What is ChiRunning?
A lot of folks ask me what ChiRunning is all about. No, you don’t do Tai Chi while you run and no, it’s not that you move around with a chai latte in your hands either!
One of my favourite things about ChiRunning is that it builds body awareness. The technique reinforces proper posture and alignment while stressing proper form instead of making the movements “perfect”. Most people simply speed through life and have no idea how their body moves. ChiRunning makes you aware of the biomechanics involved in running so you can be gentler to your body. It takes running from a sport to a practice, similar to yoga, and makes mind-body connection a key to true progress, not just speed.
ChiRunning is all about running from your core. In order to be more efficient as a runner, you have to be aligned and let your centre bring you forward instead of relying on your legs to take you along for the ride. Your core is where you get the bulk of your power and is the link between the upper and lower body. Almost 60% of your power output comes from your core so why not use it to the fullest?
It seems we lose our ability to lose ourselves in our movements and have fun as we age. I find the technique helps you bring you back to your youthful days. Most people could run forever when they were kids since they were in the moment but you lose that ability as you age for some odd reason. Don’t take ourselves too seriously. Just get out there, forget about your ego for a few minutes and experience things!
Eric Collard is one of 13 certified ChiRunning instructors in Canada and he has taught the technique to close to 300 people around Canada in the past two years. He is also an NCCP-certified triathlon coach and a Lululemon Alumni Run Ambassador. You can connect with him on Twitter (@_ECinc) or on his blog.
If you haven’t been to a ChiRunning workshop yet I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you go! Eric runs workshops all over Canada but does many here in Ottawa. The next one he will be running is Sunday December 11 from 1-5pm at the Louis Riel dome. Check out his website http://ecinc.ca/workshops.html for more information! Register now as they fill up quickly!
I went to his workshop earlier in the year (as did many of my clients) and I was blown away by the things that I learned about my running form (it was bad and was the reason why I kept getting injured). Having read the book before (ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer) also helped a lot as I was familiar with the ChiRunning principles. I have been practicing ChiRunning for almost a year now and not only am I more aware of my posture and form while I run but I have been injury-free (even after training for/and finishing a full marathon and a half marathon in the same year)! So for all your runners out there or wanna-be runners or people who want to learn more about what ChiRunning is please feel free to email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org