This past weekend I attended a RunRX Running Clinic at North Dallas CrossFit. I love to learn from other trainers because even coaches need coaches. There is always room to learn. As soon as you think you have it all figured out, you go stagnant. If you want to become a better, faster, injury-free runner, you need to have an open mind, be willing make changes, and ready to do the work.
I first heard about Valerie Hunt of RunRX on Instagram, where she shares helpful running drills, stretches, and strength exercises for runners. (You can follow her here.) My kind of gal. I read the Pose Method of Running book by Dr. Nicholas Romanov, and I can’t remember if I read the book first or heard about Valerie first, but I realized fairly quickly she was teaching this method with actionable drills and exercises.
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Valerie has over 20-years experience, and is a the only master Pose Running coach in the US. She’s a CrossFit coach, and a Camp Gladiator trainer (among other qualifications, I’m sure). She performs these running clinics all over the country, so when I heard she was giving one back in the Dallas area, I jumped at the chance.
I live in Fort Worth, and I have to drive to Dallas for work so I generally avoid ever going to Dallas for personal trips whenever possible. It’s only about a 30-45 minute drive, but I’m a homebody and a bit grumpy about driving to Dallas, for any reason. What can I say? I love Fort Worth.
But, when I saw that Valerie Hunt was holding one of her famous RunRX clinics in North Dallas on a Saturday morning at North Dallas CrossFit, I knew it would be worth the extra effort, and she didn’t disappoint.
I felt kind of silly complaining about the commute all the way from Fort Worth when I realized that there was a couple who traveled from Mexico City, a lady from Minnesota, and a guy from east Texas staying overnight at a hotel to attend the clinic. She’s that good.
3 LESSONS LEARNED AT THE RUNRX RUNNING CLINIC THAT CAN HELP YOU RUN PAIN-FREE
I’ve been blogging for a decade (a decade I tell you!), so I’ve trained my brain to think about any exciting or fun event in terms of how I share it in a way that will benefit you, the reader. So while I can’t teach you the Pose Method of Running or impart all of Valerie’s expansive wisdom in one blog post (that would be impossible) I can tell you about the big takeaways from the day, so that maybe you can apply the lessons in your running life, and give you a platform to explore further.
RUNNING HAPPENS IN THE AIR
You’re running when both feet are off the ground. Your time on the ground and your muscle actions should be minimal to reduce the impact to your joints (which can be up to 3-4 times your body weight with a heel strike), and increase efficiency.
The Pose method is three positions (Pose, Fall, Pull); further actions only add time (slows you down) and potential injury to your run.
The Pose Method teaches us to use gravity to fall forward from the Pose position, and your only muscle action is to pull the back foot from the ground. Simple? Sure. Easy? It is going to take some work.
This is my before and after from the clinic!
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As soon you pull foot up from the ground, let go and run! Pic1(Left) ✅She has pulled back foot up from ground ❌Instead of running, she is actively reaching lifted foot, landing ahead of body, instead of under ❌Increasing impact, time on ground and potential for injuries Pic2(Right) ✅Pulled back foot up and released to run! 🔹Allowing gravity to land lifted foot, naturally, closer to under body, as hamstring reflex finishes pull ✅Recovering running pose so body can fall, foot pulls up in response, minimizing time on ground to get back in air to run ⬅️Swipe to see a partner drill, running with eyes closed to feel Pull as natural response vs reaching in run #runrx 🔹
YOU MUST STEP BACKWARDS TO PROGRESS FORWARD
I’ve been running for about 15 years. No one ever taught me how to run. Even as a running coach, I learned in my certifications how to build training plans, proper running form (not skill), running drills, and some injury prevention exercises, but no one ever taught me how to run, and I am guessing the same applies to you. You probably strapped on a pair of running shoes and started running without any thought to the skill of running.
Yes, you need to train and develop running as a skill. Just like strength training is a skill. You wouldn’t take a newbie, load up a barbell with hundreds of pounds and tell them to squat, but we start running, putting those 100s of pounds of impact on our joints without any thought of the skill involved.
We must first unlearn our bad habits to learn the correct way to run. If you’re a brand new runner, you can learn the right way in the first place, but for the rest of us, we need to step back to progress forward. Every step you take that is not efficient, only reinforces bad habits.
Instead of adding miles to your training runs, you have to be willing to add skill.
YOU CAN’T LEARN HOW TO RUN PAIN-FREE BY READING A BOOK OR BLOG
If you want to be a better, faster, pain-free runner, you can’t do that by reading a book or blog about running, (or even attending one clinic). Sure, you can read to gain knowledge, but the only way to get better at running is to practice the skill of running.
The truth is most people aren’t willing to put in the work. Can you take the blow to the ego and run only 100 meters at a time for several weeks while you practice your skill? Can you slow down before you speed up? Are you willing to put in the work of running drills, strength exercises, and self-care? It doesn’t come easy; there are no quick fixes or hacks. You have to put in the work.
The work pays off with potentially faster running times while running pain-free.
It may not come easy, and it probably won’t be a quick process, but with practice and persistence, we can get to faster, pain-free running together.
Valerie said something similar to this after the six-hour clinic—if you think you mastered the Pose Method today, you probably haven’t. We learned what it feels like to run correctly, even if it was just for a few seconds at a time—in a Aha Moment. It’s the practice you put in after you leave the clinic that will determine your success.
Thanks to Valerie for the outstanding clinic. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her sessions, I highly recommend it to all runners and coaches!
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