Do you want to take your running further in 2017? Whatever your goal, Chi Running can help your running to feel easier and more efficient. Here are a variety of ways to become more efficient. They are all basic principles of the current understanding of good running technique and fundamentals Chi Running technique.
- Run Tall
- Gradual Progress
- Form, Distance, Speed
- Practise every day
1 Run Tall
Posture is a fundamental of good running technique. If you have never related this to your running before, you could be on the verge of something big… well taller. Have you ever seen that runner who crosses this finish line and has totally lost their form? One of the first things to go is posture. Try experimenting with how long you can maintain good posture when you are running? Try a posture check every 10 minutes. If you aren’t sure how to do that, you could start by imagining a helium balloon tethered to the crown of your head and lifting you up from that area.
A relaxed runner is a happy runner, and a more efficient runner. (Actually they are probably also the runner who wins.) Which bits of your body should be relaxed? Believe it or not, the lower legs should be as relaxed as possible when you are running – you don’t want to engage the muscles below the knee powerfully when running. You should also relax your arms as much as possible.
3 Gradual Progress
Steady away! It’s so tempting to leap from 2 runs a week to 4, or from 3 miles on your long run straight to 8. It’s these spikes in our training that so often cause injury. Thing about making only patient, disciplined, gradual changes to any aspect of your running. This includes in number of runs, distance run, speed, amount of hills, even changes of footwear. Any of these changes shoudl be done gradually. If you are building up distance for an event such as a marathon, follow a plan and remember that no plan suits everyone and they should be as personal as possible. I have a few more blogs on the topic of gradual progress here.
4 Form, Distance, Speed
Where are your running priorities? How about making sure that your running form is solid before you build up distance and before you build up speed? Many people increase their distance, add hilly runs or speed intervals in to their training sessions before they have developed their technique. Your training program for a marathon, for example, should have a basis of technique training before you build up your distance and before you build up your speed. It’s so important not to run ‘beyond your form,’ and speed sessions should be done when you have already established that you can maintain reasonable form over a distance.
5 Practise every day
This doesn’t mean run every day. The principles of good posture and also relaxation apply as much when you are walking and when you are sitting or standing as when you are running. How can you expect to run with good technique if you have bad posture when you are sitting or standing? Very few people have perfect posture but the great news is that if you make this a focus, you can practise principles that will improve your running all day every day.
If you have a slight forwards lean when you are running, then this maximises all the benefits of running with a nice tall posture line and relaxed lower legs. You can actually use the sensation of running with a slight forwards fall to help gain some assistance from gravity when you are running. Getting a sense for this is fundamental to good running technique and in Chi Running a good deal of time is spent learning to run in different ‘gears.’ It’s very easy to over lean and it’s also easy to think you are running with a lean when you are in fact running upright. It’s a good idea to run with someone else who has an understanding of what the right amount of lean looks like so that you can both check each other.