What Could Be Our Mindset?

Athletes, and runners essentially, reiterate time and time again that running is not about the speed and the skill. Running, in essence, is about the mindset. That said, we at Fishlike Sports Academy realize that as a runner when you hit a particular milestone, the desire to do better, faster than ever before takes a firm hold. As runner’s ourselves, we understand the need to push our limits to see just how fast we can go when we run. We too understand the tendency to get swept away in the thrill of the course and thereby letting go of all consideration of health and possible injury.

Runner’s get injured while running far more often than we’d like it to happen. Injuries happen most likely are due to improper running posture and misaligned body parts, creating unnecessary joint stresses due to running impacts.

This Is Where ChiRunning Comes In.

A popular phenomenon that’s making waves in the running world for the past decade or so, ChiRunning is a running technique specially developed by American Ultramarathoner, Danny Dreyer. This revolutionary approach to running for an injury and pain-free experience is inspired by the practices of T’ai Chi, the ancient Chinese martial art. Aforementioned is a running technique that has, since 1999, helped thousands of running enthusiasts improve their running, completely transforming their experience by not only preventing injuries but also significantly expediting the recovery process.

The fundamental principles of Chi Running are very similar to T’ai Chi or on a lesser note, to Yoga or Pilates. ChiRunning focuses on strengthening the core muscles, relaxing your limbs to allow a better movement and aligning your body posture and structure to minimize the tension from the body. Essential components of a successful running technique include good posture, proper leg motion, balanced ratio of upper and lower body coordination, cadence and mental focuses. ChiRunning emphasize the need to work with the Force of Nature (Gravity and Force of Oncoming Road) and running based on the principle of Gradual Progress. All of which are emphasized on in Chi Running.

Some of the common features of Chi Running include:

  • Leaning Forward – Leaning forward with a straight posture where the ground contact point is behind one’s center of mass allows us to run with the pull of the gravity. We save energy and avoiding unnecessary use of leg muscles for propulsion. Leaning forward allows the legs to move and swing backwards, moving in the direction of the force of oncoming road. Running this way eliminate the risk of getting ourselves hurt due to high impact forces experienced by the heel strikers.
  • Running Tall – Keeping a straighter body posture that aligns your shoulders, hip bones and ankles in one straight line helps to maintain a posture that can resist the pull of gravity, allowing us to breath better and promoting proper use of core muscles for running.
  • Midfoot Strike – This is one of the essential features of the ChiRunning technique. The majority of runners are predisposed to hitting the foot on the ground heel-first. ChiRunning emphasizes on the mid-foot landing. Comparing to the heel striker, mid-foot landing creates stability at the bottom of one’s COLUMN (posture) during landing; promoting a quicker take off; and avoiding unnecessary use of lower leg muscles for propulsion. This helps to save energy and reduces the risks of getting running injuries.

Benefits of ChiRunning

The goal of ChiRunning is Energy Efficient and Injury Prevention. ChiRunning is a technique that takes into consideration in the principles of T’ai Chi and the Law of Physics. The benefits of ChiRunning are explained on a biomechanical and physiological basis, with sound principles used. ChiRunning not only improves one’s speed but also provides for an an easier and injury free run.

Increasing Speed Using The ChiRunning Technique

When we talk about increasing the speed of your run, we talk about either of the two things, Stride length which is the ground you cover or the frequency of your stride or the cadence or a mix of both that works for you. In ChiRunning, runners are encouraged to run at the optimum cadence of between 170 to 180 foot strides in a minute, depending on one’s height in general. That means we always run at a constant cadence, but allowing our stride length to increase. What does this mean? It means if we were to run faster, with the increase of stride length, we increase the length we cover with every foot stride at the same frequency, that in return will transform to SPEED.

From bio-mechanical stand point, ChiRunning uses “Pelvic Rotation” as a way to allow for a greater stride length in running. This is contradicting to power running of pushing the legs for a greater stride length. With a robust posture and allowing for Pelvic Rotation in the run, this boost the running speed and yet requires minimum effort, therefore saving us precious energy.

While Chi Running is a whole new discipline that may require more conscious practice sessions than what you may be used to. However, it is imperative to note, that once mastered, ChiRunning will ensure that you remain protected from injuries such as shin splints, IT band syndrome, Planter fasciitis, runner’s knee as well as hamstring injuries which are all too common in Power Running.

With the sound principles and running with mindfulness and relaxation approach in ChiRunning, we can run longer, easier, faster and having less injuries.