Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chi Running
by Danny Dreyer

Sometimes I can get a bit obsessive. I recently got back into running, and as with any sport (especially running) there is a learning curve. My muscles ached, I got a minor case of shin splints, and even now my calf has some minor aches where it attaches to the achilles tendon after I run.

Naturally, I turned to books for the answer, and Chi Running was my first taste of that.

The idea: stand straight up, makes sure your posture is good, arms relaxed, tilt your hips back so that they are level and you're engaging your lower abdominal muscles. Now, when you run, tilt your whole body forward like a gas pedal, move your legs in circular, wheel-like motions, and relax. That's Chi Running.

On top of that, you're constantly checking in with your body, keeping your posture straight, and taking it as easy as you can. That's Chi Running. Dreyer claims it is a guaranteed injury-free way to run, and I can't knock him for it, the idea makes sense.

While the book was an interesting read, it interested me more in the mindful approach to running than did the form. I run fine, I just did too much too fast when I started and I need to ease up. Running is a high impact sport, you have to start small. Baby steps, or baby runs, right?

Still, if you're a runner or you're interested in the sport, I'd recommend this book. You'll get something out of it, whether it's form or mindfulness (body sensing) or both is up to you, but it's a worthwhile read nonetheless. I'm just curious how it stacks up against the other running books that my obsession has led me to. We'll see.

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