- Posted by Aaron Lew
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What Could Be Our Mindset?
Coach Aaron has been running and competing for many years, he believes running faster and longer is more than speed and mileage itself. Running, in essence, is about having the right mindset and right approach to RUN WELL. That said, we realize that as a runner when you hit a particular milestone, the desire to do better, faster than ever before takes a firm hold. As runner ourselves, we understand the need to push our limits to see just how fast we can go when we run. We too understand the tendency to get swept away in the thrill of the course and thereby letting go of all consideration of health and possible injury.
Runners get injured while running far more often than we’d like it to happen. Injuries happen most likely are due to improper running technique, overtraining and burning out.
ChiRunning – A Revolutionary Approach to Running Faster and Longer
A popular phenomenon that’s making waves in the running world for the past decade or so, ChiRunning is a revolutionary approach to running for an injury and pain-free experience that uses the principles of the ancient Chinese martial art – T’ai Chi.
ChiRunning focuses on strengthening the core muscles, running with the pull of gravity with relaxed limbs in good body posture/running form. Good running technique essentially include good posture, proper leg motion, balanced ratio of upper and lower body coordination, cadence and mental focuses. Find out more about ChiRunning.
How ChiRunning can make you run FASTER and LONGER:
- Running with A Focused Mind – A Holistic Practice
This is like a universal law, you will perform at your best when you are relaxed and focused, be it in your job, your attempt to climb the Everest, etc. In ChiRunning, it is a form of MINDFUL practice to run well. Chi Technique stresses good technique, working with the Force of Nature (Gravity) and running by listening to your body. Such holistic practice let you find maximum enjoyment and lower the risk of burning out and keeping your running interest for a long time. When your mind is fresh from burning out, your running will last too!
- Lead the Run with Dantien (Chi-Center), Ahead of Our Landing
Leading the run with Dantien in an engaged form is the most direct approach to create an efficient running movement! Dantien is located at our lower abdominal area, a spot where our Center of Gravity (C.O.G) is! When we run with the C.O.G ahead of the ground contact point, we simply run with the pull of the gravity. We save energy and avoid using the leg muscles for propulsion. Running this way allows our legs to move and swing backwards, moving in the direction of the force of oncoming road. This eliminate running injuries due to high impact forces of running.
- Running Tall with Good Posture
Running tall helps to keep our body posture aligned and breathe better! An aligned body posture allows the strongest system in our body, the BONE SYSTEM, to take the impacts of running! Running tall uses our strongest core muscles of our body to run, definitely you can run longer and faster!
- Midfoot Strike
The majority of runners are predisposed to hitting the foot on the ground heel-first. ChiRunning emphasizes the mid-foot landing with the entire feet landed on the ground at one go during landing. Mid-foot strikes has 3 key benefits:
a. Midfoot striking creates postural stability, allows landing under/behind our center of mass, resist impact forces and provide momentary support by using our bone system. This compares to heel striking or forefoot landing, our entire feet is not fully landed on the ground at one go, our smaller lower leg muscles will be engaged during landing. This (heel striking/forefoot landing) is not efficient causes running injuries.
b. Midfoot striking allows lower leg muscles to relax, thereby reduce overuse injuries such as achilles tendonitis, calves pain, shins splints, etc.
c. Midfoot striking yields a quicker take off comparing to heel striking, this help to run at higher cadence (frequency of foot strikes) that is more efficient and chances of running faster is higher!
- Pelvic Rotation
To increase our running speed, we have to look at our Stride Length and Cadence.
Stride length is the ground you cover with each stride.
Cadence is the frequency of your stride, typical optimum range between 170 – 180 strides a minute.
At the optimum cadence range, increasing either or both stride length and cadence will increase your running speed.
Pelvic Rotation in particular works on the creating a bigger stride length. Pelvic rotation has two modes: Passive Pelvic Rotation and Active Pelvic Rotation.
a. Passive Pelvic Rotation
When we run with a gravitational pull with a relaxed pelvis, the force of oncoming road will swing our legs rearward upon landing. All we have to do is keep on picking up our feet with each landing. Allowing our legs to swing rearwards coupled with hip rotation with the leg swing, this helps to dissipate forces/impacts on our knees and hip joint during landing. Running this way is safe and creates longer stride length, which is faster speed.
In conventional running, the pelvis is always facing forward, the legs just swing from the hips with each leg push. Running this way leads to overstriding and is less economical.
b. Active Pelvic Rotation – Adding POWER to run with EASE
This is a more advanced skill to run faster in ChiRunning! Active pelvic rotation comes from the hand and engagement of obliques where the obliques will be used to drive the hips, and allowing the legs to relax at the same time. The obliques are a group of strong and large core muscle groups at the abdomen. Driving the hips to run with oblique is like adding POWER to run without using the strength of leg muscles! This increases efficiency and yield the same or better results.
With a strong technical support in the ChiRunning technique, we are sure that ChiRunning can bring your running experience to the next level!
Contact us and learn more about our Chi Immersion Level 1 Program here.