Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Tried Chi Running

I haven't disclosed this much, but I have had a slight pain after my last two long runs (of 5 and 6 miles).  The pain has been just below my left knee and above my right ankle.  The ankle pain starts almost immediately during the run, but fades after the first two miles.  The knee pain starts early, then leaves and returns a day after the run.

I go to an "orthotist" about twice a year to see if I need my arch-support inserts changed.  I got these inserts two years ago after I developed plantar fascitis.  They cost approx $320, but every adjustment and visit since then has been free...I love this guy. 

He added a bit more support in my right insert (taking care of the ankle pain) and instructed me on some basic tips of Chi Running.  I know, I might take months of training to truly develop great form and I won't do it justice here today.

But the basic idea is to take the power out of running and allow the body to be more fluid while running, similar to Tai Chi.  I know nothing about Tai Chi (but I do sometimes drink chai tea).

For me, this meant avoiding striking down first on my heel and instead, trying to have my first landing be on the front part of my foot, just below my 4th or 5th toe.  I could probably google an image to put here, but hopefully, you are following along.

Given that my first 10K is just a few days away, I wanted to go very light this week.  I ran only two miles last night, but it felt awesome!  A little awkward at first, as I tried this new technique, but it settled in quickly. 

I felt like I was starting to stumble forward (like someone is about to go from running to falling forward), but I kept my shoulders back and my head up high and it all felt great.

I noticed that my pace was quicker than usual and my legs weren't as tired as they usually are.  It felt invigorating and if I had more time (and it wasn't a taper week), I could have kept going for a longer, more comfortable run.

Tomorrow, I'll do another run of this length, then two days off before the big race on Sunday morning.

Big Clyde


RickGetsFit said...

Sounds like a pain adjusting how to run differently so close to the race, but you're on the right track - especially when it's not slowing you down any. Cheers!

Kovas said...

Nice tai chi - chai tea pun, well done.

Caratunk Girl said...

Good luck on Sunday!! I have tried Chi running but like Chai Tea better.

Seriously, I did try it and liked it but didn't hold it enough to change my style...then I was injured (this had nothing to do with Chi running or Chi Tea, it was my own stupid fault) and sort of forgot about it. OK. Will pick up the book again.

Jessica said...

Good luck on your race Saturday!

pinkvision said...

Have a great 'Chi' race!

TRI714 said...

Doing great BC

RockStarTri said...

One downside of being a bigger runner is that sneakers wear out faster. Might be time to check them but you are ready to rock this race!

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Hope you're feelin' good! Good luck with your upcoming race!

Moving Mertle said...

I am trying this too, but not sure if I'm getting it yet. I'd suggest the book (and youtubes) by Danny Dreyer. Caution: If you get the audio book you may fall asleep as he has a VERY soothing voice :)

Moving Mertle said...

Hey I gave you an award! And I found another blogger's post on chi running. Phil swears by chi running and you should really send him a email asking about his resources. Here's the url for his post with good videos.