I taught Intro to ChiRunning workshops on both days this past weekend. Not only did we get unreal weather, I also had the pleasure of teaching two wonderful groups.
One of the participants on Saturday emailed on Sunday with this question: Is ChiRunning used by many runners for short distances, such as 5 km, or is it more intended for long distances?
Great question by the way, and I love having questions emailed over. It means the people actually listened and then went home and actually tried it. Success all around!
Actually long distance in running circles is considered anything above 800m. You cannot use muscles to propel you efficiently over the long run (anything over 400 or 800m).
I think most people come to ChiRunning for injury-free running or to increase mileage but more and more folks come to me to increase speed. I guess it comes with being a runner and A-type.
Trust me that you can get some really good speed with ChiRunning. And you don’t need muscle. If you use muscle (pushing off or grabbing ground with your feet), you end up stopping the forward momentum you’re trying to create with the pull of gravity.
Some people try to mix ChiRunning with the old school stuff (power running/heel to toe) but unfortunately you can’t marry the two. If you push (with muscle) while ChiRunning, all you’re doing is getting closer to seeing your health professional.
I know it’s a bit counter-intuitive but in ChiRunning if you want to go faster, you have to relax more. Weird when you start but oh-so-good when it happens for you…
Just go with the flow folks! ;)