Are There Disadvantages to Pose Running?

Running is a popular exercise enjoyed by many. However, some runners have adopted a newer running style called “pose running.” This style emphasizes landing on the forefoot instead of the heel.

While pose running promises benefits like less impact, it also carries potential disadvantages that runners should understand. Today’s article will discuss the disadvantages of pose running. Read on!

What Are The Disadvantages of Pose Running?

1. Increased Risk of Injuries

One of the most significant problems of pose running is injury prevalence. By landing on their forefeet rather than heels, runners alter lower body mechanics in ways not fully accustomed. So, this leads to transferring more impact to specific muscle groups unaccustomed to such strain. 

According to a study published by Sports Medicine, the calves and Achilles tendons feel this stress markedly as they work to control the new foot strike pattern. Repeated stresses risk developing problems over time, like shin splints, if issues go unaddressed. 

Other common overuse injuries involve the bones in the feet, such as stress fractures. Changing to a forefoot strike also shifts how the knees function during each stride. Without precision, this shift can contribute to ailments such as tendinitis.

                                                                                 Source: The Science of Sports

Proper form matters greatly to avoid these injury risks. Yet maintaining flawless technique proves challenging, especially as fatigue sets in. When tired, form tends to falter back towards familiar heel striking. 

Even experienced pose runners remain at risk if workout intensities exceed what their bodies can handle. With an injury, training interruptions follow, which no athlete prefers. 

By understanding injury threats specific to forefoot landing style, each runner can make informed preventative choices to maintain long-term health. Safety ultimately matters more than any exercise methodology.

2. It's Hard On The Body

Transitioning to a new running technique emphasizes muscles unaccustomed to primary movement roles. The small but powerful muscles in the lower legs and feet receive heavier demands with “pose running.” 

According to POSEIDON, landing on the ball of each foot activates muscles of the toes, arches, and outer feet far more than conventional rearfoot striking. While strengthening the lower body possesses benefits, overloading underprepared areas brings negative consequences. 

The muscles bridging each toe together particularly feel augmented stress levels. These interdigital muscles work to spread toes during foot strike and lift-off. Without sufficient conditioning, fatigue and discomfort potentially arise. The plantar muscles along the foot bottoms experience heightened use of supporting body weight in the new positioning. 

Similarly, the intrinsic foot muscles changing arch shape undergo novel demands. These small stabilizers aid arched foot structure and help achieve proper forefoot technique. 

Yet, building endurance within the intricate muscle interactions takes a gradual, cautious approach. Neglecting adequate warmup or recovery allows injury development during drastic kinematic transitions.

Calf Soreness and Fatigue

A 2022 study states that no muscle group senses the increased work like the calf complex. As the major foot plantar flexors, these rear lower leg muscles control lowering and raising the feet. 

According to the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, with forefoot striking, calves isometrically contract more during ground contact and explosively fire to propel the body forward. The soleus and gastrocnemius specifically tire swiftly under unaccustomed exertions. 

Beginner pose runners commonly experience post-workout calf pounding or soreness. Repetitions place inflamed strains without the conditioning buffer. Both calf strength building, and elastic capacities require development. 

In forefoot running’s early stages, conservative training frequencies and durations prove wise to avoid overuse problems. Gradual exposure exposes tissues to remodeling without damaging breakdown. Otherwise, injuries may emerge, such as calf strains depriving runners of physical activity.

Achilles Tendon Strain

A 2014 study shows that as the intersection between gastrocnemius and soleus muscles with the heel bone, the Achilles tendon transmits leg forces throughout each stride. It is an important shock absorber and spring but requires sufficient warm fluid lubrication. 

During forefoot striking, lackluster flexibility places undue pulling on this critical tendon region. Repetitive stresses absent adequate warmups may induce painful Achilles tendinopathy. 

Microscopic tears develop within the collagen fibers due to overloaded strains. While semi-flexed during rearfoot striking, the Achilles stays taut throughout more foot strike phases. 

