Running is a lifestyle
What Makes Chi Running a Great Technique
Some say great runners are born, not made. Others claim making changes in your body and the way you move can set you on a path to success. Chi Running believes you can effectively improve your running technique by using your core.
As with Tai Chi, Chi Running is based on movement principles that enable you to harness chi (the energy uniting body, mind and spirit) from your core (also referred to as your center or dantien) and channel this into your limbs.
By doing so, your legs can focus on supporting your body weight, rather than on pulling or pushing it forward. And as long as you keep your structure aligned and joints and muscles relaxed, you’ll be able to run more effortlessly—your chi flowing freely throughout your body.
With sufficient practice, you can be among the thousands of runners who, regardless of age and skill level, have benefited tremendously from this technique since 1999.
First off, Chi Running gets you moving more efficiently so you can finish strong. It also helps keep risks at bay and, in case an injury does happen, speeds up your recovery. Ultimately, your runs will feel easier, exhilarating and enjoyable.
Chi Running principles and other components
To master ChiRunning, you need to understand the key principles behind it.
Relaxation: It’s important to stay relaxed as you observe and respond to the things happening within you and in your surroundings. Reducing the tension in your muscles also reduces the probability of muscle strains. Remember, the more tense your arm and leg muscles are, the more restricted your range of motion is. So if you want to be able to run faster, keep those muscles relaxed! Post-race, relaxed runners are able to recover faster than inefficient runners because they didn’t need to burn as much fuel to cover the same distance.
Proper posture and alignment, plus a “gravity-assisted” forward lean: You should exhibit all three to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your running technique. Good posture, for one, prevents slumping and in turn eases the burden on your muscles to hold you upright. It also optimizes the flow of blood to your organs and muscles and helps guarantee that your brain gets sufficient oxygen supply.
Relying on your core strength for propulsion and hitting the ground with a midfoot strike: Both principles help keep your leg motion in check so you can avoid overstriding, which often leads to knee and hamstring injuries. Keep in mind too that you should bend your knees at a 90-degree angle when you’re running at a medium pace. Doing so prevents stiffness in your legs and at the same time improves circulation.
Mind and body connection: Tuning in to how your body is coping can help you sidestep injury. With Chi Running, you’ll learn to figure out what causes your muscles to tighten and feel sore or why you’re often in pain. And you’ll know what steps you need to take to remedy the situation.
Of course, stretching daily to maintain flexibility, regulating your cadence (85 to 90 strides every minute with each leg is ideal), lower body/upper body coordination and belly breathing all count as well.
So yes, a good running form is something you can develop. And with Chi Running, this will come easy and pain-free at least if you practice hard and stay on track. So what are you waiting for? Work with our trainer specializing in this technique and see for yourself how it can improve your runs.
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