I went on a Chi Running Workshop in Bristol at the weekend. ChiRunning originates from Danny Dreyer, a successful ultra runner and t’ai chi expert who saw that he could combine good running technique with the principles of Tai Chi to work with gravity rather than against it. It uses the power of the core muscles to produce a more energy efficient and bio-mechanically correct form of running technique. ChiRunning is designed to address the two vital reasons for focusing on form: injury prevention and energy efficiency.
Having had persistent injuries this year I thought it would be the perfect course for me. All the injuries have been through user error – overload, lack of rest/recovery, lack of strength and conditioning and fuelling issues – all of which I’m gradually adjusting. But I know a key thing is form and that’s a much harder win.
Within the workshop we were a motley crew of people who had lost their running mojo, had injuries or just wanted to improve their running performance. Hannah, the chi running leader, took individual videos of us running – when I was being filmed I felt clunky and all over the shop and knew I was on the right course, running just didn’t feel natural and felt heavy footed and awkward. When we analysed the videos after, I realised I looked like I felt and couldn’t believe how hard I made running look.
We then went through different cues to help achieve a more balanced way of running, working with gravity and bio mechanics and not against. We were given cues to run from the core, run tall and have a more fluid motion. Putting it into practise throughout the day really helped you to focus on one thing at a time and gradually it all came together. I can honestly say that for a few minutes I felt like I was running on air, it felt so much more natural and effortless.
When I got home from the course I ran/walked with the hound and a small for a minute on and off and it still felt good.
I know that changing one’s running form is a really long hard journey, and I will no doubt pick up other niggles in adjusting, but I’m in this running malarkey for the long haul so I know it’ll be worth it :).
For more information on Chi Running or to book onto a workshop (highly recommended!), contact Hannah at http://blueskyrunning.co.uk/.
For massage and advice with your running and training in the Chippenham area, please get in touch.