February 2018 Instructor of the Month: Bernhard Schittich

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Tell us a little about you. Where you live, what your background is. What (if) you do in addition to being a Certified Instructor.

How did you start running?
One foot in front of the other. 🙂
And repeated. I was 14 years old. I loved it to run through the forest. The next day my muscles were aching…did not run for another half of a year. And
repeated again and again merely for the joy of running.

When and how did ChiRunning come into your life? (The short story.)
After I learned a little bit of Total Immersion Swimming from my Jiu Jitsu Master, I ordered a Total Immersion book on amazon and hence the ChiRunning book appeared as a suggestion. I wondered what it was, ordered and read the book and immediately fell in love with ChiRunning.

In what ways has Chi changed your perception of and success in running?
Since I never was into competitive running, ChiRunning strengthened my endeavor of taking running as a means for inner alignment and relaxation. I still
love to run through the forest like I did when I was 14 years old. ChiRunning helped me to do so in a more relaxed way and much longer and without sour
muscles. I discovered the second, third, fourth breath in running long distances and discovered new realms in running Ultramarathons.

What do you think is the biggest misconception of ChiRunning?

What motivates you to run?
Short answer: The runners high. And the food after the run. Of course being in the wonderful nature is a factor, mainly to clear the
mind….also I have my most creative thoughts and ideas during runs. The physical condition and mental strength you gain through running elevates the
quality of life in general. Another small but sweet factor has become my dog. I love to run with her, she loves it so much and it is such a joy seeing her joy of running.

What achievements are you most proud of?
Actually, after my second marathon I felt proud at that time – it was the Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. Before I ever even had run a half marathon, I read about it and it was so far out of my imagination to run a marathon in the mountains that it somehow made its way into my mind. And finally, I did it. If I
look back at it now it seems totally unspectacular since it is only a marathon and has less than 2000m elevation gain…..but that doesn’t matter. Achievements for me relate to a subjective conception at a time.

What led you to become an instructor?
I fell in love with ChiRunning.

Why do you enjoy being an instructor, and how has it affected your life?
I just love the expression in the eyes of clients at the moment when they feel that it works for the first time. Witnessing that joy in people is just priceless.

What does your average week look like, run-wise?
One longer run, one uphill run…we have beautiful smaller and bigger hills around Freiburg, you dan run them directly from the city with 300-1000 m elevation gain and they feature a great view on top. One “speedy” thing, that might be a tempo run or intervalls and the rest are relaxed runs according to time and training phase. I use to keep it flexible.

What other forms of exercise do you practice to compliment ChiRunning?
Is Sauna an exercise? I do Sauna in the winter time. Additionally, I do Aikido, sometimes Jiujitsu, go to the gym a little bit and swim with my daughter. In
Summer time I also love to hike in the mountains.

Advice for people new to ChiRunning?
Just do it. Do what your instructor told you in the Workshop 🙂 I think it is most important to get a feeling for your center and how it moves. Then
you start feeling the balance of the movement and if you listen to your body you immediately feel where something is not smooth if something is not smooth and you can correct it by yourself. If you want to get deeper into the Chi thing you have to follow your breath. And don’t hesitate to see your Instructor again or have someone shoot a video of your running form. Also join other ChiRunners on a social run.

Short answer! Okay, GO.

Favorite race you’ve run and why: Jungfrau Marathon because failure was a probability.

Most memorable race: Mozart100, so beautiful

Ideal weather for running: sunny, not too hot

Focus that currently dominates your running: pelvic rotation

Favorite place to run: mountains

Go-to before race food: Shake (Firestarter)

Celebratory food after: Dal (Lentiles)

Upcoming race/goal: Freiburg Marathon, Zugspitze, Grossglockner Trail Run with or without phone/music: Punctually to kick in motivation if needed

Repeat on your playlist: Yoko, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath

Fill in the blank.

If I didn’t run my dog would hate me.

I can’t run without ChiRunning.

My first race was Freiburg Marathon and I loved it.

My current favorite shoe to run in is Altra Lone Peak.

My most difficult run ever was Belfortrail. The track was 4k longer than announced and I only found out after I ate a saltstick and ran out of water. Finished thirsty, but it was still a great run!

I’ve ran around 20 marathons/races.

The longest distance I’ve ran is 100K. Where? Salzburg, Austria: Mozart100

Posted in Inside Chi

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