case, I would hate to listen someone who will be going on with these things… My past. I’m a former university professor, head of the department of sport discipline who was teaching, it’s called the physical education, sport training, sport biomechanics. And I was head coach of track and field team in my university. I have PhD here in this field. I defend this in Moscow. Right now, it’s academy of physical culture in sports. My teachers were incredibly high level scientists and the most prominent scientist in Soviet Union. And I’m proud about this. It was the professor Dyachkov who was a coach of one of the best high jumpers in the history, Valeriy Brumel. So, I am coming from this school and I’m very much proud of this. I got tremendous education there besides that it’s such a name which you’re proud to be attached to. And pose method was born in 1977, but it’s starting point was when I started working in my own faculty, where I was invited as a teacher, after finishing this. I spent one year in the Soviet Union army.

Steven Sashen:

Oh my.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah, it was the sport division, but still I have the times shooting range. And it was a AK47. It’s a procedure, but mostly I was trained and performed for the army region. So, when I came back from the army, I was invited to my own faculty. I joined this as an assistant teacher on the track and field and the coach of the university. So, it was my starting point. And then, when I started to teach my students track and field, I understood that in spite of my high level of education… I’m laughing about this now. I mean, I’ve finished with his honor diploma. So, I have the illusion that I’m a very educated man. I’m knowledge.

Steven Sashen:

I think it’s a very common delusion that when you have a –

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

After a while, I understood that I’m not alone, but that illusion or delusion of possessing some knowledge cost me lots of suffering, basically. I do remember somebody from great thinkers told that actually all our institutions to universities, do not teach you really to be okay in life. Basically, it’s a diploma, nothing to do with your job after.

Steven Sashen:

Well, it’s funny. I have a lot of friends, especially who studied very specific things like medicine or law, even which you would think law is very specific. And I always ask them, how much of what you do now is based on what you learned in school? And I’ve never heard anyone answer with more than 20%.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s probably over estimated.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, probably.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Because in my case, I felt at that time when I started teaching my students, that I am a complete moron, uneducated, ignorant, and then I tried to cover up as much as possible with anything because they will believe track and field, I was high jumper. So, at least I could move. This was not the excuse for teaching, but to cover up, yes. And then that condition of embarrassing, growing and I was thinking, “What the hell am I supposed to do? I have no idea how to teach all this.” When I saw that these wonderful textbooks, but there was no method of teaching. You understand that this realization came to me like a thunderstorm along the very nice day. And my choice was not much, like two choices. My option was like, pretend to be knowledgeable. It’s a stupid condition completely and mind buzzling and mind blowing condition. I’ll start looking for something to solve this problem. And I chose that one. I started digging.

Steven Sashen:

I want to back up a little bit. So, what were you actually experiencing that led you to realize that you didn’t have an effective methodology for teaching? Was it that you weren’t getting results with the athletes you were working with?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It was my students on the faculty. It’s the future coaches and teachers in PE and coaches in different sports, but they have to go through. Track and field is the one that was a foundation. It’s like queen of the sports. You know this, right?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Almost every sport involves running in some way or jumping.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. And it’s three years of course, you understand that?

Steven Sashen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s so big, theory and practice. So, I started from practice, theory later on, when I become senior lecturer, but first it was practicing and practice was zero because suddenly you’re realizing what’s called exercising, they are not teaching what you want to teach your students. And you have to ask them after that pass the exams. It’s a shame how the hell you can ask somebody to pass the exam if you didn’t teach them.

Steven Sashen:

That’s a good point.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. And then the realization came that, in track and field, you understand the technical events?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Track and field. Field events is technical events. It’s discus throwing, javelin throwing, shot put. You see hammer throwing, huddles, high jumping. And in high jumping, we’re supposed to teach them five different styles because it’s history of high jumping from simple scissors to the Fosbury and you need to show them everything, method, exercise, theory and nothing almost. And I stuck and I started digging into the field professionally. Now, one textbook after another, articles and so on and no answer, no method of teaching. That was a crucial. And that realization dropped my jaw down because I had delusions that it was basically a collection of exercise, what we call method like the whole exercise performance or the breakdown exercise performance, it’s called method. It was not method that it’s just laughing. You cannot explain how to do it for the students. And that’s what led me.

Steven Sashen:

So, at best, you’re going to see things like strength programs or drills, but no actual method for teaching that thing that you’re doing?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correctly.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

The way of doing. But method by itself is based on the theory, on the concept and there is no such a thing.

Steven Sashen:

I’m guessing that the basic reason for a lack of method for teaching say, running specifically, it’s that people just think, well, everyone knows how to run. I mean, all you have to do is drills, they know how to run. What do you need to teach?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a misconception possessed by most people. That notion that running is natural is the confusing point completely. If you think that it should be like you’re born and you run. People consider that it’s happened in the animal’s world like that but it’s not, they’re still learning as well.

Steven Sashen:

It’s an interesting thing because nobody necessarily thinks that a swimming, they think you definitely need to learn how to swim. Even though you could put someone in water, they could figure out how to move around and they’d never call that swimming. But with running, even though there’s people who run in these crazy ways that are not effective or efficient in any way, people would say, “Yeah, but that’s still running. That’s the same thing as what you Usain Bolt is doing.” It’s a very interesting bit of confusion.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

No one from the greatest athletes in the world in running never taught us how to run properly. I’m very much serious about my statement right now because I studied this and I was looking what greatest runners in the world were saying about how to run. I will tell you something that would blow your mind, like interview one was the legends, Australian 1500 meters runner from ’50s, an Olympic champion. When I sent him my book the time and asked him his opinion, he told, “Oh, your book has absolutely sense for me. But in my time we didn’t think how to run. We just ran.”

Steven Sashen:

And I think this is the way most people think is that there really isn’t a method for teaching running because people don’t think they need to learn how to run because they know how to run. And yet, that way, the only thing that distinguishes someone who runs well, whether they’re competing or just running recreationally, but doing that efficiently and without injury, for example, they’re just somehow unusual, they’re somehow freaks. But what you’re saying is that you started to discover, this is where we’re going, that there is actually a method for teaching, an effective way of running that’s common to those elite runners, for example, that when you can break that down, then you can teach that to anybody.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

But then science community, long time ago it was established kind of sought that elite runners cannot be as models because it doesn’t mean that they know how to run, and they run properly. It was a very well-known kind of understanding, but people are still thinking this way, even instinct was saying absolutely opposite.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting. Okay. So, you’ve got this idea that now there has to be a method after you’ve realized that no one had one. And then what led you then to… I don’t even want to say discovering, although it’s a fine word, but I want to say like more uncovering what became pose method?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a discovery. There’s nothing else. In science it’s only discover. Science does discovery, what exists in nature.