Without tissue preparedness, injuries could interrupt training momentum. However, by implementing defensive strategies like meticulous dynamic warmup routines, Achilles issues remain avoidable for committed pose-running adherents.

3. More Difficult To Learn

Learning this style or technique is one of the most substantial issues of pose running. For instance, perfecting new movement patterns requires dedicated practice; something forefoot striking demands in abundance. 

Landing on the front of each foot goes against the instinct of most used to rearfoot striking. While offering long-term benefits, the learning curve for “pose running” presents a disadvantage. 

Making Small Adjustments

Runners accustomed to years of one style need patience in retraining biomechanics. Minor alteration aims to prove challenging when engrained muscle memory drives motions. 

The focus shifts to manipulating foot placement, lean, and brace positioning with each step. Landing midfoot takes conscious concentration absent autopilot. Maintaining an upright posture differs from a relaxed heel-dropping form as well. 

Runners must attentively watch foot placement while moving to make corrections swiftly. Video analysis aids in identifying form weaknesses, too. Overly leaning forward or lateral foot strikes stem bad habits requiring mindful adjustments. Only after endless reps do mechanics feel natural instead of forced mental calculations.

Maintaining Good Form

As workouts exhaust muscles and mind, maintaining pristine forefoot striking becomes difficult. Tiredness triggers regression towards prior inefficient movement patterns. Without perseverance, initial improvements disappear under the influence of fatigue. 

Various speeds and surfaces likewise challenge mechanics learned in ideal conditions. Up-hills demand neuromuscular adaptations level running lacks. Downhill running especially tempts unleashing braking forces through the heels. 

Injuries may arise should form falter under duress before strengthening vulnerable positions. Only diligent drilling amid varied paces and “ground feels” achieves lasting success in the technique transition. Those dissatisfied with slow progress should remember biomechanical overhauls require patience and consistency to reach competence.

Mastering Feet and Form

Running involves intricate timing between lower extremity leverages. Altering foot strike disrupts practiced sequences that served well for years. Coordination weaknesses emerge until coordinative honing occurs. 

Runners may over stride, and braking leg muscles tire quickly as levers strike out of sync. Foot pronation control shifts need accommodation, too. Monitoring running form comprises an indispensable piece of learning safe, streamlined pose running technique over conventional styles. 

4. Less Efficient For Long Distances

One of the potential drawbacks of pose running relates to its effectiveness over longer training runs or races. While offering advantages for intermittent speedwork or shorter efforts, sustaining proper technique through prolonged distances presents challenges tired muscles may not handle.

Increased Energy Expenditure

Transitioning to forefoot striking recruits a wider assortment of lower leg muscles unaccustomed to primary roles. As these supporting muscles strengthen, repeated foot strikes demand surplus effort compared to rearfoot landing. 

Over many training miles, these accrued inefficiencies sap valuable glycogen and fat reserves better conserved. Distances likely need scaling back, or intensities moderated as a result.

Maintaining Cadence

A 2021 study published by Research Gate shows that optimizing forward momentum involves a quicker cadence when forefoot striking versus heel dropping. While rhythmic strides benefit running form, high repetition rates prove tiring over the long haul. Unlike track interval emphasis, endurance efforts challenge maintaining livelier cadences hour after hour. 

Legs unconsciously want to lengthen strides and reduce turnover, disrupting precise foot placement mechanics. Muscle fatigue makes controlled foot strikes much harder at the distances “pose running” suits least.

Atrophy of Feet

Another 2021 study published by BMC states that the intrinsic foot muscles do greater work stabilizing each foot strike, which requires remodeling to match the task. However, converting slow twitch to fast twitch fibers takes time. During the transition, novel muscle soreness and fatigue feel unavoidable when cranking out weekly distances. 

