Chi Running – Road to Faster, Injury-free Running

Chi running?  What’s that again? Is that short for Chinese running?

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really quite interested in Chi Running when I first heard about it.    I wasn’t interested in copying any nationality or culture’s way of running.  I just wanted to run period.  Anyways, when we received an invitation from Runnr to attend a talk on Chi Running last week, we decided to go and find out what it was about.

I actually felt the same way.  Surprisingly though, we got engaged with the talk.  The presentation was simple and informative.  Mr. Lit Onrubia, US- certified Chi Running instructor,  saw to it that the talk was easy to understand via simple materials and actual demos.  Looking at it, the pointers seemed easy to follow.  I just don’t know yet how easy it would be actually doing it.  Anyways,  we just have to maybe join the practical sessions to find out.

One thing sure, Chi Running makes sense.  For those who want to improve their speed and  run injury-free for a long, long time, this is worth looking into.  Curious?  See our notes from the talk below:

From the Sole Mates notes:

>>> Chi Running “Trinity”:

1.  Form

2. Distance

3. Speed

Now, isn’t that what serious  and want-to-be-serious runners all want to achieve?

>>> Developmental time-table:

1.  Cardio-vascular – 3 to 6 weeks

2.  Muscular –  3 to 6 months

3.  Skeletal  –  9 months to 1 year

Implication:  It takes a longer time  to develop your muscles (strength) than to  train and develop your lung power.  So, be guided accordingly and be prudent in increasing your mileage.  A slow, gradual increase is most recommended.  Will say 100% yes to that.  Learned from experience…

>>>Mr. Lit Onrubia discussed 5 important things to consider:

1.  Posture  – align the lower and upper half of your body, engage your core , create balance by distributing your weight to the whole body making sure the shoulder, hips and ankles are in one straight angle.

2. Lean  –  this is our “gas pedal”, one that propels us to gain speed.  Image cited is that of “falling forward”.  This promotes mid-foot strike that they say, prevents injury, too.  Leaning should start from the ankles and NOT from the hip or neck.  To give you a more vivid picture,  Lit Onrubia described running as constantly falling over with the shoulders coming in first before the hips and legs.

3.  Ankle Lift  –  it’s peeling your foot off the ground lifting the ankles first, then the ball of your foot and lastly, your toes.

4.  Arm Swing –  follow the 50/50 rule — arms should be swinging right around the waist area making sure that it is not up where the shoulders and up and tensed  nor is it down where the  arms are uncontrollably flinging.

–  when swinging, do not cross your center.  Simply put, make sure your right arm do not go over to the left side of your body while it’s swinging and vice-versa.

5.  Cadence  –  our body’s rhythm.  Ideal no. of steps per minute is between 84-90.  It’s recommended that we aim for this.  Chi Running also recommends to keep cadence constant.

Finally, 7 tips for better running:

1.  Listen to your body.  There should be a mind-body connection.  >>> pain doesn’t always mean gain!

2.  Gradual progress >>> slowly build up mileage, let your body get used to the distance.

3.  Relax by focusing on one thing at a time  >>>  posture at one time, arms swing at the next session, etc.

4.  Practice running fast, slow, up, down >>> self-explanatory, can’t be all flat, i suppose. 😉

5.  Focus on form than gear >>> (BUT, if you don’t have the form yet, make up with the gear! hahaha )

6.  Join groups, form groups, join races and read! >>>  yes, yes, yes, and yes!  If you’re into group running, you can join the likes of, fortstriders, runnex   — great support, good camaraderie.  Why not form your own small running group as well if you want control over the schedule but want running buddies with you as well?  Weekend races are a must, if you ask me, especially for newbies.  These races definitely got us motivated to keep training and running.  The energy in races is just swell you’d want to do better and better.  Lastly, nothing beats reading for extra information.  (Books recommended for reading by Mr. Onrubia — Marathoning for Mortals,  Running for Mortals and of course, Chi Running)

7.  Run a lot but rest a lot, too! >>> Running addicts, take note!  Resting is okay, ya know!

So, there you go folks!  We hope you’ve picked-up something that would benefit you.   Our notes is in no way complete. To gain full understanding and get the full benefits of Chi Running, you may enlist Mr. Lit Onrubia for private group or one-on-one sessions that would cover both theories and practice.  One can always benefit from some coaching.

So, go run, run, run.  Run fast, run long  but …  run safe, okay?

See you all at the races — happy, strong and injury-free! 🙂

Thanks to Runnr Store who made this available to runners and would-be runners alike.  🙂


2 Responses to “Chi Running – Road to Faster, Injury-free Running”

  1. 1 Lit February 4, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Hi Jun and Mariel. Many thanks for attending the event last Jan 20 and thanks for writing about it in your blog. I hope that, at the very least, ChiRunning gave you a few ideas to try out and to see if it’ll make your runs more enjoyable. Good luck at Condura and maybe we’ll run into each other on the roads. Happy running!

  2. 2 thesolemates February 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Lit! You are most welcome. What an honor for us to have you drop by here. Yes, we’ve been actually trying out some of the things we learned there and it seems to be working for us. We were glad to have attended the talk and learn new things. Happy running to you, too!

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