Freedom To Run - Ease, Efficiency, Speed

Jon Burdon, Chi Running and Chi Walking instructor based in England and Wales

Freedom To Run - Blog

This blog is all about my journey with Chi Running. I try to discuss all aspects of the practice. I also write a book review for every book I read about running. Please DO post comments below - you don't event need to have an account - just leave your name :)

Raw Nutrition for Runners

The Chi Running book has a whole section on Chi Living and also discusses diet. Diet plays a central role in becoming a better runner. I recently qualified as a Sport and Exercise Nutritional Advisor and am avidly reading through various books around the theme of nutrition for runners. See my previous blog on Finding Ultra, for example. I'm begining to explore more and more what raw and much less processed food can do for us as athletes (and as human beings!)

I'm going to share a few recipes in the next few blogs. Why not post a photo and comment when you've tried one out?

Paul from Paul Poole Mountainreering has let me share this yummy recipe. Make it today!

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My Protein 04 Sports Performance electrolyte powder

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My Protein sent me some of this to try out, and here are my thoughts.

When I read the packaging I couldn't believe the scoop size needed to use this powder. I started looking at the measuring spoons in my kitchen. Then I found the v absolutely tiny scoop inside the packet. "This is going to last for ages" were my first thoughts. To compare, a big scoop larger than an egg cup was needed for the last electrolyte powder I used. It's going to last for AGES.

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It's supposed to be flavourless, however I am lucky and have delicious Yorkshire Water coming out of my tap and so I confess I do notice a slight taste. No problem though as I'll just drink it with my daily fruit juice, or with water and don't worry about the taste. In comparison other electrolyte I've tried has had it's own taste anyway so I guess it's personal preference. You might prefer tablets or flavoured powder, but you're not going to beat this for value for money. Some electrolytes are sold in single dose sachets, this pouch will go on for many, many doses.

Does it seem to 'work?' Tough to tell but I'm marathon training at the moment and I've not suffered any signs of dehydrating on my long runs so that's a thumbs up from me.

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My Protein gave me some of this product to try. I've already purchased some more of my own. There are various discount offered here if you fancy some: http://www.myprotein.com/voucher-codes.list

 

 

 

 

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Peanut butter for runners - review

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We thought our peanut butter product was junk free until we read the ingredients list on this one from MyProtein. It has one ingredient. Peanuts. Give the jar a good stir and smell the goodness, then slap it on to wholemeal toast. This is a really great product, and one which would make a great addition to any runner's kitchen cupboard. 

The makers have a discount voucher page here and a short video about the product here:

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Finding Ultra by Rich Roll - a book review from a Chi Running perspective?

I got a few comments on my last blog about diet and exercise - thanks folks. It's interesting that diet, and the question of whether to change what we eat, is a topic very close to our hearts. I did make an assumption our diet isn't perfect in my last blog on this subject. I should perhaps have clarified that it all goes by comparison. (And, of course, I'm not a nutritional expert but the ideal diet is different for different people.)

Personally I notice that most people don't tend to place much importance on the benefits of diet to enhance their performance in their exercise, and to help live a whole and fulfilled life. The reason I would suggest a high standard for our diet as runners is after reading a few books recently which tell the story of how diet has transformed peoples running. The first was Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll. The book is very challenging and throws up a lot of questions about what makes an effective diet for an athlete.

The subtitle of the book is 'Rejecting middle age, becoming one of the world's fittest men, and discovering myself.' Rich talks through the total transformation in his lifestyle after a 'eureka' moment when he realised he was shortening his life and he needed to make some huge changes. What follows is amazing, at times hard to believe and incredibly inspiring. He participates in some of the most gruelling endurance events imaginable. Within this journey he stops eating meat, but changes his diet far far more than that. The result is what he calls the Plant Power diet. The advice and tips he gives along the way show how it is possible to drop those energy gels and sports drinks and go natural. I for one would really love to start fuelling myself with something a lot more like the Rich Roll way. The book, including the appendices, are packed with advice on how to change your diet.

