3 Areas All Beginning Runners Need to Focus On
New to running? Getting back to it after taking the winter off? To start a running program, with the least risk of injury and the highest potential for success, we suggest the ChiWalk-Run Program to get you started running safely and enjoyably. For those of you who haven't tried a walk/run program, it is basically a series of brief runs interrupted by short walking breaks. This method allows your body to gradually work into a program of regular weekly workouts. Because the running and walking segments are relatively short, they're easy on your body and they help to slowly build your cardio-aerobic conditioning without leaving you exhausted at the end of your workout. It means that you'll be running for only a few minutes, at most, during each of your running segments.
One of the benefits of the walk/run approach is that, whether you're walking or running, many of the technique focuses you'll be learning are the same for both (i.e. postural alignment, arm swing, emphasis on relaxation, economy of motion, etc.).
When you are getting started or start running again after a hiatus, there are 3 main areas that are important to pay attention to, to avoid any setbacks or injuries:
1. Core Strength
3. Aerobic and Cardio Capacity
1. Core Strength: A key element of ChiWalking and ChiRunning is engaging your core muscles. Your core muscles keep your pelvis stable during movement and your core muscles also connect your torso to your legs. When your cores muscles are not engaged, you have two entities working separately: your upper body and your legs. When your core muscles are engaged, your body becomes one unit, all the parts of your body working together to move you down the road. Strong core muscles also help you hold a strong and straight posture line. Another side benefit to walking and running regularly is all the wonderful toning your arms and legs will get.
2. Flexibility: Another key to the ChiWalk-Run program is keeping everything (except your core muscles) relaxed, supple and flexible. If you have been sedentary for a while, your body might be tight and rigid. The best way to loosen up is to practice ChiWalking with gentle transitions into ChiRunning. Relaxation and flexibility allow your body to have a full range of motion. Loose and relaxed muscles and joints are less likely to get pulled or injured. As you become more flexible, you can decrease the amount of walking and run with greater ease and joy. ChiWalking is a great warm-up for gentle and healthy movement.
3. Aerobic and Cardio Capacity: When you start running, you begin to improve your lungs' ability to transport more oxygen and your heart's ability to pump more blood to your muscles. This requires running and walking at low-to-medium exertion levels. If you try to run too much too soon you will get out of breath and put too much stress on your system. By using the ChiWalking ChiRunning program you will follow a nice progression in your conditioning from a little to a lot, in only a matter of weeks.
Extra materials for working on your running form:
Our most popular training aid is the ChiWalk-Run digital DVD or get the same information on our DVD and Training Program that will have you walk-run a 5K in 8 weeks. The digital DVD or physical DVD (same content) show you how to do ChiWalking and ChiRunning, as well as how to smoothly transition between the two. The training program tells you what to focus on for each workout. There's no better way to get great conditioning and great injury-free technique—the best of both worlds!