In running heaven with ChiRunning

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I have been an on/off runner for more than twenty years, and I did it the hard way. In 2004, I trained for and completed my first marathon (3:37) but it took more than 3 months to recover. I only knew one way to run: heavy.

Although I’m not a heavy person, I seemed to run heavy with a clunking heal-strike. As you can imagine, I was prone to injuries – especially hip and lower back. Throw in the odd shin-splint, and I was a hobbling mess after every run. I would spend hours recovering on the sofa from a long run. My days were ruined. I finally gave up running in late 2004. There must be an easier way to stay in shape.

Late 2005, I bought the ChiRunning book and DVD as a present for my wife. She read the book and watched the DVD and was enthralled, but I was doubtful – can’t be true, injury free running? Don’t be silly. My wife embraced the style and made great strides (pun intended) and could talk of nothing but ChiRunning, but all her praise fell on my deaf ears. Injury Free? Bhah!

In early 2006, I got the urge to run again. My wife said try ChiRunning (sigh!) Ok, then. I read the book twice and watched the DVD several times – still do. I decided that I had time and wasn’t going to rush – just go one piece at a time. Within 6 months, I was running Chi-style, cadence 88-92, shoes NB 826 (from Kayano’s), and relaxed with good form and injury free. In 2007, I ran a marathon, 3:35, but ran a recovery 10 miler the next day with no side effects.

Fast forward: 2009 – more than three years later, running 4-5 times a week, I’m still injury free. I run trail, road, mountain and forest. I’m in heaven. At 47, I have many years of injury free running ahead. There is nothing more satisfying than running 25k through a forest or over a mountain pass, then coming home and working the rest of the day around the house with no hint of stress or injury.

I had dreamed for years of being able to run distance at will and at ease, without it having an impact on my lifestyle. Running is now part of my life and no longer a crippling chore.

Thank you,

Mark
New Zealand