Joe Running in belt.jpgThe day I discovered the "Pose Method of Running" was the beginning of my transformation as a runner and a triathlete. The "Pose Method of Running" developed by Dr. Nicholas Romanov, a Russian scientist and running coach for Olympic triathletes and runners, taught me how to be a skilled and injury-free runner. Since learning his method, I no longer worry about getting injured while running on the road's hard surface. This technique has allowed me to run faster, and I run longer and more easily with every step. Having learned to master the use of gravity to my advantage has changed the way I run forever. With gravity's assistance, I effortlessly fall forward through space.

It wasn't always that way; running for me was difficult. In spite of this, I immersed myself into triathlons for the last ten years. Originating in California in the 70's, the triathlon a multisport race involving swimming, biking and running. I always excelled at swimming and biking, but running, which is the final leg of the triathlon, was my nemesis. Running the pinnacle of the triathlon requires more mental and physical toughness then either of the two portions. In order to increase my speed, I ran hills, did track workouts, put in lots of miles, and did strength conditioning exercises. In spite of these efforts, I got injured.

It was the summer of 1998. I just finished my weekly workout running up and down hills preparing for my next race. I noticed my knee was swollen and tight. Because it didn't hurt, I thought the swelling and tightness would go away by taking it easy for a few days.

Choosing to ignore my knee, I raced the following week. That proved to be a mistake! By the end of the triathlon my knee was swollen and now painful. I went to the medical tent and was devastated when the doctor told me knee surgery was inevitable, he told me, that I should stop running and competing in triathlons, to prevent further damage to the cartilage in my knee.

In the spring of 1999 I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn cartilage in the left knee. I took the following year off to recover from my knee surgery. Slowly I returned to competing in triathlons. Except for the run, I was competing at the same level as before my surgery. My knee had fully recovered; the pain and swelling were gone, but I was still afraid of running hard on it. I thought would this be my final year of doing triathlons? Early in the season, Jim an accomplished world-class triathlete and friend had just returned from a running clinic and handed me a video tape that would dramatically change the way I would run!

For the next six months I studied the tape and mastered the method and I ran better than ever. What this video taught me about running was, it is a skill by which you must learn how to overcome gravity by falling forward, lifting your feet up quickly underneath the body, and by leaning from the ankles and keeping the knees bent". This approach was radically different from how most runners and I were taught. In the past we were told with each stride to stick the foot out in front of the body, land on the heel, and then push off to go forward, stretching the legs out to run faster.

Dr.Romanov says,"A skilled knowledgeable runner should be able to work with the force of gravity just as yachtsman knows how to gain energy from the wind. A good sailor can use a headwind to move forward. A good runner taps the power of gravity to gather speed with minimum impact and expenditure of energy." After six months of practicing the "Pose Method of Running" I was sailing past my competitors and having the best racing season of my life.

Team Toledo Triathlon Club members noticed my achievements; some in the club wanted to know what I had done to run so fast! I happily told them about the "Pose Method". Because of their interest in my success, I was asked by the club president to organize a running clinic. Immediately, twenty-five members signed up. In November 2001, Dr. Romanov came to Toledo for a weekend to demonstrate his innovative method of running to triathlon club members. Wanting to learn more about Dr. Romanov's innovative running technique, I asked him how I could become a certified coach. This was after months of perfecting the "Pose Method of Running" on my own time; I showed Dr. Romanov what I achieved. Dr. Romanov was impressed and invited me down to Florida for certification. Even before leaving for Florida, I had a class of eager triathletes waiting for my return, so they could learn the "Pose Method of Running." Since I have received certification as a "Pose" running coach, I have started to travel with Dr. Romanov around the country to help him establish the "Pose Method." Ultimately we hope to change how the runners of the world will be running in the near future - faster, easier, longer and injury free!

With my help, you can have your best racing season ever, using the POSE METHOD OF RUNNING. In addition to teaching the POSE METHOD, I also teach Hot Yoga (flexibility exercises), and Kettlebells (core training) to improve muscle elasticity-a major component of running.

All classes are offered atat 29101 Hufford Rd. in Perrysburg, Ohio, in the Graystone Hall building (across from Perrysburg Animal Care). Individuals or groups who are interested in the POSE METHOD, HOT YOGA and KETTLEBELLS may call (419-345-0885) or email (joe@ezrunbelt.com) for more information, or check out my other website: www.hotyogawithjoe.com.

I invite you to give it a try!

Joe Sparks