Steven Sashen:

The reason I made the distinction just for the hell of it, is that it’s not like you found… How do I want to put it. The difference between discovering and uncovering, the uncovering is like, this thing was right in front of everyone’s face, but they didn’t even notice it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

In this case, yes, uncovering would be proper word, but the role of science, it’s a discovery.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s not innovated. Innovation, is a second layer, when discovered phenomena, innovative things happening already. This is what we do like shoes it’s innovations.

Steven Sashen:

So, then, you can either jump to what you discovered, or you can do the small detour of how you discovered what you discovered?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes. It’s correct. It goes like this. In order to develop a method, this is the problem, why the method didn’t exist because is method based on the concept and theory. And the concept and theory of how to run, for example, it didn’t exist.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Up to now, except pose method. Existed some models, something like spring mass model, for example. Well, it doesn’t explain how perhaps-

Steven Sashen:

That’s just the description.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. This is the point. And a long time ago, at the end of 18th, in the beginning of 19th century, he described science history as four stages. And the first stage is a descriptive stage and the last one conceptual. Running science never got to the conceptual stage.

Steven Sashen:

The spring mass model that human beings are basically effectively springs of a different mass. It is an interesting description of how one moves through space, if you will, but it has nothing to do with how you’re actually moving through space.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Absolutely. More than this, it doesn’t teach you how to run.

Steven Sashen:

Exactly. Yes, even at more.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I had quite a hot debate on this is method with my colleagues.

Steven Sashen:

I’m sure.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

So, the method itself should be based on the concept. And so, concept should be first arrived and then method will be no problem at all.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And I was lucky that it took me only two years to get to this point, but it’s a prize for my very dedicated work at this time.

Steven Sashen:

Was it more of like an aha moment where it all put itself together or was it an incremental thing where-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

No, aha. Discovery it’s a fun career that describes how it’s happened in mathematics.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a beautiful thing. I studied at the time exactly these things. How discoveries happen. I studied psychology textbooks about insights, how thought process is working. And I was into this at that point a lot. But I study obviously events, which produce very good movements, like ballet dancing. I was thinking like everyone else, “How the hell are they moving so well?” And that is one of the key positions in the thought process, based. And it’s the same thing like karate.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, interesting.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. I didn’t start the karate to become a good fighter. I was already a street fighter. I grew up in bad area.

Steven Sashen:

It’s a good technique for becoming a fighter. I grew up in a bad neighborhood.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. So, I had this problem, but I was amazed with how they move and I had a very good teacher. It’s a 10 black belt bend guy who studied in China and he become… He was a lawyer, but we become friends with him. And I studied from him. It was amazing. It was cool for me.

Steven Sashen:

What was the connection then between ballet and karate that led you to understanding running?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Poses.

Steven Sashen:

Similar. Just describe, so that aha moment. So, now we’re into what really pose method was?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Aha moment. It’s October, 1977.

Steven Sashen:

I love it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’m coming back from my last class under drizzling rain and I’m thinking, “Shit, what the hell is that?” And then suddenly this aha moment, like everything is so simple. Any movement is going through the poses, unaccountable number of poses. And only between that poses, there exists poses, which we could call, key poses, which defines the movement, which we’re looking for and that’s it.

Steven Sashen:

To sum it up, and this is what I’ve started to understand from our meeting. I’m just reiterating. So, any given movement, let’s talk about ballet, just doing a plie. There’s a starting pose. There’s an ending pose.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes, it’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

And those things are very specific and there’s a way then of getting in between them.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

No, between them it’s out automatic.

Steven Sashen:

Yes. Got it. Okay.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s called preceding and the following.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And that pose, if you do properly, this pose, the second pose will be reached with no problem.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

What happened between them is biomechanically already designed in nature.

Steven Sashen:

So, the first pose is basically setting you up automatically for the second.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. It’s initiation.

Steven Sashen:

And by pose, we literally mean an orientation of your body in space.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s spacial, temporal body position.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And mostly it’s on the support on the ground that there exist of, for example, in high jumping, in long jumping of the existing air as well, in acrobatics as well.

Steven Sashen:

Even in acrobatics. Speaking as a former All-American gymnast that yes, there’s all these things that you do in the air, but they set themselves up from the ground. I mean, when I watch gymnastics, this hasn’t happened in a while, but I remember watching gymnastics with a girlfriend and we were watching on television and before the gymnast has left the ground, I’m going, “Oh,” because I know they’re going to crash because I can see from a mile away. And she’s like, “How do you do that?” It’s like, “Well, it’s obvious.” I mean, the setup wasn’t there to do that the next move.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Any experience coach defines this but intuitively or by experience, he would grasp immediately that wrongdoing. Even he cannot explain why he decided this, but it’s there.

Steven Sashen:

I have to tell you a funny story about it. Even more than seeing someone in that stance position on the ground and how that affects things, there’s something even more. Here’s my favorite story. So, I was going to attempt to do a standing double back flip. This is back in 1978 or so no, no one had ever done it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It seems like younger.

Steven Sashen:

Well, yeah. So, 1978, I’m going to do a standing double back flip. Now I’m going to have two people who’ll give me a little bit of a toss, just so I have a little bit of extra airtime. I have two people ready to catch in case something goes wrong. My coach, who was a five time national three-time world tumbling champion, and one of the greatest teachers of any sort and coaches ever, he’s on the other side of the gym facing away from me, spotting someone on rings with a spotting belt. So, I’m getting all psyched up to do a standing of a backflip. And just as I’m about to jump, I see him out of the corner of my eye, stop what he’s doing he spins on his heels and points at me and yells, “No.” And it just shocked me. And I said, “What just happened?” He goes, “Suddenly, there was this quietness in the room that the only other time I ever felt that was when I tried to do a standing double backflip 10 years ago and I knew that’s what you were about to do.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Reminiscing.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. He could just feel it in the air.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Absolutely. I am completely with that gentlemen, because I felt this millions and millions of times in my own experience and others as well because movement, when it goes through, it creates vibration.

