Running is all about Form — and Gradual Progress
I think of Gradual Progress as the framework around which ChiRunning can be learned. One step at a time, things should be incrementally and fully learned before moving on to the next step. It’s not the only way to think about ChiRunning form, but for me, is an important one.
As you’ve read in my blog, my knee has been bugging me and I have tried to work through it to see what would help and what I was doing incorrectly. Because the condition of my knee (and even more so, the condition of my form) has not improved, I have been disappointed and embarrassed to blog about it. I can walk the talk, but it’s going to take some deeper more mindful work. Here’s what I think happened:
My training regularity from August ’08 through the race day in January ’09 was dedicated and mindful. I worked hard on my form, and did decently well, but when it came to race day, I had (and still have) leagues of room to improve. While I do think that I went a little hard during the last couple of miles without keeping my form together (eg, I was taking longer strides, but in hindsight, don’t think I was keeping my core engaged/pelvis level), it has been the months since the race when my own running form has been the problem, not the race.
Danny’s been using the term “feel what it feels like” a lot lately, and it’s the perfect little phrase to continually remind me I need to get into my body, every chance I can. It’s 6 months after the race and my knee hasn’t gotten any better. I want to get better and stay better, I don’t want to have knee issues again.
I will be using Gradual Progress for real as I take the time to learn again. Thank goodness I know about ChiRunning. It will guide me through this process, through beginning to run again mindfully, and through my daily activities. Thank goodness for ChiLiving, a business that does so much good for people and encourages us all to go deep.
Katherine and Danny wrote a great article recently about teaching and letting your mind and body really communicate. I am going to read it again myself: Mind over Body vs Body over Mind (June 2009).