As I discussed in my last entry, one important component of good running technique is to land on the ball of your foot or “forefoot”. I spend a lot of time assessing running technique in clinic and the majority of runners I see have trouble with this exact area. Chi running is a great method to help get this right. I did this course a couple of years back with Mary Jennings from ForgetTheGym.ie in Dublin and it has helped me a great deal in my own running.
To really get the benefit from technique training, you should first get a running analysis done so you can see for yourself how you are moving. There are numerous books, DVD’s and courses available on this subject but the fundamentals of it are outlined well in this article by former London Marathon winner and World Cross County silver medallist, Caitriona McKiernan. Chi Running combines one’s inner focus and the flow of T’ai Chi with the power and energy of running to create a revolutionary form and philosophy that deals with the pounding pain and removes the potential damage out of running.
A vital part of Chi Running is cadence – the rate at which your feet touch the ground. Chi runners aim for 170-180 beats per minute. For my own running, this works very well, but it does take time to get used to. In order to run at this rate a metronome can be helpful. Mini metronomes can be bought in most good music shops and attached to your clothing as you run. As an alternative, a free metronome app can be downloaded on all smartphones. Chi running founder Danny Dreyer discusses running cadence and using a metronome here.
Next entry I’ll be looking at the barefoot running technique.
If you would like to discuss exercise or running programmes with Rob or indeed any of our other physiotherapists please contact us.
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Getting it Right from The Start
Part 3 - Motivation
Part 4 - Am I Running as Well as I can?