Steven Sashen:

Good point.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It creates very specific expectations. And I was always… Like my wife when she was still my girlfriend at that time, when we are walking on the street and then the other side there’s group of boys standing, and I would tell her, “Oh, they will start to fight right now.” She’s like, “Why are you saying this? See, they’re already fighting.”

Steven Sashen:

Well, we are wired to relate to very subtle movements in ways that we consciously. You see someone 50 yards away, they take one step and who they are, if they’re someone that you know.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

We are equipped with this equipment. We have this but we’re not developing this. Unfortunately, most people are beyond that threshold and because nobody teach them.

Steven Sashen:

And what’s the point? You don’t have to use it most cases. So, let’s get into then the poses and how that applies to running, because that’s the big thing we’re talking about.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. This is what the theory comes up. And the major concept in this case, it’s two completely controversial opposing theories because traditional theory, even never proven, but this existed. It’s muscular work. That’s why it’s create that think of like a push off drive. You see, these kind of things, pump your arms and so on. If none of this related really with the forward movement, but people still consistently repeat this nonsense, OBS, because it seems like students perform what they’re asking, but students are performing not because they asked to do this. They perform because nature corners them and drive in this direction. So, you want or you don’t want to do something, what happens or if it’s not happened, here’s a recommendation drive, push off, triple extension, tow off. It doesn’t work.

Steven Sashen:

So, these concepts that people came up with driving, tow off, this idea of triple extension, basically, your hip, your knee, or ankle, all extending fully in order to be able to run, all of these, it seems like they came from people who didn’t quite have eyes to see. They certainly didn’t have a methodology. Then they’re looking at what they think are effects and suggesting that that’s a method for teaching, but it’s really just… Again, it’s just a description that’s not even necessarily accurate.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s called face value things, they consider. But what is behind this? They didn’t see, it was coverup. Nature work some times in a very mysterious ways, own things. And they’d cover up right there. You see how extensions happened, but nobody pay attention to this. It’s only consequence.

Steven Sashen:

Exactly. This is the thing that I noticed again, is that people, they confuse the effect with the cause. And my favorite version of this is you go to any high school track meet, and especially in a hundred meters or at the end of a 200 meters, you’ll hear the parents yelling to their kids, “Get your knees up.” It’s like, “Oh no, no, no. That you don’t lift your knees, your knees being up as the effect of something you’ve done on the ground earlier. If it’s not happening, you can’t make it happen.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This classical drills what existed in textbooks.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

When I developed pose method, it was taken away completely. It never affect performance of my athletes.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, that’s so interesting. Well, that’s interesting point that you don’t necessarily need drills, but I can tell you since you and I met, when I am doing my warmup drills. And I just literally think about that, I’m definitely doing them with a very different mindset and I’m definitely moving differently. Basically, I’m focusing on poses in the drills, not doing the drills, thinking that that’s going to get me to something else.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. And I did very simple thing with all my students and sprinters of higher level who ran 10.3 at the time, I prohibited them to think about pushups completely. Think even not do single even. And no one of these guys ever had a problem with that. More than this, my guys over my course of more than 20 years of work when I still was in Russia, never had injuries.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting. Okay. So, now let’s dive into the poses that are relevant in running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

The concept was very simple. There is a concept which was controversial to the existing paradigm, which fit the group of scientists who are making money, and living from it, but the paradigm, they’re changing. And those guys are gone and another guys with new paradigm is coming.

Steven Sashen:

The easiest way to change a paradigm is have the people who believe it die.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

You know who told this? Max Plank.

Steven Sashen:

It’s funny, I didn’t know that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah, this is what he told. He told, “Old ideas do not die themselves. They die together with their carriers.”

Steven Sashen:

And boy, it’s perfect for Max Plank. I mean, considering what he was doing was a whole new paradigm.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

But he was founder of theory of everything, basically, the quantum mechanics. So, when I read his work, like when I found this quote, I was like, “Oh my goodness, he’s damn right.”

Steven Sashen:

I want to get to the poses. But I’ve also got to ask you then based on this idea of Max Plank, for example, when Einstein came up with his theory of quantum mechanics and relativity, the number of people who understood that at that time, you could count on one hand. Now your average high school student has a very good understanding of these things. Do you imagine that over time, hopefully, before, in your lifetime, the handful of people who understood pose method back in the seventies when do you discovered this will evolve into the point where everyone gets it and it becomes just the way people-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

… think of it. Yeah, that’s what I imagined.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This is the goal. Any science development goes this way. To get 10% of the population and then it spreads out like fire. That’s how it works.

Steven Sashen:

Between you and me and everyone listening and watching, this is what we think about the whole natural movement thing, that we’re going to hit a certain critical mass, which again, is a metaphor that comes out of quantum physics, actually, at which point people will realize, rediscover that natural movement is the obvious thing instead of what people have been told from big shoe companies.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s all about this critical mass. It doesn’t matter if it goes to the particles or chemistry or thought process. Everywhere, that critical mass is basically key position and we have to reach this somehow.

Steven Sashen:

So, poses?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

The concept with a controversy to push off is falling.

Steven Sashen:

So, this is a radical difference. The difference between telling people to push off versus this idea that you’re falling is-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.


It’s very easy to demonstrate like this. But behind this incredible conceptual base, first of all, it’s a law of conservation, which was formulated in 1847 by Herman Helmholtz. And that law is telling, movement or energy cannot be created or destroyed. It only could be transformed from one form to another. That is first of all. So, our source of movement outside us. This is a good point, not muscles, muscles are internal, as they only change our body parts to each other. So, changing poses, they cannot move as… The illusion that people have that muscles are moving us but the law of conservation completely denying this. Existing as a law mechanics or principle, or which is telling that any material body could be moved from point A to point B or I mean, transfer in the space and time only by external force or energy. You see? Muscles are internal force.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. So, if you were floating in space, it doesn’t make a difference with what you do with your body. You’re not. There has to be something acting on you or directing that allows you to move.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. And that source of energy or movement is only on earth. It’s a gravity. It’s called potential energy of gravity. And the point is only how you can possess this or transfer it or consume it. That’s what’s about pose method.

