Chi Running Week 2

July 25, 2012 at 7:26 am 1 comment

Two weeks ago I took the first chi running workshop. I’m now 135 pages through the book–about halfway through Chapter 5. I have chi walked about 15 miles and have chi ran a few miles. Baby, baby, baby steps. As I get to the part of the book talking about how to start a chi running program, I’m realizing that I’m on track and approaching this whole thing with the right mindset. It continues to be a challenge in moments to let myself progress slowly but I just have to keep on.

Yesterday morning before I left for my epic 10 day work trip I went for a run around the park in my neighborhood and, dare I say it, actually had fun running!?! I didn’t run very far, no more than a half a mile or so, and I had to stop a few times to regroup my posture and get the forward lean going again, but when I was running it felt ok! I think a big part of it was making sure my stride was small, that I was keeping my feet under me, and running at the recommended cadence of 180 steps a minute.

In order to do that, I looked up a metronome app on my i phone and found the Perfect Cadence app. It’s free and unlike metronome apps made for musicians, this is designed for runners and you can set the cadence to whatever you want but it’s automatically set up at 180.  The only downside to the Perfect Cadence app is that it stops if your phone goes into sleep mode so I was constantly opening my phone or trying to remember to keep the screen alive.

When I was looking was the link to the app I found this Cadence app that matches songs with the cadence you want to keep. It sounded pretty awesome so I bought the .99 cent version and tried it out this morning on my run around Klamath Falls, Oregon.  I liked the app; the songs were like house trance electronica, normally not my genre of choice, but it was good for running and nice to have music. However, I think I need to stick with the metronome for a few runs more to really get used to what 180 feels like and then I can move on to music.

So, my run in Klamath Falls. I was feeling a little tight when I left my hotel this morning. I started out walking and after about a quarter mile I started running. I just ran in the neighborhood around the hotel, which isn’t very exciting, but I’ll throw in a few pictures anyway. Klamath has similar high desert weather as Reno, so at least the morning air was cool and relaxing.

I ran for 10 minutes and by the end my shins were hurting again. I focused the whole run on my stride length and cadence, and I think this was to the detriment of my forward lean. I thought about it but I think my body wants to make me vertical because it’s easier, so unless I’m being vigilant I sneak back upright. I also know that I’m still having trouble relaxing, and I’m not at pelvis rotation yet. Upside: my cadence is improving and I think after a few more runs I will have engrained the new, shorter stride length to keep my feet under me.  Another upside: I got out of bed to go outside and be active. That in and of itself is progress.

The next steps will then be intensely focusing on my forward lean–not breaking at the waist–and relaxing my legs and letting them swing up behind me. I want to focus on these elements for however long it needs to take and then work on focusing on my pelvis rotation. I have it down pretty good in my walking, but it’s not happening in my running yet. Hopefully my lizard training (read more about that here) will come in handy soon. After all that, it’s arm swing and breathing!

So I’m pleased with the progress I’m making, but it’s also a little frustrating to be working through the pain, but I know this can’t happen overnight. Patience and persistence. Persistence and patience. My mantra.

I’ll be on the road for another 9 days and I spent the weekend before my trip visualizing how I am going to train on the road and how I am going to stick with my diet. For training I plan to stick with a similar schedule as when I’m home: walk/run and light yoga in the morning, and more vigorous yoga in the evening right after work. For diet I brought my bullet blender and my protein and fiber powders and when I got to town I went to the grocery store and bought coconut water and fruit for my morning smoothies. For the other meals I’m going to try to eat as well as I can in restaurants and eat in when I can, which is hard in a hotel, but certainly not impossible.

Oh and in between all that I simply must find time to chill at the pool and sit in the hot tub. I don’t think that will be a problem at all.


Entry filed under: Morning Workout, Practice, Relaxation, Running, Stride. Tags: , , , .

Yoga Tweaking Motivation on the Road

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John  |  July 25, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I’ve just started reading the book myself so I’ll be interested to see how you get on.


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