The Rise of Matthew Dellavedova, the Playoffs’ Unlikely Star and Biggest Pest

When Dellavedova arrived at the prestigious Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) training institution in 2007 in Canberra—where fellow NBA Aussies Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Dante Exum, Luc Longley and Patty Mills attended—he was locked in on obtaining that “1 percent edge,” his former AIS coach Paul Goriss said.

That included seeking out Debbie Savage, a former Australian standout runner who works at AIS teaching the Pose Method of running, which is a style of falling forward through a gravitational torque while pulling the support foot rapidly from the ground using the hamstring muscles.

Like Savage, Dellavedova had issues with his feet and shins from running too heavily. “It always looked like he was running in mud,” Goriss said. About four days per week at AIS before his basketball practices, he would work with Savage for about 45 minutes on running, moving laterally and changing directions.

“The technique really did help me become lighter on my feet and helped me become quicker,” he said.

In addition, Dellavedova kept a daily diary at AIS, charting things like his shots and training sessions. He would mark down what he needed to improve each day and then his strengths and weaknesses after every practice.

Click here to read full article >


Running 101

“Do you hear that?” asks Pasquale Manocchia, his face contorting into an ugly wince. It’s as if he’s just heard fingernails screeching across a chalkboard. We’re seated in his office high above a 14,000-squarefoot gym called La Palestra—what the ancient Greeks and Romans called gymnasiums—where my attention strays between the pair of Chinese brass knuckles with one-inch spikes sitting on his desk and other rare fitness artifacts scattered across the glass-encased room: old wooden dumbbells, some fencing gear, Indian clubs, a pair of ancient hiking boots. The gym is located in an old ballroom of the former Hotel des Artistes on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and the office has views of the people working out below us between Roman columns.

I give Manocchia a blank stare. All I hear is music and the faint thump thump thump of someone running, out of sight, on a treadmill. “No one should ever be striking the ground that hard,” says Manocchia, shaking his head. “There’s no question that more people are running than ever before, and more people are getting injured than ever before.”

While that may strike you as a touch dramatic, it’s actually not: In fact, each year, up to 80% of America’s 53 million runners get injured. That’s more than 42 million injured runners last year, which is an even more staggering number when you consider that the figure doesn’t include athletes who get hurt from running while playing other sports. And by injuries, we’re talking about everything from broken bones to insidious, slow-forming conditions like runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome, and stress fractures—the kind of painful stuff that drives runners mad and sends them screaming for the bike saddle in warmer months.

And these aren’t just hardcore dudes who crank out Tough Mudders and Warrior Dashes, either. We’re talking about weekend joggers, too. For the record: Last year, roughly 20 million people participated in road races, and adventure-race participation is up 211% over the last five years. It all begs the question: What are so many people doing so wrong?

For starters, conventional wisdom says that running isn’t something that requires coaching, and that the best way to improve as a runner is to simply run more. And we’re continually recommended any number of remedies for common ailments—usually in the form of a new pair of specialized shoes.

Manocchia emphatically disagrees. The gym owner, a former college hockey player who roomed with JFK Jr. at Brown University, is a disciple of Nicholas Romanov, Ph.D., a career coach for the Russian Olympic team whose unique thoughts about running, long overlooked on the margins of the sport, are finally going mainstream. In short: They firmly believe that running is a practiced skill, not a natural motion. And though some people are born with a talent for running, most are not. Which means that if you haven’t suffered through rigorous coaching on your technique, it’s likely you’re going about it all wrong.

Click here to read full article >

Picking the Brain of Nicholas Romanov

By Adam Elder, Published Oct. 15, 2014

The creator of the Pose Method talks about all things running form during a visit to Competitor’s office.

Land on your forefeet. Shorten your stride. Improve your running posture. For runners, these nuggets have become the parlance of our time, and Dr. Nicholas Romanov, a Soviet-trained physiotherapist, is a big reason why. In a sport now filled with buzzwords like natural running, Romanov, in fairness, was way out in front of this trend years ago with his popular Pose Method.

What is the Pose Method? Well, in a very small nutshell, it’s a particular technique of running that embraces gravity and eschews the notion of pushing off the ground, relying heavily on a specific leg angle (22.5 degrees, since you asked) at the key moment in the stride (the “pose” phase). Doing this, he says, can enable a runner to become faster, more efficient, healthier and injury-free. And he’s quite emphatic about it.

A little mystique is often part of the package for gurus in any kind of pursuit; though he does nothing to actually play it up, Romanov’s whole presentation—his Iron Curtain sports background, pronounced accent, charming English-as-a-second-language phrasing and warm manner paired with brazen outspokenness—is irresistible. No matter how skeptical one might be about his teachings, the guy has been at this for years, studied more film than an NFL coach and has a lot to say. He’s an enthralling interview.

Click here to read the interview >