Chi Running is a natural (or minimalist) running technique which is relaxed, energy efficient, and has a greatly reduced risk of injury. Chi Runnning combines movement ideas from Tai Chi with the sport of running to shift the emphasis towards the core muscles. Therefore posture and relaxation become more important than leg muscles. Chi Running develops familiar ideas from Martial Arts, Meditation, Mindfulness, Yoga and Pilates.
The key elements of the Chi Running approach are:
- Co-operating with gravity (a slight forwards lean)
- A mid foot (whole foot) strike
- Lifting, not pushing, with the feet and ankles
- An emphasis on the correct arm swing
- A constant cadence (step rate)
- Developing a mind-body connection
- Allowing the principles of alignment and relaxation to the the guiding force behind your running
The two of these are very important. There is far more to Chi Running than just moving your body differently. Chi Running is a holistic, mindful practice that can impact on your whole life. When practised fully, many find it increases the peace and joy in their lives.
If after some thought you choose to become a committed 'Chi Runner,' then you will spend more time developing your running technique than you might have done previously. You will also notice that running feels lighter and more fluid and relaxed. You will also be joining a world wide movement that has discovered that the minimal running style that is Chi Running has transformed their running, and had a long lasting effect on the whole of their lives. I have collected quite a few resources together on Pinterest on the subject of Chi Running and Walking.
The Chi Running and Chi Walking techniques were developed by Danny Dreyer, ultramarathon runner. They have been adopted by many thousands of people throughout the world. Read more about their writing (and others) on my Blog, or watch this video which explains a bit more.