Chi Running in thin air - Chi Running

Chi Running in thin air

Posted by Elizabeth Frost on Tue Jul 28th, 2009, 4 comments

I was in Colorado this weekend for a friend’s wedding, and proudly brought my running gear to head out for a short run on Saturday morning.

Denver is the Mile High City: elevation 5, 280. I grew up there, so I have a fair advantage of a few more red blood cells than sea-level dwellers, and because Asheville is about 2,100 feet.

In any case, I went for about a two mile run around the neighborhood and flood plain where I grew up. I have distinct memories of riding my bike and (dreadfully) running the same route years ago. It was such a visceral moment remembering the frustration I felt when I used to run that it sort of alarmed me. But it ended up being a great quick jaunt through memory lane.

It’s a basically flat course, with a few gradual hills. Always aware of my chin now, I kept my crown high and my core engaged and my stride short. When I finally got into a rhythm, I switched my focus to pelvic rotation: because there were a few downhills, I was able to get a pretty good-feeling pelvic rotation and could tell that my feet were landing underneath/behind me and not in front of my on the downhills. That was great feeling.

I passed a few other runners and walkers to whom I desperately wanted to shout, “Chi Running, follow me, Chi Running, follow me! I can show you the way!” Strange, I know.

The funny part was at the wedding: I chatted with a few friends/neighbors who said, “Liz, I saw you running in the flood plain today. Was that you? You looked good!” Jaw dropped. Really? You saw me? And I looked decent? I got a good chuckle out of that one.

I did my Body Looseners and walked before running, and walked a bit and stretched after running. I felt great, no soreness, no knee pain, no side aches, just a bit of breath shortness because of altitude. Hoorah!

(I was sore the next day from dancing for 4 hours straight, though… next up: Chi Dancing!)



  • stride length,
  • core engaged,
  • crown high

4 CommentsLeave a comment below

Federica Valabrega Jul 29th, 2009 07:48pm

I know the flood plains you are talking about. Remember running there with me the summer of 2004 when we were in the Triathlon team and had no idea about ChiRunning? Now you have taught me and I am trying to teach my Yoga students. Thanks, sis. Love you for that one smile

jacqui fehl Aug 1st, 2009 03:40pm

Chi dancing?!...sign me up!

I’m pretty new to ChiRunning. Can you explain a little about pelvic rotation. I’m having a hard time understanding how to do it while keeping my pelvis level.

Hi there… have you picked up the book or watched the DVD? That can be a really good tool when you are first learning this. When I think about my pelvis being level and rotating, I think first of it being level, and then when I really get that and feel strong, I think of my pelvis rotating rearward because the road is taking my legs back and therefore my hips/pelvis back. I think of the movement of my pelvis very passively; it always feel better when I relax and let the rotation happen without forcing it. When you’re thinking of your pelvis being level and relaxed, in case get tricky, but your pelvis leveling is occurring because your lower abs engage; your rotation is happening by your muscles around your hips and waist and piriformis disengaging.

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