Running in the cold mornings of winter is exhilarating - Chi Running

Running in the cold mornings of winter is exhilarating

Posted by Elizabeth Frost on Tue Dec 1st, 2009, 6 comments

As readers, you might get bored of how ecstatic I am after running. It’s not always that way, but recently, I have been truly euphoric after each running workout.

Why? Because I love to move my body, to be in control of how my feet touch the ground, where my eyes lead me, how my breath rate increases, how my heart pumps blood so loyally to my extremities.

I wish there was a way I could shout from the rooftops that “There is a way to move pain-free, injury-free and joyfully. Step right this way, and I’ll show you how!”

This morning I headed out around 7am with Oliver to do our normal park loop, about 30 minutes. Before we left, I did a full course of Body Looseners and really paid attention to my core, keeping it engaged the whole time I did the Looseners. I made a decision before I left to go as slowly as I needed to in order to feel GREAT at the end of my run, like I hadn’t even gone running at all.

And I succeeded! While I was running, I was just focusing on staying calm, breathing, and smiling. I let Oliver off the leash and he was absolutely hysterical, causing me to laugh, as he tore around the frosted grass and splashed in shallow frozen water puddles.

I actually didn’t focus on one particular thing, but just let my body be happy, let it move freely and relaxed. I don’t quite know how to explain how I felt; I’ve never felt that way before when running. It was incredible. I really almost felt like I wasn’t running at all. I simply Body Sensed being at peace.

Now I know what people mean when the write to Danny and Katherine about their success with running and say, “I ran for an hour and couldn’t figure out when I was going to get tired! I didn’t feel like I was doing anything at all!”

There really is something to be said about joyful movement. There’s a fine line between feeling like you’re doing nothing and doing nothing; I think that fine line is joy.



  • mid-foot strike,
  • relaxation,
  • body sensing,
  • core engaged,
  • injury-free,
  • pain-free

6 CommentsLeave a comment below

Mary Lindahl Dec 7th, 2009 07:49am

Very inspirational and helpful entries, Liz!  I recently received a question from a ChiRunner who was sore after mall walking and museum gazing, so I forwarded your blog entry.  Your chi flows through your writing.  Thanks for sharing.

Thank you very much for your kinds words, Mary. I am glad that you’ve found it inspirational. This entire process is inspirational, isn’t it?

Feelings are to be felt; but you could narrate them so succinctly and shared with us. I could relate myself to that when I do (Chi) walk-jog-run in any order and find those hours have past without fatigue. That night I sleep like a baby. Thanks Liz.

Hi Ramnik, Thank you for your very nice note. It’s such a pleasure to know that you and others can relate to my experiences. It is also an inspiration to keep going outside and experimenting with running and walking.

William bwolfmeyer Dec 21st, 2009 04:12am

I have practicing chi running for last to three years after having my third knee scope.  My biggest problem that to went running 8 min pace to 9 min + mile. Any thoughts.

Hi William,

Thanks for your comment. From your knowledge of ChiRunning, you know of the acronym we like to use: FDS for Form, Distance, Speed. It sounds like you’ve been practicing ChiRunning long enough that your form is probably in pretty good shape. Would you agree? If it is, then the longer you run, the more capillaries you’ll build, allowing oxygen to reach your muscles more efficiently…. then is comes speed. Speed is a by product of form and good capillary development. ... so what’s holding you back?

In my experience, it’s your mind. I have had a couple of occasions when my pace was significantly faster than I could believe. Clearly, your body is capable of 8 min/mile pace, so now you just have to allow your body to move at that pace. Get your mind out of the way; your body is completely capable. What do you think?

Thanks William!

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