Chi-running anybody ?

I've been reading the Chi-running book and tried to practice some of the ideas on my last run with club on Thursday evening. I wasn't any faster overall but I had fewer walk breaks and hardly noticed the hills at all. I felt less strain on my calves and ankles, which have been a problem area for several weeks now. Is anyone else trying this technique ? If so, do you find it beneficial ?

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  • Hi sfb, I'm part way through the book & have mixed feelings. I do practice the forward lean & try to let my feet fall naturally, so that's been positive, also I agree with the importance of core strength. On the negative I find his writing style rather zealous - I tend to believe each to their own and he's very much "Mine is the right way". On the whole I'm finding it interesting but wouldn't say I'm a convert.

  • Yes, I tend to agree with you - I found the lean seemed to help although it will be a while before I'm consistent but I can't feel completely convinced that "power running" is wrong ! I'm going to try the "loosening up" exercises pre-run and see if that helps, I think.

  • I agree about the writing style, but the ideas about running form seem pretty useful to me. I'm happy with ignoring things I don't agree with, and taking the bits that work! Especially the foot landing, core strength and running as effortlessly as possible (though some of what he says about that strikes me as mumbo jumbo rather than real science).

  • I'm willing to give it all a go and see if it helps avoid injury - first impressions seem ok and it's early days. I've also done my last couple of runs in my trail shoes even though I've run on pavement - they're lighter and less supportive but I felt more comfortable.

  • Did some research after my first run as I couldn’t transition smoothly between walking and running. Found out about chi-running, put it into practice and haven’t looked back since. I now find I study kids as they run around and am much more aware of my posture throughout the day.

    Haven’t got the book: I googled it and found this quick intro video which covers the basic points:

    Most are picked up by Laura and the NHS Live Well webpages in any case (apart from Laura’s infamous tip in week 2 to land on our heels).

    Week 3 run 2 found me with extra energy so I tried to lean forwards more than normal and my legs were like a turbine behind me, as were my arms, helping me keep my balance. I felt I was flying! Then I slowed down as my core muscles aren’t strong enough yet to guarantee my balance and I didn’t want to fall or injure myself.

    Have tried it out while climbing stairs (home for me is an Italian hilltop town, so I always end each run with 5-10 minutes steep climb + steps). It really works.

  • That's good to know.

    I found it really hard to maintain focus on todays run because it was a long run (9 miles) so I think I'll try incorporating some short runs where I purely focus on posture and form, in the hope that it starts to come more naturally.

    I tried his technique for steep hills today - it's quite effective but I got carried away and ran too fast and got out of breath anyway. I need to practice more !

    Thanks :-)

  • I tend to use the wee bleep from my Garmin every km, as a reminder to focus on my form and do a complete 'body check' from head to toe. I've found this has helped during my long runs and tempo runs, but admit to 'losing' form on my sprint intervals. I'm going to do a hills session tomorrow, so will go read that section of the book again now.

  • Good idea about the bleep... for those of us who are still "undergrads" without a Garmin I suppose we could do something similar using personal landmarks, cellphones or a change in songs...

  • Yes, must try that - I still need to work out how to get the best out of my Garmin, the technology is wasted on me. All I do is stop, start and upload !

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