3 Ways to Start Chi Running on the Right Foot

Starting a running program, or coming back from an injury or a long break, can give you a real sense of purpose. But, getting started can be daunting.

You might think to yourself:

  • "I'll ruin my knees."
  • "I'm too old to start running."
  • "I'm too out of shape. I get winded running down the block."
  • "People who run are all fanatics."

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With the Chi Running technique, none of these fears have to be truths. Humans are meant to run. And when you learn to run with sound biomechanics combined with a sensible program, you can significantly reduce the risks of pain and injury. It doesn't have to be hard to get started, but it is wise to begin carefully and with a plan. Before buying fancy gear, planning routes, and researching new shoes, make technique your first priority.

Step 1: Chi Posture

For everyone—beginners, seasoned competitors, everyone—the most important element of running is your posture. Good posture helps reduce fatigue and improve your efficiency, as it allows your structure to support your body weight, not your muscles. Follow these steps to get into your best posture:

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  1. Align your body -- Make sure your feet point straight ahead and are hip width apart. Stand tall, and lengthen your spine by lifting the crown of your head while dropping your chin slightly. Lengthening your spine opens your chest and allows you to breathe more fully.
  2. Level your Pelvis -- Engage your lower abs and lift your pelvis up slightly. This strengthens your core and prevents you from arching your lower back. Be sure not to create a posterior pelvic tilt (lifting your pelvis too much), as this will cause you to tighten your glutes and restrict your leg swing.
  3. Practice the One-Legged Posture Stance -- In your best posture, stand with your feet together and your knees softly bent. Lift one heel off the ground so that your weight shifts from one foot to the other. Hold this for five seconds and then switch legs. This is also known as the support phase of your stride -- each time you take a step, this is how your body should feel.

More: ChiRunning for Beginners

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