FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 7, 2022) -- Mike Tribble, a former 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldier, remembers when his arms would go numb from running.
It was due to bad form, but that was not something the Army was correcting during physical training at the time. That has all changed with Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F), and Tribble now serves as a member of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade’s H2F team.
Part of his job is teaching Soldiers how to improve the way they run, and he does that by instructing the Pose Method.
“We have three goals with the Pose Method, and that is to run faster, run more efficiently and run with less pain,” said Tribble, who is one of three certified Pose Method instructors on post.
Pose is not a military acronym, and it doesn’t stand for anything other than the posture a person maintains while running. The Army introduced the Pose Method to Soldiers more than a decade ago, but it didn’t permeate the PT lexicon until recent years when it was included in the H2F Field Manual 7-22.
“This just changes the whole dynamic of how you run, starting with what part of the foot strikes the ground first,” Tribble said. “What people have done historically is drive their heels into the ground, and the Pose Method can correct that.”
Heel striking is generally viewed as poor running form, and it can be the cause of stress injuries. It locks the knees and creates more impact on the heels and shins while increasing tension in the lower back.
“So the change we want to work toward is where you are striking a bit more on the forefoot or midfoot and you avoid pushing off with the toes,” Tribble said.
The instructional class is a part interactive lecture and part running drills and exercises, with video analysis at the start and finish of a session to mark improvements.
“Starting the class with the video analysis, I look for three things that I can correct – and they are pretty universal,” Tribble said. “It’s the heel strike, whether someone is toeing off while they are running, which is a waste of energy, and then their posture while running.”
For the most part, Tribble said that many Soldiers in his class already run with the Pose Method posture – but don’t even know it – and require only slight adjustments.
“But there are things we can correct, and here are the ways to help make you more efficient,” he said. “That’s what this class is designed to do.”
In fact, Tribble is confident that Soldiers will see the results right away.
“In this one-hour block I have with you, I will show that I can change your running form,” he recently told a group assembled for at the Nash Training and Testing Facility.
Even so, this isn’t designed to be a one-and-done program, and Tribble recommends that Soldiers commit to the full five-week cycle to truly benefit from the Pose Method. The first instructional session is followed by four running labs that reinforces the correct running form through a series of individual and partner drills.
“With those lab sessions, we intentionally try to get people a little fatigued in that hour, so they can learn to run with the Pose Method when they are tired,” Tribble said.
“You also need to do your homework,” he added. “Get in an interval run before the next running lab and practice the techniques. Do the exercises at home every day, because that’s how you are going to make it stick.
The people who put in the work are the ones who are going to see the most benefits.”
Tribble said, ideally, participants should perform the four essential Pose exercises twice daily. He also recommends running to a metronome or music at 180 beats per minute. That is the optimal running cadence, or “double time” in Army speak.
“If you practice doing that, after a while it will just become your natural cadence,” he said.
Pfc. Koffi Kondro, with 10th CAB, said that he signed up for the class after a soccer injury affected his running.
“I think after taking this class I will run way better than I am now, more efficient,” he said. “I’m learning stuff I didn’t know before.”
Kondro said his goal is to score a 580 or higher in the Army Combat Fitness Test.
“Right now I am just shy (by) 20 points,” he said. “To max the run in my age group I need to get a 13:30, which is not that bad. If I can go below a 14, I would be happy.”
After Staff Sgt. Darrell Turner had ACL surgery last October, he decided to go back to basics with running.
“I wanted to start fresh, and get a new knowledge of running,” the 10th CAB Soldier said. “I just wanted to learn how to run properly, so I thought this was a good class for me to learn how to run efficiently and safely.”
Turner said that he came into the class with terrible running posture, which might have contributed to his injury. But he noticed an immediate improvement after the first instructional class, and he said that he felt comfortable using the Pose Method.
“I’ve got a bit more to go, but I’m really excited so far,” Turner said. “I’m trying to do things the right way from now on, and I think this class is going to get me back on track.”
Soldiers interested in registering for the Pose Method course, individually or as a group, can contact Tribble at firstname.lastname@example.org.