How can you run injury-free for a lifetime? Start with these four simple Chi Running tips:
- Engage your core: Whenever you're standing or running, try to recreate the same sense of abdominal engagement you feel when you sit up straight in a chair. Engaging your core will help you maintain great postural integrity during the landing and support phases of your stride.
- Lean slightly from the ankles: Keep your posture tall and straight, but allow yourself to lean slightly from your ankles—just enough to feel like you're falling forward, but not so much that your legs have to tense up to hold you in a lean. Learn to balance yourself in a gentle full-body forward fall, leaning from your ankles, not from your waist.
- Land with your knees bent and your shins perpendicular to the ground: Never straighten your legs when running. This is one of the causes of "Runner's Knee." Always land with bent knees, and always try to feel your feet landing more underneath your center, not out in front of your body.
- Land midfoot: We also call this a "full-foot" landing, where your whole foot touches the ground with every stride. Landing with bent knees will help ensure this happens. Landing with a heel strike creates a braking motion with every stride and sends impact directly to your legs, joints and spine. This type of impact can be up to three times your body weight (as it is measured in the study), so every runner should avoid heel striking.
If you're interested in making your running form more efficient, safer and faster, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take these four foundational steps and practice integrating them into your running.race.