In Chi Running, one of our basic goals is injury prevention. You can basically divide almost all running injuries (outside of accidents) to one of two categories: overuse and impact. I've never taken the time to study which one creates more injuries, but I'd be curious to find out. Today I'm talking about impact.
I'm sure that many of you have heard of the lawsuit incurred by Vibram for claiming that wearing their minimalist shoes would help strengthen you body and make you run better. Because of this lawsuit, many so-called experts are trying to tie injury-rates from minimalist shoes to the fault of the shoes, or even to the manufacturer. This is misleading, at best.
Last week I posted a blog entitled "Practice Makes Progress". I wanted to explain how outdated and dysfunctional the old phrase, "Practice Makes Perfect" has become. This week I'd like to take this theme a step farther (and more deeply internal) using the title, "Practice Makes Presence," because that's exactly what it does.
Lisa Pozzoni, one of our certified Chi Running instructors came up with a great line that hits the nail on the head in terms of how to approach learning, "Practice makes progress." It's a play on that old phrase that has made students of any discipline uptight for centuries. I like it because it puts the emphasis on practice instead of perfection, which we all know is infinitely elusive.
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.