Chirunning, Chi Running or Tai Chi running, from the Chinese system of slow, meditative physical exercise it originates, is designed for balance, relaxation and good health.
-This applies to Chi walking as well and it's a radical approach to running exercise.
It's quite different from the normal running exercise you and I may be used to.
Developed by Danny Dreyer, a running coach and ultra marathon runner, who in his book on Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running , vows to make running easier, as well as pain and injury free.
-Chirunning is based on the concept that most people's running form takes a lot more energy than is really necessary.
It starts by teaching the correct posture and using a slightly forward lean so your center of mass is immediately over the mid-foot strike.
This makes running easier, and it also results in less pain with fewer injuries.
-In a study at Harvard University (Jan-2010) it was stated:
"Fore-foot and mid-foot strike gaits were probably more common when humans ran barefoot or in minimal shoes, and may protect the feet and lower limbs from some of the impact-related injuries now experienced by a high percentage of runners."
-Chi Running is right in line with these findings.
This type of running employs many of the same theories used in Yoga, Pilate's,and Tai chi: to create an approach that can be used, not only by beginning runners, but also by the more experienced runner as well.
Starting Out Slow
The time it takes for your run should not be a concern, more important is to focus on balance, posture and your overall form. Mind over matter really does work, concentrate. Don't try to do more than your body is capable of.
-Keep the brain in the game.
A Mind in Focus
According to Dreyer:
"It's the mind that does the bulk of the work in Chirunning,"
Your mind tells the body to start working or relaxing, and that sets inmotion the perfect running exercise environment. By starting out slowly and finding your own rhythm, you take in the natural beauty around you, finishing your running exercise relaxed, still flowing with energy.
-Learning to maintain this steady cadence at any speed is a key component of efficient movement.
The use of a metronome (a device used to mark time, using a regularly repeated tone) is a great way to maintain a steady, sustained pace helping you to perfect your Chi Walking or running technique.
-By practicing relaxation and mental focus, the principles from the ancient practice of Tai Chi, you can train your body to stay centered, relaxed and to move more efficiently.
Pay Close Attention to Your Body
You need to develop a certain body sense as you begin running. Pay close attention to how your body feels, how your feet hit the ground. Are there any little changes you might initiate that could make it easier? Become aware of everything, especially your posture.
Good Posture: The Cornerstone of Chirunning
When your posture is correct and balanced, the energy or chi can flow through your body unhampered. Running in balance with the correct posture eliminates tension and the injuries that often result; good posture keeps chi in balance therefore using less energy.
Breathing is Important in Chirunning
A common problem when starting any running exercise is not breathing deep enough and getting the oxygen your body needs. Running becomes much easier when the body can take in more air.
-Keeping your breathing in sync with your running rhythm: it's another key ingredient. Deep belly breathing exercises can help you to achieve this.
Relaxing the Muscles
When Chi running, Chi walking or any form of running exercise for that matter, it's important to relax the muscles. If your muscles are tight they can't process the oxygen they need.
-When they're loose and relaxed, the oxygen carried in your blood can enter the muscles much more easily than when the muscles are tense.
Think positive, run happy -smile and relax, enjoy your run!
Is Chirunning For You?
Do you do a lot of jogging, walking or running exercise?
Are you prone to knee injuries,
shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or countless other ailments?
Chirunning just might be the answer you've been looking for.
-From getting the most from the food you eat; to stretching, warming up, cooling down and even race day preparation.
Both physically and mentally, it can really help in many ways.
If you're looking to build-up your cardiovascular endurance, increase your speed training, or to just bring your running up to the next level...
Chi running and the "4 gears" are definitely worth a look.
-And if you still walk, or only recently started an outside running or treadmill running program, Chi walking can offer the same results, perhaps acting as a stepping-stone to this unique running approach.
Chirunning not only embraces a new form of running, it encourages runners to explore their motivation for running, helping them clear their minds of all negative influences.
-To take another quote from Danny Dreyer:
"It's not running that hurts your body or causes injury, it's how you run that's the culprit."
|-Additional Information on Running and Your Health...|
-Have you ever completed the Cooper Test Run? Let us know your results, or see how far others have run it, in their Cooper test, you just might be in for a surprise.
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