W8R1 - Running and riding

W8R1 - Running and riding

No, I didn't cheat and do this one on horseback! The story about this run is that it made me realise how similar running is to riding a horse. In both cases you have to keep your body aligned so you need the minimum effort to do what you want to do - as horsey people, "tall above the saddle and tall below". Replace "saddle" with "hips" and much the same applies to a runner.

This was made even clearer by the fact that I have been feeling a bit of heat and discomfort in my thighs after the last run. I went on t' internet and found a site on "chi running" (http://www.chirunning.com/what-is-chirunning/), which gives pointers on how to align your body so you can do more with less effort. The guy who writes this makes a big deal about "core stability". Again, this fits with what I know from riding - most of what you do comes from your core, and your arms and legs are secondary to the process.

Worried about my aching legs, I gave this alignment thingy a go. I noticed that I had to keep making micro-adjustments to my posture every minute or so, but it did seem to help me keep going right to the end of the 28 minutes. And my legs actually feel better afterwards.

(The picture is of me on my friend's pony, to show what I mean.)


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

6 Replies

  • Yes, core strength is very important. That's why many people do "strength and flex" on their rest days.

  • As a rusty rider myself this makes a lot of sense. Also I was interested that you said about making adjustments as you go - I found this helped me when I did my 20min run - by altering the way I ran, or by focusing on different leg muscles, or leaning up or forward - I could effectively 'rest' an aching muscle momentarily and it kept me going!

    I go to a tai chi class once a week and inbetween run days I do DDP Yoga, which also utilises quite a bit of tai chi in it. I'm hoping the combination will help me strengthen and stretch. I'm still at the stage where i have niggly achy bits but I'm overweight and asking my body to do things it's not used to so I guess that's to be expected!

    I will check out that link though, thanks for sharing!

    Oh - and I bought a balance board from Tesco for £5 - I stand on it every time I do the washing up and it's super for using the core and practising the centre of gravity and balance!

  • I do tai chi as well - and I can see the relevance in terms of core strength and balance.

    I didn't know Tesco did balance boards - I might get one! Thanks!

  • You think running and riding are similar only because you're not the one carrying a person on your back...

    Kind regards,

    a horse


  • That's interesting Katie. I'll have to give some thought to my posture. And I really have to find the time to get back into yoga. I know it was really good for alignment but I got out of the habit after giving birth a long time ago. Don't think I could manage it every day anymore but maybe even twice a week would help.

  • I also used to ride but didn't think of it being related to running until your pointed out some similarities in posture!

    Just completed W4R3 and it was the easiest yet! People on the forum have been talking about 'getting into a rhythm' rather than stop starting and this run has been the first time that I've felt that. I looked up some of the chi running tips beforehand and tried to follow them (mostly the slight lean forward and foot landing beneath you rather than in front) - felt easy, I ran slightly faster and had no calf pain for the first time!

    I always scan the forum before a run as I almost always find a tip or two which then helps me on the next run. Thanks for sharing! This forum is pure genius!

You may also like...