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 :)

Pelvic tilt

This article has a quite a bit of detail on pelvic tilt. Whether you want to work on the corrective exercises or not, the images alone on this page are worth studying to help you gain a clear understanding of correct posture, as compared with anterior or posterior pelvic tilt. It's worth a look.

http://www.rippednfit.com/home/corrective-exercise-fix-your-anterior-pelvic-tilt/

Continue reading
1904 Hits
0 Comments

How similar is Chi Running to minimalist running?

A few people have asked me if Chi Running is the same as, or similar to, a minimalist running style. So here I am offering my (humble) opinions. I'm by no means the expert here, any there can be a lot of confusion between natural running / barefoot running / minimal running etc.

To start with, bear in mind Chi Running is a mid foot running style. It is believed by Danny Dreyer, inventor of Chi Running that this is the way of running with least impact and least risk on injury.

To dip in to this further, I thought I'd open the latest copy of Trail Running Magazine (August / September 2013.) There is an article entitled 'Is Minimalist For You?'

Continue reading
1624 Hits
0 Comments

Where am I up to then?

Now I've started my Chi Running instructor training, quite a few people have been asking me how far on I am and what my plans are, so... time for an update. Before this point I have attended courses, been reading about Chi Running, studying DVD material, and applying this in my personal running for the last 2-3 years.

Study phase. This is where I am now!
I'm currently a few weeks in to a 12 week study period. I study the instructor materials alongside other books, videos and articles. I am testing out my teaching skills on a small group of friends and family which is great fun. I'm also mastering use of my ipad for video recording, immediate slow motion feedback and also for display of demonstration videos and visuals. I use this to prepare detailed feedback and 'next steps' for all the runners I work with.

October
I travel to Berlin for a 4 day intensive course, lead by a Master instructor. This will be a great opportunity to meet with those who teach running at an international level.

Continue reading
1388 Hits
0 Comments

Chi walk run

Book and DVD Review: Chi Walk to Run - Fitness for Life!

There are lots different ways to 'get in to' Chi walking and running. I've studied this book and DVD set tonight, as I have a friend who wants to transition from walking her dog in to going for a run.

The DVD is full if really helpful posture checks and visual demonstrations. It reiterates lots of key concepts from the Chi Walking and Chi running materials. Ideas to remind you about key concepts on posture such as 'Sit up in your chair' and the 'C shape' really do help reinforce the book. There is advise I would suggest probably all walkers and runners could do with, such as how to reduce injury risk from toe off. Examples and explanation of good arm swing are also very useful. If you are a visual person, I'd really suggest using a DVD such as this alongside the books if you are thinking about learning Chi Walking or Running.
Personally I could loose the pan pipes.

Continue reading
1379 Hits
0 Comments

And so it begins

I received my Chi Running instructor study schedule today. I've been reading continuously for over 6 months now, anticipating what kind of study might be required. Now it's time to knuckle down and follow a tighter schedule for a few weeks.

I must say the course materials and approach are very professional, and very high quality. I can't wait to get off to Berlin in October for the face to face part of the course.

Posture feedback... From my body.. Each time I go running at the moment I can really feel a big difference in my abdominal muscles... I think something is really beginning to click with my technique.

Continue reading
1079 Hits
0 Comments

Focus your eyes.

Just been reading about Y-Chi at

http://www.chirunning.com/blog/entry/the-next-step-to-effortless-running-and-walking/

Danny says:

"Y is the ability to direct your chi towards a visual "goal" through the use of your eyes. So, y’chi is the skill of directing all of the energies and movement in your body through the focus of your eyes."

How do we in West Yorkshire, UK relate to a Chinese concept about energy? Sheepdogs of course! We just watched the dogs and do they ever take their eyes off those sheep? No they don't! An absolutely amazing example of how the focus of your eyes can direct your energy and control those around you.

Tags:
Continue reading
1454 Hits
0 Comments

Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry - a review from a Chi Running perspective

This book is a must read for anyone interested in running without injury, or anyone interested in Chi Running.

As books on Chi Running clearly focus on what makes Chi Running unique and effective, they include a lot of information on the Chi Running technique itself. This book is a brilliant complement to that reading because it is deeply grounded in the science of running. If you have no idea about Chi Running but just want to be injury free - read this book!

Continue reading
1341 Hits
0 Comments

Me and My Shadow

I've been trying to find as many ways as possible to keep a careful eye on my running form recently. In my opinion, it's so easy to think you are doing something with your body when, in fact, you are not! Getting somebody to video you is a great way to get feedback, but we can't always do that.

Tonight, a wonderful run out on the moors found me checking out my own shadow for feedback. I was able to check out my posture quickly and easily. Also, I think I also got quite a good idea of my foot strike from a sideways glance here and there. I did try videoing my own shadow as I was running just for a bit of fun. That wasn't that successful really.

Continue reading
1334 Hits
0 Comments

Running with the Kenyans - What's the secret? What are your thoughts?

I recently read 'Running With The Kenyans' by Adharanand Finn. The subtitle is 'Discovering The Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth.' So what are the secrets? Before I read this well written and fascinating book, I had quite a few conversations with my friend Chris Dawson who is a Hypnotherapist and Life Coach. He was of the strong opinion that the reason for the Kenyan success is entirely 'in the head.' Surely all human bodies work the same? It must be all about what is going on in their minds.

