What you should work on when you start with ChiRunning…

What you should work on when you start with ChiRunning…

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I just finished another great weekend of teaching with workshops in Ottawa and Petawawa. Great weather, great people and some real change in people’s running form. Does it get better than that?

I’ve really changed the way I teach over the past four years to become a more learner-centered teacher. When I started, it was all about how much information I could get across in the allotted time. Now it’s all about teaching and making it stick.

That being said, it’s not easy. People see a big difference when the workshop is done but you have to change your daily habits in order for it to really stick.

I always tell people who’ll listen there are two parts in ChiRunning: Moving with the pull of gravity and making it look pretty. Most people spend way too much time on the second part when the first part is the essential one.

Everyone has to work on a few different things but here’s what I see the most when people are just starting after taking my workshop:

  • Bending from the waist instead of the ankles: Remember, the best ChiRunner is a broomstick. You want to me as straight as an arrow, with you shoulder on top of your hips and your ankles. It’s not about feeling the lean, it’s about feeling the effects of the lean
  • Not enough emphasis on arms: Most people are not used to using the arm swing very much. It should be fairly effortless since all you’re doing is bringing the elbow back but pay more attention to it
  • Leaning too much: Newbies love feeling the speed when you lean but most of them are not ready for that much speed. Just remember to take it easy when you start, speed is a by-product of form
  • Trying to add power: You can’t mix power running with ChiRunning unfortunately as they are at both ends of the spectrum. But trust me, if you do it well, you can get some serious speed going even without the use of power

The claims from the book (effortless and injury-free running) are pretty bold but I can tell you from experience that if you do your homework, the rewards are quite magical. And it’s really not about the destination but enjoying the journey, every Chi step of the way!

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