The Running Revolution Book Review
The Running Revolution: How to Run Faster, Farther, and Injury-Free - For Life by Dr. Nicholas Romanov is a self-help book with many illustrations about how to run correctly. The target audience for this book is all runners, including beginners and professionals. The author is the creator of the Pose Method, which includes all of the techniques shown in this book.
I picked up this book because I recently started running barefoot and wanted information about how to do it correctly. I knew that running barefoot uses a different technique than when wearing shoes. One significant difference is you should land on your forefoot instead of your heel. However, I didn't know the correct form or how to learn to land softly on my feet. So, I'm researching to get advice from the experts on how to run barefoot without getting injuries.
As I looked through the book, I noticed that most of the book consisted of illustrations that demonstrated different poses. Most self-help books begin with science or facts and then lead into the method or steps halfway through the book. However, The Running Revolution starts right with the different exercises for the Pose Method. Illustrations take up most of the space in the book, which is good because then you can see how to do each pose correctly.
The Running Revolution Synopsis
The author explains and illustrates The Pose Method in The Running Revolution. He created this method after observing elite runners and noticed how they all had similar movements while running. These techniques are taught in this book to help you run faster with optimal form while decreasing the chances of injury.
The author first gives suggestions on tasks to perform before beginning the drills. The following items are a few from the list mentioned in the book.
Buy a journal. Begin by writing in a journal about your past experiences with running, and then keep the journal going with new entries after each drill you do in the book. You will journal your observation after each training session. Write down what you have learned and your emotions. Also, write what you know you are doing wrong and ways you will improve the next time. Lastly, write down the improvements you have made. Notice what you have done right.
- Take a video of you running. Taking video is crucial so you can see exactly how you run rather than how you think or feel. Before doing the Pose Method drills, have someone take a video of you running so you will have before and after pictures. You should take a view showing your whole body to observe your form when you replay it. The author instructs you when to take more videos after you complete a few drills. This exercise will help you see how you have improved in your form. It will also show you precisely what you are doing when you run. It may be different from how you thought you were running.
- Purchase the right shoes. Pick the right shoes, preferably without much cushioning. To start running correctly, you must wear the right shoes. Most new shoes available now have elevated heels and toes, encouraging you to land on your heel and roll through to your toes. Conversely, The Pose Method technique teaches you to land on your forefoot instead.
"To maximize performance and minimize injury, you want to buy a light shoe with a sole that is flat, thin, and flexible. This allows you to develop a very precise, refined interaction between your foot and the ground - an impossible feat with a thick and inflexible shoe sole. In a movement where every hundredth of a second counts, neuromuscular coordination is crucial for getting on and off support quickly. Excess cushioning delays this process, and as a consequence, running technique deteriorates." (p. 27)
The Running Revolution Pose Method
The author gives a routine consisting of stretches and warmup exercises to be performed before every workout. These will help build the muscles that you need for running. Then he teaches you ten lessons that comprise the three elements of running. Each drill adds to the previous one so that you perfect the movements.
"With the concept of the running Pose we depart from conventional thinking that says there is no universal pattern to optimum running, that sees running as an individual style, whereby everyone runs the way that feels best to him or her - heel strike or no. Conversely, I argue that there is a universal biomechanical structure to running. The running Pose is one of the three invariable elements of running - the foundational elements that every human body passes through when running. " (p. 89)
- Running Pose: This is the first pose the author demonstrates. It is the foundational pose. Once you practice this exercise repeatedly, you will eventually be able to get into it instantly. It will become natural to go into this form while running.
- Fall: These exercises, such as leaning against a wall, will help you to practice learning what it feels like to fall forward. Falling forward will replace conventional techniques, such as extending the leg or pulling the knee upward to run faster.
- Pull: This element of running is when you pull your back foot off the ground as soon as your front foot hits the ground. You will then be in the flight phase, where both feet are off the ground simultaneously. Instead of pushing off with your back foot, you will pull it off the ground quickly.
My Analysis of The Running Revolution
The book's first half is preparatory work before the author gets into the drills. The author wants you to do 31 exercises in the warmup routine before each training or run. He shows each activity on an entire page, which takes up a third of the book. I will not be doing these movements because it isn't necessary to warm up that much. I looked them over and was going to do them, but I found that I already did a variation of each exercise while doing yoga. So instead, I'll do my yoga, which I do after I run. A good warmup routine is beneficial before going out for a run, but only a few.
I did what the author said to do in The Running Revolution by taking a video of myself running to see how my feet were landing. I was surprised that they were landing perfectly. Therefore, I can keep everything the same.
The next step was to make sure I had good form while running. I concentrated on what I learned in the drills by leaning forward and fast pulling my foot off the ground. When I focused on going into the different positions, it caused me to mess up my form. I run better when I just run and do not concentrate on how I'm doing it. It will come naturally after practicing barefoot running for a while.
I'm disappointed with the book. I didn't find anything helpful except to take videos to replay in slow motion to see my form and feet placement.
Practice Until It Becomes Automatic
I will practice the poses until I perfect them and automatically go into the correct form when I run. I do that in yoga. There are many poses that I automatically go into because my body knows where to go. I don't have to think about it. I automatically go into the correct form because I have practiced it many times. However, I won't try to change anything when I run. I will continue taking videos to take note of improvements.
The Running Revolution is suitable for people who are beginning barefoot running. The Pose Method will teach you the correct foot placement and form elite runners perform. It comes naturally for most people. Take a video of yourself running to see your running style. If you are heel striking, practicing the exercises in this book will be helpful.