3 Areas All Beginning Runners Need to Focus On - Chi Living

3 Areas All Beginning Runners Need to Focus On

Posted by Danny Dreyer on Wed Jun 24th, 2015, 6 comments

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
2. Flexibility
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!

6 CommentsLeave a comment below

Russell Flemming Jun 24th, 2015 04:59pm

I agree with all three critical areas, but the danger for most beginners is running or walking beyond their physical abilities.  This leads to overtraining and leads to what I call Pain, Torture and Agony (PTA).  How many of use started, then stopped running or walking because we’ve gone out and do too much in the first week or two of training?  We wake up one morning and can’t get out of bed because of the PTA we’ve put our bodies through.

Beginners need to have a realistic run/walk plan, based on where their bodies are at, and not where they want to be.  We should never run or walk beyond our body’s current physical conditioning. It is best to build our bodies slowly through our running/walking.  Plus, build in rest, and good nutrition so the body can adjust to the physical training.

Danny Dreyer Jun 25th, 2015 11:54am

We absolutely agree with you, Russell. Gradual Progress is always the best way to move into a training program. It’s never good to let your head get ahead of your body by thinking you have to progress any faster than your body is capable of. Pain, torture and agony will never be a concern if you listen to your body all along the way, and readjust your ambitions if your body says it’s too much.

lezode kipoliongo Jul 8th, 2015 05:44am

Love your book. Have not run in thirty years, walked my first 10k on June 7 th, 2015 with my 11 year old son who has no running experience.  He ran the 10 k in 45 minutes and I walked in one hour and 26 minutes.  I am training now for next year.  My son and I have a bet who will run faster.  He thinks he will win anyway.  His comment; after seeing me jog for a lap was, I am not worried about next year, I got this mom, you keep doing your best though.  I would like to run next year.  I had to stop running because of pain in my hips and my knees.  I am looking forward to training with chi running.  Thanks again for sharing your gifts with the world

Aksanti saana


Nancy Nelson Jul 14th, 2015 11:28am

I totally agree with moving into a gradual process no matter how long you have been running. I have all of your books Danny and am rereading your latest one, ChiMarathon.  I am amazed at how much I am picking up the second time around.  So many helpful tips and reminders.  I love the part about being your own best “Observer” in your daily runs.  I am also amazed at how much your body remembers.  Excited to begin again training for the Asheville Marathon.  Are you going to be there this year?  I look forward to meeting the two of you sometime.  Take good care.  Nancy

Rebecca Ramsay Jul 17th, 2015 09:39am

As other readers say, gradual conditioning is key. I have been running in the Tufts 10-K for more than 20 years. Last summer, I was running three miles every day in preparation for it and began to have serious hamstring strain making even walking unpleasant. It was time to really read Chi-Running and to adopt this running method.

So, I stopped running completely for a week or two, then tried walking for ten minutes followed by a ten-minute run, practicing Chi-Walking and Running. After a few weeks, I was able to increase the running time without any discomfort. In fact, my hamstring muscles felt stronger!

Running in the Tufts 10-K race in October last year was thus my best road-race experience ever.

Thank you !

nice post…. feeling better after reading it!

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