Monday, May 13, 2013

Chi Running Clinic

I have been running pretty consistently - with a little time off due to injuries - for almost six years now.  I'd like to think that after all of this time I would be getting faster.  Or at least I would be able to run without it always feeling like such a struggle.  But sadly, this is not the case.

I see people run down the street and I envy the ease with which they seem to be moving.  I feel like I'm always plodding along, huffing and puffing with every step.  I used to love to run around when I was a kid and I know it didn't feel so hard then.  And while I'm sure it was easier to run when I was a third of the size I am know, I know that as I kid I never thought about running...I just did it.

A few years ago for Christmas I was given a copy of the book "Chi Running."  It's tagline is "A training program for effortless, injury-free running."  Sounds pretty good, right?  

So I started to read it but only got about a third of the way through the book.  The truth is, I'd much rather be out running than reading about running.  And while the book had lots of direction about form and posture, it's hard to tell if I'm doing things correctly without someone there analyzing my form - someone who actually knows what they are looking for.  So the book is somewhere in my house collecting dust on a shelf at this point.

But lately I feel like I've really been struggling with my running and I've been getting frustrated so I decided to look into Chi Running a little more.  It turns out that there was a half day clinic being held in San Francisco on Saturday, so I signed up.  I figured a little in-person attention was probably more what I needed than just reading about something.

As it turns out, I am the only one who signed up for this session so I got my own personalized one-on-one Chi Running clinic.   It was really great.  We spent about half the time indoors talking about the history and the principals of Chi Running.  We worked on posture - getting my body in-line to be more efficient when I run. Then it was time to head outside and put into practice what we'd been talking about.

I learned so much about my running form vs. good running form.  For example, I'm a heel striker and my cadence is slow.  By just being conscious of landing mid-foot and increasing my cadence, running felt so much easier and less like pounding the pavement.  The instructor also filmed me running and she is going to analyze the video and give me more feedback.

So I'd say it was definitely worth it for me.  I can't wait to get back out there and run more and practice what I've learned.

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