Are you moving symmetrically when you run? This is a tough question, but an important one to ask yourself. Our bodies are designed to work in a way where all the parts contribute to the movement of the whole. Most of these parts work in pairs: our legs, feet, arms, and all of the bilateral muscles that move our body. If one half of any of these "pairs" is not matching the movement of its "twin" your body will move in an unbalanced way, triggering nearby muscles to work harder to compensate for the imbalance.
There's a ton of information out there about running - from training to speed to shoes, and the list goes on. Some of it's helpful, but some advice will just trip you up. We wrote this week's blog, "9 Running Myths", to help you weed through it all so you can be a happier, healthier runner.
I'm noticing a somewhat macho trend in fitness training in general, where it's fashionable to work yourself to exhaustion; where you're led to believe that if you don't "feel the burn" and give it everything you've got… that you just don't "Do It,"… as the Nike ad says. There is, of course, a lot to be said for building will power and challenging yourself to feel your limits. But, there's also a lot to be said for not taking yourself, or your running, too seriously.
This week's Mindful Monday question: What do you do in your everyday life to keep your chi flowing? Here's how you can make travel easier on your mind and body. I'm writing this week's post while flying from Asheville to San Francisco. My cell phone is turned off and there's no FaceBook to distract me. So, I thought I'd write about how I keep my chi happening while flying cross-country.
I've often told people that I could give Imelda Marcos a run for her money. She is the wife of former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos most famously known for having over a thousand pairs of shoes. Over the years I've wear-tested countless pairs of shoes, many of which have ended up in the Goodwill pile and a few have made it into my personal collection… kind of like the row of bottles at a tavern showing you a visual sample of all their beers.
I was out on a long run last weekend and noticed I was feeling sort of listless; not much energy in my legs, and not particularly feeling much fire in my heart. It was like I just found myself out on a run. I not only wasn't sure how I got there, but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to even be running. Having found myself in this situation a few times over the years, I tried to think back on what in my recent past might have led up to this rather unsettling discovery. Jeez, I teach this stuff… I should love it all the time!
A lot of people love Chi Running because we promote running more efficiently. What does that mean to you? To us it means being able to run faster or farther without it feeling more effort or more impact. What a lot of runners don't realize is that there is a big tendency to increase your cadence as you increase your speed. This is fine for sprinters because they're more focused on speed than efficiency. But if you're running anything longer than a 5K, efficiency should be near the top of your list of things to pay attention to.