Steven Sashen:

I love this. So, the beginning of this is the only force that we’re working with is gravity. The only thing we can do is transfer, transform that force and we’re doing that with these poses that we’re still going to get to that, that, actually, is the foundation of movement fundamentally?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. It’s not only running.

Steven Sashen:

Yes. I was going to say, the specific foot… We’ll talk about the specific ones for running, but this is true for any movement you’re going to do.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. And it’s always more of the way how you transfer it. And pose method is exactly that method of transformation.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Consuming. I’m using this word consuming gravity and transformation it into any movement. What we are living into on the frame of gravity.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And then running, it’s very simple. It exists only have one point of pose, which allows to do this. There is no other poses, there is only one single pose no matter you’re running sprint or you’re running ultra-marathon, it’s the same pose, vertical position. But it’s not exactly the meaning of this.

Steven Sashen:

So, the key… Sorry. And we’re going to have to describe this. This will be tricky for people who are just listening and not watching. It’ll be tricky for people watching too because neither of us are standing and demonstrating. “Ooh, but I have your book. I could actually pull up a picture.” So, the key pose is this one that you have, when you have one foot on the ground and you’re basically upright. Now, your limbs are positioned differently. You’re not just standing on one foot, but there’s that point in the middle of that running movement where you’re basically vertical and then your other limbs are organized appropriately.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Behind this is just simple physics. Our body is inverted pendulum. And particularly when you’re standing on one leg, like biggest part of the mass over your leg on the top, it’s 62% of the body mass located above its waist up.

Steven Sashen:

I like that imagery of the inverted pendulum. So, if we think of a pendulum, there’s the fulcrum. There is the point that pulls the string and there’s point that swings. Just turn that upside down, your foot on the ground.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

In the north of the pendulum, yes, in physics, call it like that. From physics point of view, it’s a GCM, it’s a mathematical point. It’s not material point, but when the body in a very specific position, GCM over point of support which become pivotal point or point of rotation.

Steven Sashen:

Your center of mass over that pivotal point.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes. And that’s why you have to put your limbs in very specific position. This pose comes. That’s why your arms bend in your elbows. That’s why you have a swing leg bend. That’s why a foot under the hip. It’s all comes to this though to make-

Steven Sashen:

I’m holding this up.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes, right.

Steven Sashen:

Is there a better image than the one that’s on page 8?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. There are other images, but this one is good. Yeah, pose is right here.

Steven Sashen:

So, I’m holding this up. This is in page 8, just for people who care from the book, the Running Revolution. So, I’m going to hold this up while you describe what I’m showing.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

GCM, it’s like imagine a point on the center of hips from the side view, point view, and then draw the vertical line down to support. It will be on the ball of the foot. And the line up will go to the head on the ear position because GCM just about a little bit here. That is pose. And plus S like position means that you are accumulating muscular tendon elastic component, springness.

Steven Sashen:

There’s two pieces. Again, I’m paraphrasing. So, you have this essentially straight line going… We’re going to do the inverted pendulum. So, I’m starting from the bottom. From the ball of your foot up to your hip, up basically to your head, it’s a straight line, a vertical line. So, that’s your support part and the other part, which is your leg, which has this sort of… With your arms and your legs-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

S like position.

Steven Sashen:

S like position that’s part of the action that’s actually doing that transforming of gravity. That consuming and transforming.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. And that S like position is most vulnerable for falling as well. This is two things together in one point, were accumulating. And nature created it long time ago, obviously, not me or anyone else.

Steven Sashen:

It’s funny. This is a really interesting point. Is that when you’re in that position it’s when you’re most prone to falling.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

If you do that correctly, that’s what going to get you running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And the funny thing is it’s not only for forward goal.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. It can go either way.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It could be any direction.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. That’s what I was thinking. I mean, it’s funny because there’s this whole thing about learning how to balance on one foot and balancing with your eyes closed. And the reason that’s difficult is you’re wired to be falling in some directions-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

Okay, got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This is nature’s creation.

Steven Sashen:

And again, I’m trying to sum up and paraphrase. So, basically that position, that is the key pose for running but there are others as well, because otherwise you’re just standing there in that position, but there’s more that that happens. So, from that, please continue.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

So, when that pose was found, it’s become actually a key point for teaching as well. So, you have to teach through the pose. In order to fall, you have to be in pose and you have to reproduce pose. At any speed, this becomes a skill. The good runner is who can reproduce, falling means pose because falling condition depends directly from the condition of reproducing your pose.

Steven Sashen:

So, the thing that you explained to me and showed me by doing something that I loved, which was looking at a video that we made of me running, this is something that was really the light bulb moment for me, which I didn’t understand about pose method from the introduction that I had to it some number of years ago where I dismissed it, frankly, because I didn’t really get it. And what you showed is that to get that… We looked at this video of me frame by frame, and eventually I got to the pose, but it was taking too long to get there. I wasn’t being as efficient as possible because it was taking… Basically, the pendulum was starting too far off center right before I got to the pose. And I never-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Another one, you were just throwing pose too early.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, interesting. Yeah. Good point. But I had never really thought about that. And what we saw in the video, it was like it was taking… I don’t know, whatever it was 24 frames a second. I don’t know what the camera shot at.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

29.7.

Steven Sashen:

Is that what it is on an iPhone?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Uh-huh.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. A video camera used to be 16 and anyway, whatever.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Oh, it’s great for Chaplin movies.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, I know.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

At 16.

Steven Sashen:

It was way back then. And just so for people who care a regular movie is 24 frames a second. So, you get 24th of a second and then 24th of a second that’s black and then another 20th… Anyway, point being that when you compared my running to say Usain bolt, which sounds crazy, but I’m going to ask you to point out why it doesn’t matter and why it makes sense to be able to compare to Usain bolt, or I could have compared to a good marathoner as well, it wouldn’t have mattered. If we were getting to the pose in say a frame, frame and a half when it was taking me three frames. And there’s no reason that I couldn’t hit the pose as fast as they are.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. Usain Bolt, actually getting into the pose is a half of the frame.

Steven Sashen:

Oh wow. Okay. That’s my goal. So, I’m going to change my camera settings to 120 frames a second and see what happens.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’ve analyzed him quite a long time and quite many different his… Yes. Imagine, standard speed of the video cameras in the industry is at 29.7 frames. It means one frame is 0.034… It’s 33 milliseconds. And the time of support of Usain Bolt, 0.78.

