A couple of you have asked “what is this chirunning of which you speak?”.
Chirunning is a running brand, and to become a chirunner, you must first part with your hard earned cash. There are books, dvds, audiobooks and workshops galore. I have only purchased the audiobook, which predates the books, dvds and workshops, and is so almost certainly not cutting edge chi-running.
On the audiobook, Danny tells me that by following this new and exciting form of running, I will never be injured again. Well, he doesn’t say that exactly, but he does tell me that adopting this new running posture will reduce my incidence of [insert long list of running injuries here] and allow me to enjoy injury-free running well into my old-age and long after unenlightened runners have retired hurt.
The first part of the audiobook talks you through five focuses:
- posture – straighten your spine, tuck in your chin
- lift – lift your legs using the tops of your thighs. Do not push off with your feet
- limp lower legs – concentrate on keeping your lower legs limp so that you aren’t using your weedy lower leg muscles
- lean – maintaining your straight posture, lean forward from the ankles. Then when you lift your legs, you’ll move forward. The more you lean, the more you’ll be pulled along the road by gravity. There’s a lovely phrase that’s something like “it’s not about trying to run fast, but about relaxing into a new angle”. At which point my head usually explodes.
- the wheel. I’ll be honest, I struggle with this one. It’s about picturing lots of wheels everywhere. There are bicycle crank sets by your feet, and wheels where your chest is and it all leaves me a little flummoxed. About the only bit I’ve grasped is that my feet should be moving in a circular way.
The second part of the audiobook is a 15 minute guided run that talks you through the focusses again but while you’re running. Lots of lovely imagery (pretend you’re running across leaves [will chewing gum work as well?]) and imagine the earth is a treadmill) which is largely wasted on me as I have the visual imagination of something with absolutely no visual imagination. But Danny’s voice is lovely and soothing and other than the fact that I’ve never once been able to answer “Yes, Danny, they are!” to the question “Are your lower legs as limp as they can be?”, I do feel that I’m beginning to grasp the concepts.
Short run from the station this morning, and I’m about to cycle home, in case anyone still cares!