I loved running from I was very young and strangely enough looked forward to running around the muddy fields at home after school. Now my new love is ChiRunning.
Not many young people look forward to that kind of thing nowadays!!! I had the mental strength to train hard, which I believe is more important than physical strength. I got very frustrated when I could not train due to injuries. Unfortunately, I did not come across ChiRunning until I retired from competitive Athletics. I read the book and tried some of the principles and I felt much more comfortable, relaxed and fluid in my movement. It all made so much sense that I decided to go over to America and find out everything there was to know about ChiRunning.
Even though I was not competing anymore, I still wanted to be able to run and I knew if I kept my style of running I would continue to get injured. I travelled over to America on a number of occasions and I was so excited about the whole concept of ChiRunning that I wanted to share it with other people. Once I got used to the technique I found all the old aches and pains go away.
I will admit that it takes a little time to change old habits but it is well worth the effort. Although I don’t compete anymore, I still run a lot and I know by using the ChiRunning technique I will be able to run injury free for the rest of my life.
So What Is ChiRunning?
ChiRunning combines the inner focus and flow of T’ai Chi with the power and energy of running to create a revolutionary new approach to effortless injury-free running. It takes all the pounding, pain and potential damage out of the sport of running. Running does not injure you, but the way you run. If you move your body in an incorrect way, it is going to show up in the form of injury sooner or later.
ChiRunning is based on postural alignment combined with muscular relaxation. T’ai chi is a martial art which focuses on going with the flow of energy by being relaxed and aligned with it, and we use the same principles in ChiRunning. One of the cornerstones of t’ai chi is the principle of Needle in Cotton. It is considered to be the foundation of all movement in the body. Strength in your centre is combined with relaxation in your peripherals. If your centre is strong and your arms and legs are relaxed, you can run in a way the is powerful yet fluid. So what I teach people is to use the power of their core to maintain correct postural alignment. This, combined with learning to engage the pull of gravity will make your running more effortless and injury-free.
Those of you who watch the Kenyan’s or Ethiopians run will notice that they all have a slight lean, allowing gravity work in their favour. I also show people how to avoid lower leg injuries by picking up their heels and keeping their lower legs limp and relaxed instead of pushing themselves forward with every stride.
ChiRunning also uses the principle of Gradual Progress. What this means is that everything has to grow incrementally through its own developmental stages, from less to more or from smaller to larger. When a growth process happens gradually each step forms a stable foundation for the next step. This teaches you to be process oriented instead of goal oriented. With ChiRunning you learn how to focus your mind and relax your body…instead of going out and thinking of all your aches and pains you focus on relaxing and moving your body in the correct way to prevent these discomforts.
The beauty of the ChiRunning focuses that you learn is that you can practice them all day long, not just while you’re running. The body learns best by repetition, so the more often you practice the ChiRunning focuses, the more quickly your body will learn to move in a new way. You can be practising good posture and relaxation no matter what you’re doing.
So if you are suffering from injuries or feel you need some help with your running form I would be more than happy to help you out.
You can find more information on the ChiRunning website www.chirunning.com or if you would like to book in for a class with myself you can email me at [email protected]