Recently a client came to a ChiRunning private session … and the first thing she said was “I want to be the ball“. Prior to the session I emailed her some “homework” to review. The homework included viewing the “ChiRunning Simplified!” video which provides a simple analogy. The analogy suggests that running one way might feel more like you are a block sliding a block across the ground and running another way might feel like you are a ball rolling along the ground.
The comment reminded me of the movie Caddyshack from way back … in early high school. Below is the “be the ball” clip from Read the rest of this entry »
Two years ago today a brief 9+ minute video project was completed and posted. The video introduced the key ChiRunning concepts in a very simple way and was appropriately named “ChiRunning Simplified!“. The video provided a summary of the ChiRunning principles, position and motion that can result in significant benefits. Plus the video provided a very simple analogy to put these potential benefits into perspective.
As of this moment, the video has had Read the rest of this entry »
Recently a client, now great friend, was proud to report that she had passed on the opportunity to have a GPS watch. This was big; she was once a distracted with music pushing through type of runner, disconnected and a thirst for more *validating* data.
But now she has transformed herself into someone who is “happy being in tune and listening to my own body“. Interesting choice of words … in “tune” and “listening” … which implies she is now creating Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago I posted What’s Your Cadence? about compatibility between runners when it comes to cadence. That post suggested picking your running partners carefully and/or paying close attention to maintaining your own cadence when running with others. But I often see running advice that suggests everyone should run at a the same 180 cadence (90 one side). The advice is sometimes justified by suggesting that is what the elites do. But is there only one “right” cadence?
Let’s look to another “machine” to see if there are some clues to the answer. If you look at most cars, their general Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous blog post (Going Running or Being Run?) I described a visualization that has worked extremely well for me. It is also probably the most popular focus point based on participant feedback. This balloon visualization keeps you tall, aligned and forward into gravity – many of the points you need to support a ChiRunning position, motion, (minimal) effort level, lightness, etc. etc. The balloon is imagined floating up and forward due to a light breeze at your back.
But the running (and walking) environment is Read the rest of this entry »
This blog consists of posts from a range of subjects; from my running to running technique, to posture to fitness to health to mind/body to life lessons. All variants of a similar topic on lessons we might consider for a full, meaningful, energized life. Here are the Top Ten EverChi Fitness Blog Posts of the 2011 Year based on Read the rest of this entry »
We have probably all heard the statistics which suggest running is hard on the body. The numbers you hear range, but they indicate a high % of runners get injured every year in some way that inhibits their running program.
But of course it does not have to be that way; a focus on technique can go a long way to reduce this *hardness* and bring running back to a place where it is enjoyable, supportive of consistent mobility and of overall health.
Here are my three categories of Read the rest of this entry »
Our “civilized” world dramatically removes us from our natural environment. This greatly affects our health and longevity in a number of ways. A significant example of this is probably where you are right now – in a C.H.A.I.R. It does not matter if it is a desk chair, a lounge chair, a couch, or a car, train, bus seat. Google images for chairs and you can see how much of a mine field exists out there …
In general, too much sitting reduces mobility – and just as in nature, our mobility is directly tied to our longevity. But the reality is our lives, homes, travel, jobs utilize chairs for most of our day. So how do we manage this public enemy? Read the rest of this entry »
The 49th Annual JFK 50 Mile Ultramarathon was this past Saturday November 19, 2011. It was my 4th consecutive JFK50 (see previous year’s summaries: 2010, 2009, 2008). This year’s training approach resulted in a course PR by 38 minutes over last year.
Preparation this year was very different than in previous years. My training for this event began way back in May when I started a 3-4x/week core strength training program. The main focus was core strength, but I also did a lot of overall strength training. The core training consisted of exercises like Read the rest of this entry »
In a previous post, Your Inner Unicyclist, the concept of running or walking cooperating with gravity was compared to what a unicyclist, or a young child, does instinctively. When a unicyclist wants to move forward, they lean first and then pedal just enough to keep up with their forward momentum and stay balanced.
But how does this change on hills? or does it?
Read the rest of this entry »
This blog is mainly about creating efficiency in our movement so that we can improve our health and, if desired, increase our performance. But this blog is also about supporting efficiency in all aspects of life. Efficiency in movement is created by balancing effort across all parts of the body relative to their ability. But what if one part of the body is not able to efficiently contribute to this balance; or worse yet detract from it? An example might be upper body vs. lower body or maybe the leg vs. the big toe.
Yet another relationship exists between “levels”. For example, muscles are limited by their “parts” which are cells. And all of those cells are in turn limited by Read the rest of this entry »
When describing the concept of running or walking like a kid and cooperating with gravity to aid in forward propulsion, a good analogy is that of a unicyclist. When I unicyclist wants to move forward, do they:
- Pedal? <OR>
- Lean first, then pedal just enough to keep up with their forward momentum to stay balanced?
I will suggest that if they pedal first, then they will likely fall backwards. So they lean first. But how much do they lean? They lean enough to create the desired momentum, then Read the rest of this entry »
One of the common challenges to efficient and injury-free running in a strong, aligned core. The benefits of this were discussed here: ChiRunning Common Challenges Core. The key to this is engaged lower abdominals to stabilize (and level if necessary) the pelvis which also stabilizes an aligned posture. Here is an online presentation on this Key to Posture. In that presentation an important Lower Abdominal Exercise is described. The purpose of that exercise is to body sense isolating the lower abdominals from the lower back, glutes and upper abdominals. Then you can use this and other exercises (including running and walking) to focus on strengthening the isolated lower abdominals. Below is a variation of this exercise that you can add to your Read the rest of this entry »
Or more specifically, is it possible to be be fit but not healthy? This question relates back to “Why do I run?” When I started ChiRunning many years ago my running goal was efficiency while getting beyond the 2+ years of frustration due to nagging injuries. But my goal, the real goal, was health.
Fitness can certainly help you be healthy. But I am learning more and more that you can be fit and not be healthy. You can run a very fast 5K and not really be healthy. This is one of the reasons I don’t focus on short races or speed; they are not in the critical path of my health goals. Someday I will likely come back to them, but I have a feeling my performance will be mainly the result of my health more than the training.
But you can also run a 50 mile ultra marathon and Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I was able to assist at a weeklong ChiRunning and ChiWalking program at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY. The program was taught by the authors, Danny and Katherine Dreyer. It was a great opportunity to learn, share and support others.
During the intro one of the discussion points reminded me that T’ai Chi was developed with a main objective of longevity. As I do with most concepts, I related it to my running and since ChiRunning is based on T’ai Chi … I then asked myself the question whether my own running, both technique and program, resembles Read the rest of this entry »