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Featuring Tracy Peal of Tracy Peal Speed
Tracy Steven Peal, Sr. is a certified Triathlon, Running, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Personal Trainer. He has been engaged in the field of individual and group strength and conditioning for more than 15 years. Tracy works directly with Dr. Cohen to help his patients recover from sports injuries.

Tracy holds individual and group sessions to help athletes avoid injury, recover quickly, and handle the stresses of training and competition. To learn more, visit www.tracypealspeed.com, or call 302.753.0220. You can also reach Tracy at [email protected].

I have heard about the Pose method of running, what is it and can it increase running speed?
The Pose Method of Running is a breakthrough running technique developed in the 1970’s by Dr. Nicholas Romanov to standardize running form. The Pose Method is a movement theory that acknowledges the propulsive force of gravity. In running, the outcome is a reduction in injury potential and an improvement in performance. It advocates that the runner land on the ball of the foot at the mid-stance of the gait cycle. This allows for less ground contact time and proper alignment of the hips, ankles, and knees. By maintaining proper balance, resisting the urge to lengthen the stride, and utilizing the “free speed” of gravitational torque, Pose has been proven to reduce impact in the legs by up to 50%, while making the runner faster. The efficiency gained helps prevent such injuries as shin splints, stress > fractures, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and many more. While Pose does seem to be a miracle running technique, it is time-intensive and meticulous.

To be done properly, the athlete must implement the drills and exercises gradually to his or her routine under the guidance of professional supervision.
I recently sprained my ankle and would like to return to running as soon as possible, how can I be sure of a smooth recovery?
Ankle sprains are common, somewhere around 25,000 people sprain an ankle each day. A sprained ankle happens when the ligaments of the ankle are stretched to the point that they tear. Ankle sprains occur predominantly on the lateral side (the outside) of the ankle. This type of sprain (inversion) occurs when the ankle rolls in such a way that the bottom of the foot faces inward. Ankle sprains can vary in severity and may be accompanied by small fractures of the ankle bones. For this reason, it is important to have the injury evaluated by a healthcare professional before attempting to return to activity. Once your doctor indicates that you can return to activity it is important to increase the mobility, flexibility, and strength of the ankle joint using case specific exercises and techniques. The athlete is then ready to return to full activity, and steps should be taken to prevent recurrence of the injury. Improving running efficiency, static balance and joint range of motion are the immediate goals. A professional trainer well-versed in these modalities can be an integral part of returning to form and preventing further injury.

I am a runner with flat feet and I suffer regularly from overuse injuries to my foot, ankle, and knee, what is my problem and how can I run without pain?
A common cause of chronic pain and overuse injury of this type is a mechanical problem called over-pronation of the foot. Normal pronation occurs when the foot rolls inward and the arch of the foot flattens. In a runner with flat feet or other issues the foot will often hyper-pronate, or roll too far inwards. This will throw off the balance of the foot and leg and can cause shin splints, runner’s knee, bunions, tarsal tunnel syndrome and more. Often the pain can be avoided with motion control running shoes and custom insoles, but many experts maintain that while this method gets rid of the pain, poor mechanics still inhibit the runner’s full potential. To fix this problem many athletes turn to elite running coaches and movement specialists. At Tracy Peal Speed, we advocate a cutting edge running technique called the Pose method. The Pose method is proven to reduce shock on the knee as well as preventing injury. These results are achieved by keeping the body well positioned over its general center of mass so as to work with gravity rather than against it. To learn more please contact us.

What are some pros and cons of barefoot running and how can I learn more about the technique?
It seems reasonable that shoes, especially running shoes, would represent the most technologically advanced approach to enhancing human locomotion mechanics – but this is not the case. Barefoot running enthusiasts point out that shoes alter natural foot placement, moving impact from the forefoot and balls of the feet to the heel by adding cushioning and mechanical support. In their opinion, this causes the small muscles of the foot and leg to become underdeveloped through disuse. Advocates of barefoot running also suggest that this method can help strengthen these muscles to increase performance and prevent injury.
While barefoot running may improve health, combining performance, efficiency and injury prevention involves more complexity than simply removing one’s shoes and running. For this reason, a competent running coach or movement specialist should assist and advise any athlete who is interested in barefoot running. For an introduction to barefoot running and a sample drill, check out this video.

How should a long distance runner approach rehabilitation of a knee injury so as to return to training as quickly as possible?
It is important to remember that with any injury, especially a knee injury, the injured part of the body is far from the only area affected. Muscles that have been unused during the rehabilitative process may have weakened, so it’s imperative to minimize effort and stress on the knee when returning to running. Jumping back into training without the proper attention can lead to an overuse issue or a recurrence of the previous injury. For this reason we emphasize Gait Retraining, in addition to normal strengthening and flexibility routines. This approach is essential to providing the proprioceptive feedback an athlete needs to stride efficiently, regain strength and return balance to the leg.