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.

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