Continue reading
1302 Hits
0 Comments

A smart training plan

My favourite quote from 'Anatomy for Runners' by Jay Dicharry is "A smart training plan goes beyond long runs and speed work. It addresses all your unique  biomechanical needs to ensure that you are racking up miles well in to the future." It's a great book, highly recommended. More thoughts to follow.

Continue reading
1400 Hits
0 Comments

Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier - A Review from a Chi Running perspective

In Chi Running, running is seen as a mindful practice rather than a sport. It is viewed very much in a holistic sense. The whole body is used in Chi Running, and the mind needs to aware of all parts including upper and lower body. It therefore follows that a good all round understanding of anatomy should be one of the strings in the bow if the Chi Runner, and this book goes a long way towards building that understanding.
The book is organised in to seven sections according to body parts.

Continue reading
1400 Hits
0 Comments

Instructor training here I come

Well I've now booked on to a Chi Running instructor course later this year. I was asked to write a few words as part of my application for Instructor Training, and thought I'd share them on my Blog.

At university I completed a 4 year degree in Primary Education with Outdoor Studies. This course had a holistic philosophy, including philosophy and values as part of the subjects studied alongside human performance and technical skills. I also gained my mountain leadership qualification. The teaching side of the degree lead me in to a career as a Primary School teacher, however I have always wanted to work in the outdoors. I see becoming a Chi Running and Chi Walking instructor as a fantastic way to complement the skills I already have, and provide me with a way of helping other enjoy the outdoors as much as I do.

Continue reading
1424 Hits
0 Comments

Running Ritual

I just love this quote from Chi Marathon by Danny Dreyer:

"A great workout for me will feel like a ritual that you perform with regularity and consistency. My dog can tell it's time to go for a walk when I go to the front of the closet to grab a jacket; her whole body wags in anticipation. When you create a ritual around your running, your mind and body will also begin to fall in to certain patterns (and maybe even wag with enthusiasm).

Continue reading
1472 Hits
0 Comments

Mindfulness Based Improvement in Running

I've been reading quite a bit about Chi Running for a while now as well as other similar topics. These blogs are just my personal ramblings, so I'd be really interested to see if this one makes any sense to any other runners out there.

I thought I'd explain a model of learning that I find very helpful and relate it to Chi Running. This 'Stages of Competence' model came from research by Noel Burch in the 1970s,

Continue reading
1389 Hits
0 Comments

Moving more Intentionally

I did an hour of Qigong today before a 2 mile warm up, drills and then 6 x 500m interval training. According to Wikipedia, Qigong (or Chi Kung) is "literally 'Life Energy Cultivation,) "... "a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation."

For me, the main benefit of the Qigong was that I had a 60 minute chance to concentrate fully on my body movements. It was good to see where a lot of the thinking behind Chi Running comes from. It's amazing how hard it is to concentrate on controlling your body carefully, precisely, and mindfully for the entire session. I am certain it will take me a long time to begin to become confident the qigong movements.

Continue reading
1296 Hits
0 Comments

Chi Running Testimonial

This is an amazing testimony about Chi Running - well worth a watch... this guy was told he could never run again and has now run over 30 ultras with Chi Running. What a waste of a life it would have been to stop running when he was told to by the doctors.

It's great to have testimonials like this to spur you on if you have an injury. Surely

Continue reading
1453 Hits
0 Comments

I'm not a runner

I've run less than normal recently due to changes in my personal life. I thought I'd hate less regular training and that has been hard but not as hard as I expected. A quote from the Chi Walking book reminded me that running and walking should be equal in stature with all other important activities in your live (p 56). Walking and running should be a vehicle for personal growth as well a fitness. I must say that never before have I found as many opportunities to develop concepts and try out physical tasks as now. I can find so many ways to play around with posture and lean as well as other elements of the Chi Running technique during every day life. I'm not a runner and I'm

Continue reading
1334 Hits
0 Comments

Introducing Chi Running

Another nice article here on Chi Running. Well worth a read.  http://m.runnersworld.com/running-tips/find-your-chi-running Thanks Nick of www.soulinmotion.co.uk for the link

Tags:
Continue reading
1320 Hits
0 Comments

Love Yourself

What “Love Yourself” Means and 3 Ways to Get Closer To it. http://bit.ly/WOuLWj

A nice, clear article of great relevance to the Chi Runner. I very much believe there should be close links between this type of approach and the mindful attitude towards running. I guess it goes without saying that we need to take this approach if we want to optimise our potential to be injury free.  Some will no doubt disagree about how much  emphasis should be placed on loving yourself,  or on mindfulness. I think that's where your own personal journey comes in.

Tags:
Continue reading
1243 Hits
0 Comments

Stanbury Splash Fell Race: A review of my race from a Chi Running perspective

(For the benefit of those outside northern England, fell running refers to running up and back down the hills / mountains of that region.)

So, it's January and 337 runners meet up out on the icy, snow covered Yorkshire Moors to race! Let's go... I must admit I felt a little intimidated by the appearance of the opposition (after all, many were wearing shorts and a running vest... in SUB ZERO temperatures...) My first temptation was to launch in to the fastest start I could manage. However, thoughts in the back of my head about even paced running encouraged me to concentrate on a steadier start, saving myself for the bridleway about 1/2 a mile in where I would start to pick off the competition a little.

Continue reading
1266 Hits
0 Comments

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.

 Imonhandpickedtrails



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

Freedom To Run Newsletter

As seen in Runners World

UKA Leadership in Running Fitness qualified.

I'm UKA Leadership in Running Fitness qualified.