Running Form As A Holistic Practice
It is an exciting time for distance running! Running technique once barely considered by running coaches, is now the main topic of discussion amongst distance running enthusiasts. The old school heel-toe running form has yielded to the midfoot strike. Even the fastest runners in America are tweaking their running form. Danny has been saying for years that Chi Running is paradigm shift. I’m feeling now, more than ever, that the paradigm has shifted.
I am so happy to see running form being talked about and examined in scientific studies, blog posts, and message board discussions. The examinations of running form, as well as the incredible amount of personal success stories are signs that distance running is moving in the right direction. We still have a lot to learn as far as preventing injury and maximizing enjoyment of running, but we are certainly off to a great start.
I’ll be perfectly honest. I’m a total geek when it comes to distance running. I spend a great deal of time searching my iphone for the latest discussions on running form. While I have been thrilled with the recent rise in chatter surrounding running technique, I have been wondering if more balance is needed in the discussion.
I have found the main benefit of the Chi Running technique to be that it is a holistic practice. This is an often overlooked, yet highly critical element of the Chi Running approach to distance running. With the Chi Running technique you are aiming to improve your focus, relaxation, awareness and presence. While the discussions on biomechanics and technique are valuable, it is important to first look at how you are going to approach running from an emotional standpoint.
Many people read an article or two on running technique and think if they can get their bodies to match the description from the text they will be pain free and full of joy. Transformation comes from within. If you are looking to improve your running technique, start internally. Begin with body sensing. How do you feel? This is where barefoot running comes in. It is much easier to get in tune with your body when you are barefoot.
Many runners I’ve spoken to recently have researched the information, read Born to Run and have a good intellectual understanding of good running form. The problem is they don’t have the ability to feel this form in their body. This is where the Chi Running technique and Yoga come in. Working with a good Chi Running instructor or a Yoga teacher will help you learn the internal art of body sensing. Body sensing will allow you to intuitively correct your running form and help you prevent pain and injury before they surface. The more you practice body sensing, the more in tune you will be with your body throughout the course of your day.
For a great opportunity to practice body sensing and learn to apply these techniques to your daily life please join me at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Western MA for a 5 day Chi Running and Yoga retreat.
- midfoot strike,
- distance running,
- holistic practice