Finding Ultra

If you don't like people telling you what to do, don't read this book. If I have any criticism it would be that the author is quite pushy with his beliefs in diet. He is evangelical about what he believes is the right way forward for everyone - but then you would be if your life has been transformed in the way his has.

What I find fascinating is the incredible transformation in Rich's athletic performance which was brought about by changes in his diet. You could say this was because he was on such a bad diet in the first place, but I don't think it is just that.

The stories of endurance in the book are absolutely inspiring and worth reading for anyone who is considering endurance running of any kind. I love the way they make the 'normal' efforts runners go to look so small. I don't look at running for 4 hours in the same way at all any more.

So what has all this got to do with Chi Running? Well (these are my personal opinions of course.) Chi Running advocates a mindful and holistic approach to our whole life. The Chi Running Book has a section on diet. Chi Running is, I would say, mindful running - it's a holistic practice. And you can't separate that from the other aspects - diet, mental, emotional, spiritual etc. So Rich's whole approach to life is a journey in to discovery about this holistic, mindful approach. I'd say if you were in to Chi-Living, then you'd really get on well with the Rich Roll way of living.

Something else that really attracted me to the book is the spiritual journey which Rich follows. More about that in a later blog.

Read this book if you are interested in nutrition, and if you enjoy stories of human endurance and transformation.
Don't read it if you prefer not to be preached at.

If you want to read more:

http://www.richroll.com/

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How is diet relevant to exercise?

To get the discussion started, I got in touch with Gina Battye, who I met recently whilst she was juicing oranges for my children! Gina is the founder of the worldwide Health and Happiness Movement, best-selling author of 'How to Beat the Biscuit Tin Blues' and international inspirational speaker. She looks at it his way in her book...

Gina Battye Portait"The connection between food and exercise is sometimes forgotten. You need to make sure you eat well for fitness. Do you think about the food you eat and how it impacts on your body when it comes to exercise? You wouldn’t be alone if you overlook this.

In this section [of 'Beating the Biscuit Tin Blues'] we will look at how to fuel up, how to look after yourself during and how to repair quickly and effectively afterwards. Food is a fundamental part to this process so we will be looking at the kind of things you should be eating around exercise.

Why do this? If you get it right, you will allow your metabolism to run efficiently, you will have peak physical performance and maintain your focus and concentration.

It is crucial to fuel and repair your body before, during and after exercise. Most people don’t do this and that is why they have a slower recovery rate, feel tired and have no energy. If you do this correctly, you can cut down on recovery time whilst ensuring your body is repairing fully. You can also maximise the energy you have and give greater performance whilst engaging in the exercise itself."
Taken from 'How To Beat The Biscuit Tin Blues' - Gina Battye, 2014 

Want to improve your health and happiness every day? Join Gina's health and happiness movement today! Register your commitment now to receive your free gifts that will get you started on your journey: www.healthbygina.com

Does that sound like a challenge to you? Well do you think big with your exercise and your diet? Do you think your diet is that of an athlete? More on that later, but remember Chi Running advocates gradual progress in all aspects of living, as well as a mindful and holistic approach to life. So with respect to diet, the first thing I'd say is don't beat yourself up. Notice which healthy foods feel good when you eat them. Make gradual changes to your diet and notice the differences. Enjoy eating healthy foods. I think most people are beginning to accept that 'dieting' doesn't really work for many people, however eating a healthy diet is something we all need. Gradual progress with your diet is the only way you are going to make worthwhile changes in my opinion - so why not start with something small? The first steps will build a confident foundation for the next.... let me know how you get on...

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More about Chi Running at www.chirunning.com

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Where to find me

 

I live in the Holme Valley, near Huddersfield and on the very northern edge of the Peak District National Park. Workshops are in venues easily accessible from:

Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield, Barnsley, Cumbria, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Wales.

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Mountain Training
I am a qualified Mountain Leader, registered with the Mountain Training Association.

Photos of the Holme Valley Landscape are by Andy Leader of Made in Holmfirth

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