Chi running has recently become very popular among marathon runners. Chi running for beginners uses techniques that can get you running further and faster in no time.
Mind and body
Chi running uses techniques that maintain a mindfulness of the processes your body goes through during a run. Derived from Tai Chi, Chi running focuses on energy and power stemming from your “centre”. Keeping tabs on how your body works, while you train is the very basic practical application of the mind in Chi running. Chi techniques also help in practising mind-over-matter thinking when it comes to pushing yourself.
In terms of your body, your centre is your core. Having a strong core is one of the key physical principles behind Chi running. Your core helps you to maintain posture, propulsion, and is the pivot point for the motion your body performs in running.
Relaxation and rejuvenation
Many women run to relax – in fact, running is a great time to clear your head and get perspective. Chi running is all about letting go of tension and stress and achieving focus on what you are doing. Marathon runners, beginners and veterans alike, benefit from this focus because it improves performance. Relaxed muscles contract and release more comfortably and efficiently – and, best of all, significantly faster.
Part of centring yourself involves running in the now. With the focus that comes with Chi running you can attend to what your body needs as you need it. Chi running allows a greater aptitude for moderating your pace and speed. As an added bonus, because you focus on your body and clear your mind, niggles will not turn into injuries because you are aware of your body during your training.
First steps for beginners to Chi running
Now that you know the theory, you can apply the physical side of Chi running.
1. A strong core is the first step, especially if you are training for a marathon
Engaging your core is essential to Chi running. An engaged core improves posture, and thus your performance and endurance. Planking and running planks are great for building up your core.
2. Light mind, light feet
Chi running uses a lighter, shorter stride on the mid-foot and not the ball of the foot. A nimble pace with a quicker cadence makes for lower impact running which is much more efficient and, frankly, more comfortable.
3. Go, go gravity!
Let gravity do most of the work for you. Chi running requires a forward lean – tilt your body forward when you run so that gravity propels you. This also helps with posture and endurance. Just another area where having a strong core in Chi running comes in.