Overuse from insufficient recovery between bouts of long runs risks aggravated strains or tendinopathies forming in the feet. Changes from the natural adaptation process suggest limiting mileage or introducing rest until strength improves. Feet needs cautious nurturing when adjusting to heavier demands.

Form Breakdown

Concentrating on subtle adjustments to running form involves considerable mental energy reserves. As exertion builds, these attentional resources diminish while fatigue clouds judgment. Poor foot strike control emerges more readily under such conditions. 

Minimizing deterioration requires immense willpower over multiple hours, all while tired legs want to rely on hardcoded patterns. Distance running cultivates patience that shorter efforts lack for maintaining meticulous technique. Form lapses risk exacerbating microscopic injury buildups in vulnerable tissues.

5. Need Specialized Shoes

Running shoe design directly influences injury risk and form. While rearfoot striking aligns well with cushioned stability shoes, “pose running” demands different construction properties. Thinner soles allow feeling sensations important for natural foot mechanics. 

Forefoot landing concentrates ground impacts differently than rearfoot striking. Frequent running risks painful bone bruises or stress fractures without shoes absorbing stress. 

Midsoles providing adequate padding prevent overuse injuries but do not weigh runners down. Reinforced toe caps guard sensitive forefeet from debris or rocks during workouts. 

Flex grooves permitting natural ankle and toe joint movement facilitate quicker foot turnovers. Barefoot-inspired shoes let underfoot muscles interact directly with varied surfaces for strengthening. However, traditional shoe cushioning still supports learners adjusting to heavier forefoot demands. 

While quality shoes entail investment, finding properly fitted forefoot models adds shopping challenges. Trial and error locating shoes respecting natural biomechanics becomes essential. Researching shoe reviews regarding cushioning, flexibility, and toe-box dimensions assists the process. 

6. Potential For Knee Issues

While pose running aims to impact away from heels, the knees feel increased forces compared to rearfoot landing. As forefoot striking loads ankles and calves to lever the body forward, knee flexors work overtime, slowing leg swing. 

Additional repetition strains Patellar tendons attached below the knees. Overuse more likely occurs without preparatory strength training. Minor issues frequently found involve the jumper’s knee, an inflammation injuring sensitive tendons. 

Not addressing weak areas risks aggravating this debilitating condition through high foot strike loads. Runners should include lower leg exercises like calf raises and single-leg squats. Gradual gains minimize shocks that might otherwise develop into knee issues. 

Alternative injuries involve articular cartilage wearing down over the years. Pose running concentrates ground reactions onto knee joints, which may accelerate natural degeneration for some. Runners with arthritis must proceed thoughtfully to avoid flares disrupting their routine. 

A 2022 study published by Link Springer states monitoring is necessary since improper mechanics concentrate loading onto one knee. An asymmetrical gait strains one leg excessively and endangers its integrity. Those with prior injuries require vigilance in transitioning landing styles. 

Patellar mal tracking following past dislocations risks exacerbation from unprepared knee stresses. Buildups targeting weaker areas avoid risking setbacks in training progressions. Early retirements from running happen all too often due to neglecting vulnerable anatomy. 

By strengthening muscles absorbing shocks, diligent runners offset potential pitfalls of pose running. Conditioning serves far better than hoping no issues materialize over marathon years. 

7. Hard to Run on Uneven Surfaces

Running on smooth, flat surfaces is suitable for developing precise foot strikes but varied terrain challenges, even for experienced runners. According to a 2015 study published by the Journal of Experimental Biology, uneven paths and trails demand reactive stride adaptations beyond those of consistent roads or tracks. Off-road surfaces hide ruts, rocks, and hills ready to disrupt well-practiced form. 

According to MDPI, uneven footing necessitates maintaining balanced landing points despite unpredictable ground interactions. Stable ankle positioning proves critical in absorbing potential twists or trips that could inflict injuries. 

Yet adjusting foot placement sight unseen adds difficulty for runners acclimating lower leg muscles to new demands. Fatigue further threatens mechanics due to stress irregularities imposed. 

