Over a few weeks, you'll find that your running segments increase as your walk breaks decrease. To learn the Chi Running and Chi Walking® techniques and walk-run a 5K in just eight weeks, check out our Chi Walk-Run training program.
3. Improve Core Strength. Your core muscles keep your pelvis stable during movement, and also connect your torso to your legs. When your core muscles are engaged, your body becomes one unit with all the parts working together. Chi Walking and Chi Running teach you how to move from your core instead of relying on the smaller muscles of your legs to push you forward. Strong core muscles also help you hold a straight posture line, which prevents back pain, fatigue, and makes you a more efficient runner.
More: 5 Best Core Exercises for Runners
4. Become flexible. Practice keeping the rest of your body (everything except your core muscles) relaxed, supple and flexible. Relaxation and flexibility allow your body to have a full range of motion. Plus, loose and relaxed muscles and joints are less likely to get pulled or injured. Practice yoga between your running workouts to gain flexibility.
More: 6 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Running
Contrary to what you learned in junior high gym class, it's been proven that doing strenuous stretching before a workout can strain cold muscles. The Chi Running Body Looseners are a great alternative that gently warm up your muscles and joints.
More: Before You Run: The Dynamic Warm-Up
5. Be consistent. Like anything else, running takes practice to see progress. You're more likely to stick with it if you make it part of your weekly routine.
- Make an appointment. If you are new to an exercise program, it's as important to schedule your workouts ahead of time as it is to actually do your workouts. This will keep your workouts from slipping to the bottom of your to-do list each week.
- Start with a minimum of three days a week. This will build up your aerobic capacity consistently, making each subsequent workout feel easier.
- Train with a friend. It makes each workout something to look forward to, and you can help each other stay focused on technique.
More: 5 Running Workouts to Do With a Friend
Workouts can be much more than just "pounding the pavement" for 45 minutes. Since Chi Running is technique-focused, there's always something new to learn on your runs, which will keep you coming back for more.
© Chi Living, Inc. 2012
More: 3 Ways to Start Chi Running on the Right Foot
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