Personal Performance for ChiRunners

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The term “performance” in athletics has been usurped by top athletes and has become riddled with so many innuendos that the term itself can scare off the athlete and the runner in you.

However, the concept of personal performance can be the best kind of motivation. Personal performance asks you to listen deeply to your own self and do what feels good for you and for your body. When you focus on personal performance, you stretch yourself, make that extra effort, and find the place within yourself that wants the best.

Here at ChiRunning, we particularly like this definition of performance, found at

per•for•mance – noun: The manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfills its intended purpose.

In the injury-free ChiRunning technique we encourage you to focus on “the manner in which” and “the efficiency with which” you fulfill your “intended purpose” to run, without running pain or running injury.

If your idea of personal running performance does not include running technique and quality of movement, you are more likely to push, strain and stress your body to start running further and faster before it is truly prepared to do so. You may reach a peak running speed or running distance, but if your running lacks the foundation of good technique and integrity of movement, you risk injury and you miss out on the deeply satisfying feeling of doing something really well.

I recently lost a few extra pounds that needed to go, but it happened during a stressful time, not because I was eating well. The weight was gone, but I was not well nourished. So, I’ve been keeping the weight off by really focusing on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables – lots of them – and cutting out any junk food. Now I truly feel good about my weight and my health.

The same goes for running (or anything). You can go out and run a 10K even though you haven’t trained properly, and you might even complete it with a good time, but did the event leave you feeling good about your personal performance? That is the question. Was there a lasting sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and well-being? Could you have done it better with proper running training, or with better running technique?

Participating in an event and working towards completing your first 5K or training for your fastest 10K or planning for your twentieth marathon can help maintain the focus on personal performance. It can be very helpful and a lot of fun to have an external goal and do something with a group of people, but like any external goal, the key is to maintain a strong sense of self and inner purpose. The key is to feel good about each step you take and know that each step is supporting your entire person.

Personal performance is not about competing with others or yourself; it is about expanding and emerging from a strong core of self-awareness and self-mastery and fulfilling your intended purpose, whatever that may be.

Not a runner? Do you know a walker who can benefit from our approach to personal performance? Please click here to read “Personal Performance for ChiWalkers”.

Resources to help you master the ChiRunning basics:
The ChiRunning School: The best possible way to learn the ChiRunning Technique
ChiRunning Book: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless Injury-Free Running
ChiRunning DVD: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless Injury-Free Running

Posted in Beginners

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