Couch to 5K

Chi Running Seminar - Mini Review

Since I started running in Sept 2014 I have never run with anyone else and have essentially just been putting one foot in front of another. Whilst this technique works fine for a lot of people, I thought I would look a bit deeper into running style in order to try and continue running injury free and perhaps improve my distance/pace for the same amount of effort.

When researching running style, its not long before you come across Chi Running which was originally developed by a guy called Danny Dreyer. So today I attended a seminar (10:00 - 3:30) with one of their coaches (via Blue Sky Running) to learn all about the Chi running style. Essentially, Chi running is about energy efficiency, injury prevention through posture, alignment and leaning.

There were 4 of us on the seminar and the day consisted of lots of static, walking and running exercises. We were all filmed so that our running style could be analysed in slow motion. The video showed that I swing my arm too far forward and I ran at a slight angle (bent at my waist)!!

There was a lot to take in and advice was given to focus on one element at a time. We were all given written notes to take away which detailed the main elements. Drinks and lunch was provided as well :-) We can also attend the same seminar again in the future at no cost as a refresher if required.

I can totally accept that a lot of people are happy to do their own thing or pick up hints and tips from the internet. But personally, I found the day very rewarding and found the one to one feedback from the instructor very beneficial. Its was also great being with other people on the seminar as I could learn from them and watch their style.

Went for a 5k on my way home... equalled my current slowish 5k... so all not lost... :-)

EDIT - Just got an email from the instructor with a copy of my running video (something to scare the kids with) and a full critique of my running style. She also supplied a number of hints, tips and exercises to hopefully fix the things she highlighted. Doh... homework ;-)

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That sounds really interesting! I'd love to have a video of my running - I'm certain I'm doing something wrong as my partner can recognize me coming from a long way off based on my 'style'. Are you more conscience of your form now? How did you manage to run for the video in a natural way? My partner said he'd videotape me but I'm thinking I wouldn't run in my natural gait if I knew I was being taped.

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It was a bit tricky to run "normally" for the video... think I tried my best style... but even that had it faults!!

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I'd like to go on someting like that, one day. Like you, I run alone, so no feedback...have run with my newbie (but relatively fit) daughter a few times and found running with conversation really rather lovely. Would be great to know how to run more efficiently.

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Interesting. Just had a look at the website. Quite local to me as well. May investigate that further.

Would be interested to hear further feedback on this as to how your running changes as a result over time.

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Yeah... think I will try to take their advice on-board and take the offer of another session (free of charge) in 6 months or so. Cant do any harm :-)

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Hi AndyD - I’ve just come across this 'Chi Running' concept, done a search and come up with your post (among others). Did you do the refresher, and are you still practising chi running? I’m wondering whether it’d be good to do a course, and Blue Sky are probably closest for me too.

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Hi, believe it or not, I'm signed up for a free refresher in Exeter in 2 weeks through Blue Sky running. Whilst I struggle a bit with the Thai Chi bit I certainly see the benefits of getting my form, cadence and the lean sorted.

I have bought one of the books (Chi marathon) and I've been working on a few of the elements, but I think the course will be essential to pull it all together.

I'm out running shortly and Ill be using my metronome to try and increase my cadence bit by bit.

Some people scoff the idea of a particular running form / style but I do think the fundamentals would help any runner to avoid injury and run longer or quicker.

Interested to hear how you find it if you take it further. 😀

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Thanks! I’ll let you know! I had thought I might go on that same Exeter course, but am a bit put off by 3 hours round drive and may do one while I’m in London instead. I tried leaning slightly on my run today, and as I was thinking about my feet I remembered how I once experimented with walking in a way where I sort of rolled on my feet, with them sort of springing me off on the next step. I wonder if I inadvertently hit on something similar to chi walking?

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