Steven Sashen:

About 0.8, yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

So, imagine how quickly you’re getting into.

Steven Sashen:

If you could, just say something more about the fact that Usain Bolt is doing this in half a frame in less than half of eight hundredths of a second, which is the ground contact time. Why is that applicable to your average casual runner?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Gravity doesn’t care, Usain Bolt or Mr. Such.

Steven Sashen:

I’m making a t-shirt, “Gravity doesn’t care.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Absolutely.

Steven Sashen:

I think that’s brilliant. That’s a really good point. So, it’s not about you can’t do it, it’s just making sure that you are working with gravity properly, knowing how to align.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This is a good point about your skill level. Laurence Gonzales in his book, Deep Survival, he told, “Nature doesn’t care about level of your skill.”

Steven Sashen:

Good point. So, the pose, this was the aha moment. This was the key pose for running. Obviously again, like we’ve said, it’s not just hitting that pose because otherwise you’re just standing on one leg. So, talk about the other components that allow you to actually be running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. So, that’s why pose method is based on three invariables, what’s called invariables, it means whatever, whoever running there, pose, fall, pull.

Steven Sashen:

Pose, fall, pull.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Everyone goes through these stages only with huge deviations or not.

Steven Sashen:

And to be clear, I mean, this is a cycle. We can say pose, fall, pull?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Because it’s a cyclical movement, we’re running.

Steven Sashen:

I mean, we’re starting with pose, but we could also start with pull, we could also start with fall. So, just to be clear, it’s a circle, if you will.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

One of the greatest scientists in physics, he told us something like this, “Nature likes cycles and rhythms.”

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. So, describe fall and pull, the two other components to running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Falling is simply the way that’s not perceived because falling for people is that.

Steven Sashen:

Most people think of falling as dropping something.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

But then it’s mechanics and mechanics exist total energy equation… Total mechanical energy equation where it exists potential energy plus kinetic energy. And there exchange between each other proportionally as much potential energy is used so much kinetic increase.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to use an example for people who are less physics minded than you or me, you have a rock at the top of a hill. It has nothing but potential energy.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes, right.

Steven Sashen:

When it rolls to the bottom of hills at full speed, all that potential is now converted.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It rolls in potential, how much it’s losing potential, it’s how much it’s gained kinetic energy. This is law conservation. And between this potential and kinetic, everything is bumbum bumbum. And cyclical movement is a reproducing cycle, potential into kinetic and kinetic into potential. This is the essence of running technique, but not only running, any movement goes through that cycle.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Jumping is the same.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Of course, muscular tendon elasticity, it’s just kinetic energy become potential energy. And then when they’ve released recoil, it’s kinetic, again, it becomes.

Steven Sashen:

One of the things that I rail about the people that don’t seem to understand, when they talk about natural running form, for example, or they’re talking about landing on the ball of their foot, they say, “Well, why can’t I just do that in a regular shoe with a big heel?” I go, “Well, because you’re not using your Achilles tendon to take that kinetic energy and recycle it. You don’t get the full extension of the Achilles. The thing that is designed to help you do that.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Okay. This is what, Hoka shoes, for example, there’s this with thickness, it’s comfortable for people to run on a very rough terrain, but at the same time, they are damaging the whole body because it’s substitution for own sprinkler system.

Steven Sashen:

And it’s never going to be as good, and it’s going to wear out.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Of course. It takes a long time. And it’s like you are accumulating these negatives.

Steven Sashen:

It doesn’t happen on day one. Well, we can go down that road forever. So, let’s go back to fall and pull and describe those and how this starts. I want to get to a point where we’re describing this cycle in a way that people who are listening can get it in their mind.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Everything starts from falling, like everything on the earth, falling. And every force on the ground, on the natural movement, if not mechanisms, which we invented like combustion engines, it’s all based on that they are derivative from gravity. So, this is very important to understand. This hierarchy of forces is called and that this is what you reproduce. In order to use force of muscles and tendons, you have to connect them with gravity because gravity unveiling like getting out to potential. But gravity is a potential thing. And somehow it’s supposed to become kinetic. And gravity to us appears in our two senses, like it’s bodyweight pressed on the ground when we’re in free falling. This is how we perceive gratitude because gravity doesn’t come like it’d go, “I am gravity.” We don’t know gravity yet, what the hell is that still.

Steven Sashen:

So, we perceive gravity either as just the force that we’re feeling, just standing for example.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Pressure.

Steven Sashen:

Yes, pressure in some way, or the lack thereof when we’re free falling through it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes, when you’re stepping in the place where no ground, suddenly you are in the free falling, what happened to you? You panic.

Steven Sashen:

My favorite version of that is when it’s late at night, the lights are off and you forget how many stairs there are, and you think there’s one more stair, it’s like, “Ah.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. It’s a funny thing because that old castles stairs were built up uneven stairs because when spike it happened, somebody comes with a rhythmical sort of stairs.

Steven Sashen:

How funny? That is really funny. It’s the world’s first alarm system. I love it. So, people think of falling as a passive action. Falling through space. So, how is it that falling is connected to actually running because you’re clearly not going from the stance position to then being on the ground. You’re doing something so that you’re… Say more about that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Okay. You have to understand gravity or imagine of some kind of… Think of a river running downhill in the mountains and you are on the raft. So, what you’re doing, you’re really increasing speed of the raft moving, or you’re just trying to keep yourself on this stream line? This is how we’re dealing with gravity. We cannot add anything to gravity. We have to only consume gravity, like stream, it flows.

Steven Sashen:

If we’re paddling, I mean, just to-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

You’re paddling only to keep yourself on the streamline.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I’m going to pick apart your metaphors for the fun of it. I mean, if we’re paddling, if we are going faster than the stream is going downhill, the only reason we’re able to do that is because we’re taking a different gravitational vector and transforming that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. It’s the same thing, but you understand that you’re using falling there, your body weight.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Good point.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

On the bike, it happens like that, there exists the heels where you can pedal.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to stick with the rafting for a second because this is really interesting to me. So, what you’re doing, when you’re paddling, what you’re saying, because this is counterintuitive, you’re using gravity to paddle because you’re using your body. But what we feel is that muscular force is actually the thing that we’re using to combat this falling, this gravitational thing.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. You’re applying body weight.

