Chi Running (pronounced Chee), the mindfulness-based approach to running, continues to delight its advocates and grow in popularity. Publishing giant Simon & Schuster, has announced it is publishing a new book in the spring about the subject, and certified instructors worldwide have reached 140.
The running technique designed by ultra-marathoner Danny Dreyer teaches that awareness and form are more important than power and speed.
According to San Jose-based instructor Aracely Areas, “Chi Running combines the inner focus and flow of T’ai Chi with the power and energy of running to create a running form and philosophy that reduces impact and makes running a safer sport. The Chi Running program also increases mental clarity and focus and enhances the joy of running by creating a safe and effective lifelong program for health, fitness, and well-being.“
What is Chi Running and who does it?
In Chi Running, students break the habit of the heel strike, and instead, learn to land mid-foot and use core strength to propel forward. Touted as better for joints, sore legs, aches and those prone to injuries Chi Running is taught primarily through groups, individual lessons, workshops, books and DVDs. Advocates say that being pain free and hitting the ground differently produces a more joyful, often faster, running experience.
Ms. Areas, an instructor since 2004, has students that represent all ages and stages of life. Somehave been running for years and now want a gentler approach. Others want to correct bad habits or to train for longer runs. They come from all walks of life: software engineers, lawyers, MDs, chiropractors, CEOs, drivers, teachers, seniors, sports-minded ‘boomers,’ middle school students, high school students and college students.
In other words, yes, it’s good for older people but equally good for kids and anyone who wants a safer, more enjoyable approach to running. It is, she says, about energy efficiency and injury prevention. These are things that every runner cares about.
For more information on Chi Running
Dreyers’ new Chi Running marathon book is due on shelves in early 2012 (current books/DVDs are available at the ChiRunning site). In addition to the online site and materials, there is an online forum, moderated by another Silicon Valley resident, Jacquie Mardell. Locally, Areas offers workshops at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale and teaches at Peak Physical Therapy in Cupertino. She’s also available for private lessons. (Contact Aracely Areas)
For more information about Chi Running, locally in Silicon Valley and globally, see these resources:
- Online forums
- Article about Chi Running from Patch
- ChiRunning site
- Aracely Areas’ web page