When I'm working with new (or even experienced) clients on their form, one of the first things we focus on is posture. Recently, I've added a few quick posture lessons to my Instagram feed and YouTube Channel. Check them out if you're not familiar with posture.
Once I have my client's posture into a good place, we usually focus on leaning into gravity, and allowing the foot to fall below the body's center of mass. This allows the foot to strike the road with less force, landing under the body's center of gravity an sweeping back (vs. landing on the heel in front of the body).
This all sounds good, but how do you put it into practice? How do you keep your legs landing below the body's center, but keep from pushing off moving into your next stride?
Check out some of these thoughts from ChiLilving & ChiRunning co-founder Katherine Dreyer (originally posted on ChiRunning.com)
One Thing to Make Your Running So Much Easier
You can make running easier…after all, why push yourself down the road when you can be pulled…by gravity, that is.
In our last workshop some people found it difficult to let go and let gravity do its job. Whether it’s a mindset that says you need to work hard, or legs that want to be tree stumps and not loose like noodles, the hardest part of ChiRunning® is learning to relax and let go.
When Donna felt her legs go truly limp she was amazed and very pleased. She’d never felt her legs relax so much! And then movement became easy.
Here are some tips to get your legs to relax. Practice these with beginner’s mind – the kid-like energy of, “heck, what might happen if I try this”:
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to head down to Asheville, NC to work with ChiRunning Founder Danny Dreyer. Along with a few other instructors, I was assisting assisting at a workshop. It's always great to see how different groups adapt to the ChiRunning and ChiWalking form. There's always a different "a-ha" moment for everyone.
When we wrapped up, I asked Danny to do a short video clip for my Instagram feed. I wanted to get his number one tip for new runners. His answer was using a metronome.
There are many reasons to use a metronome. When I started focusing on running form, it was a big help in getting my cadence to a more consistent place.
Check out Danny's article on the subject at ChiRunning.com. If you have any questions on how to use a metronome, don't hesitate to give me a shout!
The Quickest Way to Improve Your Running with a Metronome
by Danny Dreyer
Your body thrives on rhythm… your heart beat, your breath rate, your love for dancing, are all based on rhythms in your body or that you've established in your life. The more rhythms you establish, the better your body likes it.
When you're body has a rhythm to follow it doesn't work as hard. It knows what to do and when to do it. If you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning, your body experiences a rhythm... "now I get to rest, now it's time to get up."
You may have heard me talk about ChiRunning before (I mean, it's like all I do!). When I'm first describing ChiRunning to someone that asks me what it is, I usually say something like: "ChiRunning basically helps you learn to set up your posture correctly. Once you've got posture down, you can lean into gravity and use your core muscles to help lift your legs as you "fall" down the road with minimal effort needed from your quads, hams and calfs."
Because we place such an important focus on the core, I like to have my runners practice a number of strengthening exercises. My favorites are listed below, as well to a link from ChiRunning in which Danny Dryer gives a bit more background on these exercises and how to properly perform them.
Practice these on your own, a few days a week and give me a shout if you have any questions!
Best Core Excercises for Runners
Read More & See a Video Demo
Ken Presutti is a certified ChiRunning instructor, ACE Personal trainer, Spinning instructor, and coach. This blog is a mix of new articles and posts from his original blog, Overkill is Underrated.