POSE and ChiRunning are two programs that aim to teach runners to run with greater efficiency and reduced injuries. Both programs are widely supported among barefoot runners. Both programs have fiercely loyal followers. I have no financial stake in either.
I’ve read extensively on both techniques. As is my custom, I take what I can use from any available source and experiment with it. Some things make me better. I keep those. Some make me worse. Those I abandon. I don’t believe either is entirely correct for every possible individual. To claim otherwise would be stupid. Still, people often ask for a recommendation of one over the other. My response is simple- try both.
Both methods are extraordinarily similar. POSE will wrap itself in a shroud of “science”, most of which was conducted by Nick Romanov, the man that profits from POSE sales. ChiRunning shrouds itself in Eastern mysticsm. I consider both to be marketing B.S., though proponents of both will claim otherwise. The real value of both can be found in the fundamentals.
Followers of both will often preach about the infallibility of their particular program, though Chi proponents tend to be a little less dogmatic. I have encountered several hard-core POSE followers that refuse to accept the idea that POSE may not be the best possible solution for every single runner. Their fanaticism reminds me of religious zealots… that annoys me. POSE claims to be rooted in science. A fundamental tenent of the scientific method states any theory must be able to be refuted. That idea seems incomprehensible to some POSE followers, even when presented with contradictory evidence.
Personally, I use elements of both in my own running. Anyone that has watched me run can see both ChiRunning and POSE-influenced techniques. The Chi element of ChiRunning leaves a distaste in my mouth, as does the pseudo-scientific fanaticsm of POSE followers. Still, I recommend any new barefoot or minimalist shoe runner explore both methods. Both can provide an excellent knowledge base of techniques and drills to help you find your best running form.
What are your experiences with each method?