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Chi Running Foundation Workshop review

So I arrived at Your Parinama ready for my one day chi running foundation workshop.

After an informal meet and greet with everyone on the course the morning swung into action with a videoed group run to capture our existing running techniques.

It was great to do this alongside others as it definitely helped to negate some of the inevitable self-consciousness of being filmed.

“By slowing down the motion of running down to its biomechanical basics to a simple step, the movement of your hip, a shift in your balance and finding your centre of gravity was like turning on a little light switch”

group performimg Slow step exercise
The importance of postural alignment and breathing

Phil and Gray took us back into the studio to concentrate on our postural alignment and breathing.

By slowing down the motion of running down to its biomechanical basics to a simple step, the movement of your hip, a shift in your balance and finding your centre of gravity was like turning on a little light switch.

This simple, conscious connection from the brain to the legs and hips really helped to understand my own running mechanics. I suppose it’s the difference between being told what to do (through tips we’ve picked up or read) and being shown what to do.

After lunch we gathered, admittedly squeamishly, to watch the video playback and listen to the feedback.

This part of the workshop was particularly important to me as it helped to rule out any major style issues that could be contributing to a re-occuring injury I have.

One of my areas for improvement was in the arms and although not overly wayward there was room to reign them in to help with efficiency.

Watching and listening to the feedback for the other runners was also helpful to gain more of an insight into an efficient running form.

Girl performing slow step exercise
Group Nasal breathing in park
Group walk to run nasal breathing exers=cise

The next exercise took us outside to put into practice all the postural alignment and breathing techniques we had been shown. Starting out very gently with a mix of walking and running while only breathing through our noses was new to me.

Running this way only allows you to take in a minimal breath and will keep you at an aerobic pace.

Again, for me, it was the difference of being told what to do and shown what to do.

Of course we have all ran with the aim of keeping to an easy pace but there is always the inevitability of not quite sticking to it.

Social Run group mobilisation exercise

This strategy certainly keeps you in check. Initially I found it a little awkward, with no chatting (you have to keep your mouth shut) and a dripping nose (tissue in hand) which is a bi product of nasal breathing was a challenge but after the body had warmed up, a quiet rhythm developed and I seemed to get used to the idea.

Before the session came to an end Phil and Gray added a couple more elements into the mix.

While keeping postural form and nasal breathing, an electronic metronome was set to help increase our cadence. We were asked to lean slightly forward from our ankles and we flew for that section of the run. For me the workshop has helped to refine my awareness of my running mechanics and has shown me how to layer a collection of simple strategies to make my run feel smoother.

For a few seconds I felt an ease of flow, a feeling I’d really like to experience again. I shall be keeping it up.

Thanks Phil & Gray for your insights.

Sharon Hockenhull – Chi Running Workshop Oct 2018