Steven Sashen:

But we think of it upside down. We think that we’re applying the force rather than working with gravity in that way.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s illusion what people have.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’ve published two articles on rowing in New Zealand, Otago University Research, which confirm this idea really well. We prepare young girls, four girls to row poles.

Steven Sashen:

Crew.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah, crew. Novice and the very experienced level. In one week, we prepare these girls, obviously before measurement, they lost a lot for the group of advanced rowers. And then, one week or 10 days, we prepare them this pose method rowing technique, which I developed and they’ve performed same results.

Steven Sashen:

Wow. Again, it sounds crazy, but what you’re describing in rowing is using gravity/bodyweight rather than trying to… I don’t know.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

Otherwise, not using. All right.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

And then it’s actually cost much less physiological.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Of course. So, the falling, this is not an active thing that you’re doing, you can’t help it?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Absolutely not.

Steven Sashen:

So, in a way the fall part of pose method is sort of descriptive because it’s not an active thing that you’re doing?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes. So, weight allowing, we’re calling allow yourself to fall.

Steven Sashen:

Okay.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

That’s why you have to stay in pose. Don’t disturb pose. You have to stay in pose until your support is ending.

Steven Sashen:

Got it. Now, this is an interesting thing, back to the ground contact time for a sprinter being eight hundredths of a second, not a whole lot of time. I mean, it’s not like you can think, “I’m going to stay in posed while I’m falling.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s on the commonsense level. You cannot push off extending three major joints and involving something 200 muscles.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. You can’t think that fast. Interesting.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Not only fast, it’s impossible. You have to send so many different groups of muscles request.

Steven Sashen:

Well, it’s an interesting point. The amount of time that it takes for a signal to go down your nerves to do that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s time.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. This is what people don’t understand about boxing. When you watch boxing on television, they think, “Well, why can’t that guy just block that thing?” And it’s because the boxers are so good at not telegraphing the move, the time that it takes for a boxer to move their hand to your face is faster than it takes for that signal to go from –

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

That’s why it exists another of maybe next time we will talk about it.

Steven Sashen:

We’ll go into that. All right. So, we have pose. And then this falling thing occurs because you’ve set yourself up properly in pose and now we’re into pull. So, talk about that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Pull means that you have to recover your support foot into the next pose.

Steven Sashen:

So, you’re just getting the foot that was the support foot off the ground, which would happen anyway. I mean, you’re going fall if you come off the ground, but it’s, from where it was support as it’s coming off the ground into that next pose, and this is the part that I saw on my video and the way you described it, once you see it, you can’t unsee it, is that I was not recovering. I was not going from… I was not doing the pull phase properly to get to the next pose quickly enough.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Because on the commonsense level, people think about landing and these two controversial actions, pulling and landing.

Steven Sashen:

I’m reframing this in a number of different ways. It’s very hard to think about this as a cycle because we so like to think of things linearly, but it’s not like I could just pull my foot off the ground and be in pose better because the only way I can do that right, is if I had the right pose to begin with.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

So, they all feed into each other. And to your point, the thing that we always talk about, the big boogeyman of running is overstriding, it’s landing with your foot in front of your center of mass because that’s putting the brakes on and therefore you won’t be able to get into the right pose fast enough. You won’t be able to fall properly. You won’t be able to pull, recover properly.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s conventional wisdom with, it’s called.

Steven Sashen:

Again?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Conventional wisdom.

Steven Sashen:

Yes. Well, it seems so obvious to me, at least right now. To your point, I would argue, people think about landing in part, because we have eyes in front of our head instead of behind in our head as well. You don’t think there is any relationship?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

No, it’s a much stronger reason than that because landing is a support. It’s a safety. Because a human’s life is based on safety things and being on the support it’s safe. Imagine yourself when the earthquake happens, you’re losing support, the main thing in your life, your ground. So, they’re trying to get just the support because for them it’s a safety.

Steven Sashen:

I think you’re going to like this story. Do you know Ken Bob Saxton?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes, of course.

Steven Sashen:

I assumed so. But I had to ask it that way. So, Ken and I, we talked about running downhill and what most people try to do is like what you’re saying, they want to land, they want to be safe. They overstride, they put their foot in front of their center of mass and people say to Ken, “How do you run downhill?” He goes, “As fast as possible.” It’s like you don’t need to be… I mean, it’s stupid but the whole idea is that you can let yourself go downhill, let the hill do the work.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

His sentence is a little bit overdue because there exists the level of speed which you can handle at a…

Steven Sashen:

Exactly.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a skill.

Steven Sashen:

You don’t want to pick a hill bigger than you, but the idea being that what most people do is like, to your point, they try to stay safe instead of finding that edge where it’s the right amount of using the hill to handle the speed that you can move at.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

All right. So, it’s skill level defining point.

Steven Sashen:

This is so interesting. So, it sounds like part of what you’re saying, and please correct me as I know you will. So one of the obstacles that people have for learning effective running, learning to get into pose have falling occur. So, that pull can happen correctly is that they’re not comfortable with the subtle discomfort of being in that right position to begin with, because it doesn’t feel initially safe until you get used to it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’ll give you just example because you’re a sprinter, the best of my knowledge about you. For example, you understand that running downhill, using gravity, it’s a helpful thing, right?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Okay. Now, a fact, no one sprinter in the world is not using a hill with the inclination more than three to five degrees.

Steven Sashen:

Are we talking about running downhill or uphill?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Downhill.

Steven Sashen:

So, they’re never going to train with an inclination higher than three to five degrees?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. And your point is?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Because you are exceeding the-

Steven Sashen:

The hill is bigger than you are.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. It’s the law of physics, simple physics. I published about this article. Nobody pays attention for some reason.

Steven Sashen:

Well, you’ve got to start writing in English instead of Russian. That’s the secret.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

No, it’s in English. It was published in Switzerland, in Lausanne, but probably because it’s Europe so far away from Americans.

Steven Sashen:

There you go, that’s what it is. The water dilutes the ink. That’s what it is.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

But the point is very simple. The biggest angle of falling in the field on gravity it’s a 22.5 degrees. This is an article, I published ago. It’s called geometry of running if people want to read and it means that point, you cannot overdo. Behind this point, you just cannot come back again to the pose.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to, again, describe that for humans. So, here you are on one leg on support as you start to fall, if your body gets past 22 degrees off of vertical, then you won’t be able to recover fast enough to actually continue running.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s correct. So, best sprinters, if five degrees, it means the best sprinters right now in average about 18, 19 degrees speed, they’re on. You understand?

