Running: Laying the Foundations
Over the last few months, I have taken my ChiRunning practise to new levels whilst running to heart rate. Since November I have consistently run easy apart from the scheduled harder sessions in an effort to develop my aerobic base. What started out as a little frustrating has become some of the most relaxed running I have ever experienced.
I have found heart rate running training fits very well with ChiRunning. Gradual progress applies to this kind of running training and non-identification is key. I have been practising ChiRunning for nearly 6 years now, applying the running focuses (like midfoot strike, lean, etc.) is second nature to me. However, that does not mean I still don’t have to work at it, it just makes it easier for me to be running while keeping an eye on heart rate too. When I first started ChiRunning I would not have felt ready to add something else into the mix too. Practising my running technique alone and the process of re-wiring my body was more than enough to be getting on with!
What I have learnt over the last few months is that certain elements of my form will lower my heart rate. If I let something slip like my cadence for instance, my heart rate will rise. If I re-focus my heart will come back down again. If I lose my alignment, it will rise, if I re-focus on staying tall and aligned, it will come back down again.
Best of all running has become incredibly relaxing. Mostly I believed I was relaxed when running but having taken a step back, I realise there are different levels of relaxation. By allowing myself to run slower, perform each movement with the least amount of effort, I have been able to dig deeper and really tune into my body.
I am beginning to see the fruits of my labour as the pace increases for the same or even lower heart rate. I am running most days, I do not feel fatigued in any way. I usually want to keep going and when my run is over, I can’t wait to get back out for the next one!