I attended a chi-running seminar today in Brussels.

It was co-taught by two excellent teachers, Michelle Muldoon from the United Kingdom, and Marion Meesters from the Netherlands, who came especially for the day. 

I got the feeling that all the participants in the class enjoyed it and benefited from it. There were runners of all abilities: some novices, some regular recreational runners, some long-distance runners and some competitive club runners. Even one ultra-marathon runner. 

Chi-running is a technique for running derived from Tai-Chi, based on posture and foot placement. The idea is to adjust your posture to enlist the force of gravity to propel you forwards and to place your feet in such a way you don’t land heavily and waste energy. If you get it right, you should be able to run faster with less effort and a lower risk of injury. 

Here’s a video that explains the basics:

It will take time and practice to master it properly, no doubt. But the immediate benefit  I found was a tangible lessening of the effort required of the legs when running. And that was when I still tended to strike the ground too heavily with the heel and not lift my feet backwards high enough. 

I’ll do a long run tomorrow, will try my best to incorporate the techniques (especially the one where you try to lengthen the back of your neck – that straightens the pelvis and opens up the chest) and report how I get on. 

I certainly recommend such a seminar. Check Michelle’s and Marion’s websites to see if there are any convenient classes. 

Posted by Xavier

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