Steven Sashen:

So, if the best sprinters are already at 18 or 19 degrees, they’ve only got one to play with, three to five to play with. Oh my God. That is so cool. And similarly, you can fake that with overspeed devices, but the idea with an overspeed device, you still won’t be able to do more than 3 to 5% of the speed because you won’t be able to recover fast enough. Oh, that is so cool.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I don’t know why people are not reading science.

Steven Sashen:

Reading is hard for people, come on, you know that. So, what we’ve just done is we’ve sort of described the whole thing in a way that I’m hoping people get the… I mean, this gives me chills, frankly, and if you don’t get it, go back and listen again, but let’s go into the next part. So, which is the… So, you discovered this, but then what do you then do that turns this into a method of teaching or more importantly, a method of learning how to do this?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a big thing because after that I’d come up-

Steven Sashen:

This is an easy one.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

… topic, which is called perception. It is incredible. I cannot give you even grasp with this our short meeting. I wrote about this in a few books because what we’re teaching, we’re teaching perception.

Steven Sashen:

Well, let me reframe it this way for you. I don’t want to leave people hanging because I know that people are going to want to go, “All right, what do I do next?” Or if they’re teaching, “What do I need to do to learn how to communicate this?” So, given that we could spend hours doing this because we already have, what would be the simplest thing that you could say for, let’s just go for the average runner who wants to start to apply this whole idea. Obviously, we’ll talk about your book in a sec, but in lieu of that for a moment in the time between now and when someone’s going to get to a bookstore or go to Amazon or whatever, if they want to go out immediately and experiment with something, what do you recommend they do.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Learn how to fall.

Steven Sashen:

Did I tell you how I teach barefoot running? Did I tell you the story? So, one of the things that I do with people is I say, “Let’s look at little kids where their heads are still way too big for their body.” And I go, “We’ll go out on a grassy area and I want you to keep your arms like flopping by your side. Don’t use your arms and just like lean your head until it’s too far and you’re about to fall. And then just do as little as you can to not actually fall and then keep moving your head in other directions. And you don’t have to go in one direction, but just let your head guide you to almost fall and just don’t let yourself… Just barely keep yourself from falling and then do it until you don’t care what other people in the park think of you, until you’re just having fun and you couldn’t care less what other people think.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This is how kids naturally go into running and then mass media neighbors experienced runners that teach them push off, those stride lengths and all this nonsense where it comes from.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, think about this. It’s so funny. I want to really harp on this because this is such a big deal. If you go out and just practice falling, you’re not going to land on your face. You’re not that stupid. But if all you do is practice falling-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

The defense mechanism has.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. And don’t worry about the rest. Don’t think about, what running form looks like, whatever. Start a one foot, lean enough to start to fall and try to get to that next foot in such a way that you can continue a, let’s call it a controlled fall for lack of a better term.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’ll last but not long because without pose, you cannot continue fall too long, and then you will be lost with the pulling because your falling will continue like a drunk man goes to the only nearest the wall.

Steven Sashen:

I’ll do a course correction then, but this idea of starting with falling, even if you’re doing maybe just two or three steps.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. This is a good idea.

Steven Sashen:

Okay.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Good advice.


But when you’re reaching level, it’s called threshold, everything is threshold, there exist. So, your next falling will require timeline of pose and you’re not there. Then you’re next fall already gone. It will be break.

Steven Sashen:

Got it. Again, this is where the whole thing that this cycle comes in, you can’t just keep practicing falling because that does work because you have to get pulling and pose in there or it all falls apart in two steps.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Otherwise, drunkards will be best runners in the world.

Steven Sashen:

Sometimes they are. They’re some of the best fighters because there’s no resistance. And so, if people want to then practice… I’m just playing with this in my head for the first time. So, they practice falling, a couple of steps and they can practice pulling a couple of steps. And then eventually you can start to put these things together by the time you’ve gone to Amazon to buy your book or find someone.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a good idea.

Steven Sashen:

But I do want to highlight what you were starting to talk about. The key thing that you have to develop to do this. And I would argue, I haven’t videotaped myself since you were out here, I’ve got to do it and have some fun with that. And the only reason I haven’t is that my training partner can’t seem to hold a camera straight no matter what we do with her, it’s just that she can’t do it. Anyway, wait, what was I going to say? Oh, the key thing that you’re ultimately having to develop, and this is so, so important is the perception of what you’re doing.

The proprioceptive scale to know where your body is in space accurately, because most people don’t have that and need video feedback to get that accurately to ingrain that and to internalize that. But the reason this is so critical is that ultimately the only way you can really proceed, not that you don’t ever need coaching or help or external guidance, but the only way you’re going to really be able to maximize the value of that is when you can feel what you’re doing, when you become your own coach.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I feel not the right word for this. It will be what you’ve perceived.

Steven Sashen:

How are you distinguishing between the two?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Okay. It’s very simple. In psychology, feelings it’s like you are angry, hungry, that is a feeling.

Steven Sashen:

I get it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

You’re scared, feeling. But perception is different things.

Steven Sashen:

So, I’ll rephrase it. So, the key skill is developing the perceptual awareness of your body position, which is called proprioception so that you can make these course corrections about whether you are hitting pose, falling –

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. They’re all inside this perception of time, perception of space. It’s not proprioception.

Steven Sashen:

Well, it’s more than proprioception.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Proprioception is internal.

Steven Sashen:

Well, it’s internal about just the body positioning in space, but it’s not including the movement.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Proprioception with the sharing from described in twenties is how you perceive muscles’ lengths, because this is what the interfusal elements inside muscles stretch or contract and the body of golgi on the tendons.

Steven Sashen:

You’re getting information from golgi fibers, from the muscle spindle fibers.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a location and condition of these things, but it’s not related with exactly how you’re interacting with support.

Steven Sashen:

So, we’re going to expand, I’m going to keep doing this for the fun of it. So, the ultimate perceiving that you’re doing is a combination of a number of things. Some of it is proprioceptive. Some of it has to do with just time and space. This whole constellation.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Perception, exactly. Ception means connections. Percept, inception, deception, it’s all about different connections that there’s immaculate conception.

