Running as a Practise
A student said to me during the week, when we were talking about their running form, “I don’t think I can change.” I just want to say to anyone out there learning ChiRunning that you absolutely can change. You have it within your power. If you are diligent about practising the form focuses as often as you can, integrating them into your daily life and your running at every opportunity, you will form new movement habits that will allow you to enjoy running more and be able to run injury free for the rest of your life. It takes discipline and effort to improve though. Shift your focus to the process of learning and make that your goal for now. I see the faces of my students during workshops when I suggest that perhaps they might consider not taking part in races for a while and I know I’m not very popular! But I hope they go away and think about it and decide that in the long term, focusing on their technique will reap rewards later. Ask yourself, how much do you want to improve your running skill? Wouldn’t it be great to master that skill?
I finished week 5 of marathon training on a running high. The focuses for this week revolved around pelvic rotation and adding fluidity to my running form. Still recovering from my bug, although the shorter runs felt fairly effortless, my heart rate said otherwise. However, the week finished with my long run of an hour and forty minutes and it was probably the most enjoyable long run I have ever had. This was despite the fact that the skies were even angrier than last week and during the run, the heavy rain turned into a monsoon. Visibility was practically zero, the Thames turned a murky brown (well murkier than usual!), canoeists were struggling to find shelter in the banks and there was so much water falling from the sky, it took my breath away. To any of my fellow runners in London out there on Sunday morning, I salute you! Because it was so difficult to keep my eyes open with sheer volume of rain, I kept them closed for short periods to focus on how my body was moving. If you know the terrain and the route well, and you have the opportunity, I suggest you give it a go for short bursts. It heightens your senses and allows you to body sense more clearly your running form.
Some of my focuses were pivot point, rotate lower body, hip swinging back with my leg, column falling in front of feet and so on. The result was a very relaxed, fluid run and the lowest heart rate I have ever recorded which actually decreased over the course of the run for the same pace. The day after, when teaching in the park, there was no evidence anywhere in my body that I had even been running the previous day. I love ChiRunning.