Running is meant to be enjoyed…not endured
Always the sportsman and never truly a runner….my actual running journey started on a whim with the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2014. The whim turned into determination…I downloaded a training program…put in lonely hours of serious practice…early mornings, willpower and lots of pain later…I hobbled across the finish line with a respectable 1 h 55 min first attempt. A sense of accomplishment….but a nagging question remained at the back of my mind – this was supposed to be fun…not painful ! Brought me back to the basic question – What do I want from running ?
- Fitness : A body which runs gracefully, effortlessly and without pain.
- Motivation, Accomplishment and Recognition : Constant improvement measured through time, distance and speed goals
- Mental Health : A mind-body connect of being in the flow while I run – #zen-running #soul-running #running-mediation.
- A Deeper Meaning : Becoming a better man through running.
The answer was clear to me – remain injury free while developing an efficient cum effortless running technique…put in the sweat and toil…and the rest will follow. BUT HOW ? Then I came across Danny Dryers book, ‘Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running’…and my running has never been the same. Three injury-free years down the line I can clock a sub -100 min half marathon with ease (I can do better ! But hey… a sub 100 is very respectable and there is life beyond running) … and the running is pure bliss…and …the name is a misnomer…you don’t have to learn Tai Chi to learn Chi Running !
What is Chi Running ?
A running technique developed by ultra-runner and Tai Chi expert Danny Dreyer, it uses the principles of Tai Chi to focus on alignment, relaxation and proper form. It is a mindful way of running which emphasizes correct posture, core strength and the use of gravity to create an efficient running technique which keeps you injury free. The promised results – reduced effort of running, no pain/injury, improved speed and endurance.
Is Chi Running for everyone ?
Although the book recommends it for all runners, I am of the opinion, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ plus there is ‘no one-size fits all running technique’. But there is a legion of us out there with poor bio-mechanics who could benefit – imbalanced bodies due to long gaps of non-exercise and injury. Definitely worth a try. It worked for me ! Experienced runners looking to remain injury free and improve their running form could experiment with it too.
So here is a three part series – Wellthyfit’s take on Chi running. Try it this summer and make your journey to ADHM or SCMM or any other race a journey to remember and develop a lifelong love for enjoyable, effortless and enriching running !
- Part I – Chi Running : The Basics. This piece will give you an introduction to the Chi Running technique and practical tips for learning it.
- Part II – Chi Running : From Theory to Practice. While it is easy to know the theory, the tough part is practicing it. Tips for Chi Running before, during and after the run !
- Part III – Chi Running : Training for a Half Marathon. The proof of the pudding is in the eating…and for a runner it is a faster PB while not breathing too hard !
Gee Ess, a runner-thinker-blogger, constantly experiments with various running methods. He had recently written a blog on Maffetone Running , the readership of which changed the off-season running plans of many and helped many more runners with increasing their weekly mileage. As he constantly improves and learns from his experience, he blogs his knowledge to helps his tribe by keeping them better informed and become better runners.
Always looking for the next big high -physical, social, intellectual or spiritual, Gee Ess got hooked onto endurance running with ADHM 2014. A multitude of full and half marathons since then, he enjoys penning down the intriguing nuances of running that go beyond and hit the mind of a runner.
First you feel like dying…..then you are reborn