Steven Sashen:

All of these ceptions. I think that’s another shot.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s a Latin word, which means connection basically, and then not only connection, but it’s very much global.

Steven Sashen:

Because you said it’s a Latin word I have to ask, what’s the Russian version of that since the Russian version of that word clearly didn’t come from Latin?

 

And what’s the etymology of that?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s perception, taking in.

Steven Sashen:

Got it.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Taking in.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting. My favorite memory about Russian, I was in high school and a friend of mine was in college. We were hanging out at another friend’s swimming pool and she had a book next to her that was like three inches thick. And I said, “What is that?” She goes, “I’m studying Russian. This book is called Russian Verbs of Motion.” It’s three inches thick. “This is a little too much for me.”

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yeah. It’s a nice dictionary.

Steven Sashen:

So, I want to highlight because we’ve got to wrap this up and this has been such a pleasure and such a treat and a lot of fun. There are a couple of things. One is that… And I said this to you and I’m going to reiterate it now because I think it’s maybe meaningful. There’s nothing you can do about this and it’s not a criticism. One of the reasons that I think I didn’t originally understand pose method and didn’t really gravitate towards it. First of all, I thought it applied mostly to distance runners. I didn’t realize that it applied for any running and let alone any physical activity.

 

The second thing is the word method implies something that while it’s true, that basically what you’ve described is this thing that is common to all running and especially the better you get, the more… So, people who are not very skilled may have a lot of idiosyncratic differences. The better you get, the more of those disappear. They never become all gone. But like you and I did this, we looked at this video of Usain Bolt running, and then we both did the same thing, which is like, let’s look at the other seven guys in the race. And they all had almost exact same perfect form and that was really cool to see. There were little idiosyncrasies, but those made no difference. Those were tiny, tiny things.

So, that’s another thing that people don’t get that this is a foundation that allows you to move up that pyramid, if you will, to getting rid of those idiosyncratic things that are problematic. But the other thing is that the word method, I don’t think it does this justice. I think it implies something beyond what you have… What you’re talking about is this essential component to effective running that presented that way, I don’t know what that would look like, would make this… No one would have any objection. Nobody would have any argent. They might have a slightly different way of teaching because of their own personal whatever. But fundamentally we’re talking about the same thing. Like no one teaches that… No one has five different names for how to teach a backflip or how to do a back flip. Back flip is the same thing. You can’t do it differently.

Running, people seem to do it differently. And so, this idea of method, it also interferes with people’s idea of like, “I know how to run. Humans know how to run.” So, if I were going to rewrite history, in addition to killing Hitler, I would play with this idea of method. And while there is a method to pose, that’s not the part that’s so exciting to me personally, the exciting part is this common factors thing that as you can start to play with the common factors that’s where the growth comes from.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

This was the foundation of my research at the time. I was looking in the running, when I started this. I was looking for not differences. I was looking for commonalities and I found them.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. And that’s what I think is just so wonderful about this. So, I think I had a third point or a second point. I don’t remember what it was, but that’s the part that I find just so compelling about this and that these are… Well, anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Let’s just do this last thing to wrap it up. If people want to discover more, I’m going to hold up your book. Here it is. The Running Revolution, dismayed by what shoe is on the cover?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s not mine.

Steven Sashen:

I know that you didn’t pick that.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It’s in the publishing house that put this. I was not happy with that.

Steven Sashen:

So, it’s the shoe that most people are wearing. They’re relate to it. If they see something that’s not what they’re wearing, they might be turned off anyway. So, it’s all good. So, the Running Revolution, you can find it wherever. Your website is?

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Pose method of running. And obviously on the Facebook, we have running forum for coaches and pose method of running for everyone. We have like thirty thousand people on the general forum.

Steven Sashen:

Hold on one second. I’m just typing something in. I just want to check something. So, posemethod.com is the easiest place to find you. And if you want to find coaching, which I recommend because-

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

We have in different cities, coaches, obviously.

Steven Sashen:

So, it’s a great place to start. There’s a bunch of YouTube videos as well, not just from you, but from other people who’ve been doing this.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

About 500 videos.

Steven Sashen:

Wow, my bad. All shot last week. So, please go check out Dr. Romanov’s work. Please go to postmethod.com. Let us know what you think, let us know what you discover, let us know how this impacts your running or everything. I mean, that’s the thing that’s so interesting. If you think about this, one of the examples, I believe… I don’t even remember if it’s in your book but think about ballet or about baseball. If you start thinking about these essential poses that are the thing that leads you to the next one, inevitably to do that movement properly, it really changes the way that you start looking at human beings, which is fascinating and this is true for walking, this is true for hiking. This is true for everything you do. Start thinking about gravity in this way, that all you’re ever doing is transforming gravity and that can have a huge impact. By the way, in fact, in a related note, you have a video that’s one that I reference all the time to emphasize why you don’t want to overstride. And if you don’t overstride, how cool that is, which is running on ice.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

Yes.

Steven Sashen:

People talk about slipping or sliding. There’s a couple of people who’ve done videos running on ice. And if there were any demonstration that sliding and slipping comes from what you’re doing, not from the physics of your shoe and the material it’s watching that video of running on which I’ll include in the show notes as well because that’s a super fun one. So, anyway, Nick, this has been, again, as always just a total, total pleasure.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

It is mine too. And thank you for inviting me.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to get teary when say this, but I can’t help it, there are very few times in life where you meet someone and you feel like you’ve met a long lost brother, and that’s how I felt in meeting you.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

You’re so good interviewer that I almost revealed all my secrets.

Steven Sashen:

Well, we’ll have to do another one to get the secrets you didn’t reveal. So, thank you.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I’m attached very much.

Steven Sashen:

Pleasure.

Dr. Nicholas Romanov:

I would like to give you my hug, but not yet in this.

Steven Sashen:

We’ve not figured that technology out yet. So, for everybody else, thank you for being here. It’s the longest podcast I’ve done. I’m thrilled and we could have gone on for hours longer. In fact, if you want to hear more, let us know, and we can schedule part two. More importantly, go to www.jointhemovementmovement.com. Find out more about what we’re doing. Find out the places you can share and like, and all that, and be part of the MOVEMENT Movement. If you have any questions or comments or recommendations, people you want on the show, things you want to talk about or hear about, drop me an email, move@jointhemovementmovement.com, but most importantly, go out, have fun and live life, feet first.

 

 

 

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