Ankle weakness proves less forgiving when surfaces shift mid-strike. Without stiffness safeguarding vulnerable joints, ankles roll into sprains that sideline athletes. The risk grows amid uneven terrain, challenging control. 

Conditions like variable sand likewise disturb running patterns. Heavy foots trikes displace loose surfaces, disturbing hard-won stability. Without experience adapting to slipperiness, one risks frustrated workouts cut short by preventable injuries. The sand throws off habitual timing between ground falls and leg swings. 

Learning proper off-road running fundamentals matters most for varied surface safety. While flat tracks favor “pose running” perfection, incorporating uneven trails cautiously builds resilience over time. 

8. Impact On Cadence

Transitioning to a forefoot strike from rearfoot landing elevates the optimal running cadence. Forefoot mechanics promote a turnover of around 180 steps per minute, quicker than many runners are accustomed to. Maintaining this faster cadence presents challenges. 

At higher intensities or longer distances, fatigue makes sustaining the cadence required for efficient forefoot form difficult. The legs want to slow down as exhaustion sets in. Similarly, as paces increase during speedwork, it takes practice to keep the cadence rapid enough to prevent overstriding. 

If cadence decreases even slightly, poor form changes can result. Runners may start overstriding, taking steps too long instead of landing under the center of mass. So, this wastes energy and increases impact forces through the joints rather than utilizing elasticity. It also elevates injury risks like shin splints or stress fractures through repetitive pounding.

9. Psychological Impact

Relearning a skill as integral as running brings mental obstacles accompanying physical changes. Perfecting an unfamiliar movement takes far more focus than sticking to ingrained habits. Frustration arises quickly for competitive runners used to consistent paces not yet achievable amid “pose running” practice. 

Pressure intensifies to master technique preventing injuries that may derail racing goals and training momentum. Uncertainty plagues early weeks, adjusting to modified stresses and gauging how far before overuse occurs. Setbacks feel catastrophic rather than natural paces of progress from square one. 

Anxiety threatens competitive mindsets, questioning each ache or twinge that comes from normal muscle fatigue versus problematic form lapses. Without extensive coaching, runners analyzing video footage introduces self-criticism that saps morale and enjoyment. Constant reflections leave little room for fun factors, keeping runners devoted to the sport. 

Maintaining mindfulness while controlling delicate forefoot landings requires immense concentration and strain under typical running monotony. Small form breakdowns get magnified into insurmountable problems versus niggles corrected over subsequent strides. Perfectionism paralyzes some from ever attempting the forefoot transition due to imagined dangers. 

While experience counters mental blocks over the long run, initial frustrations constitute real problems of pose running for many. Managing expectations and embracing gradualism fosters more positive outlooks through bumpy learning periods. Patience remains critical to psychological well-being, embarking on biomechanical overhauls. 

10. Not Suitable for All Body Types

Just as specific sports suit some anatomies over others, “pose running” demands specific physical attributes not all runners possess. Landmarking each footfall precisely takes supple hips and ankles, allowing rotations absent stiff joints. 

Proper coordination relies on communication between lower limb segments, which some struggle to achieve due to structures being out of alignment. Runners must recognize natural limitations and not push vulnerable areas into overuse through unsuitable motion. 

Frustration arises from battling biomechanics never meant for forefoot patterns imposing repetitive stresses. Safety means respecting honest evaluation weaknesses instead of wishing for different blueprints.

A Final Recap

While pose running offers many advantages, like reduced impact forces, any change in running form requires cautious adaptation. The new demands placed on the lower body by forefoot striking can overload muscles and lead to injuries if runners do not make gradual progressions. 

With diligent practice, weaknesses assessment, and attention to fatigue, most can transition safely to the pose running style. However, some anatomical limitations or injury risks may preclude this technique for certain individuals. 

Scroll to Top