During the holidays, hubby and I, together with the winners of the Chi Running contest, met up for two 2-hour sessions of Chi Running with Lit Onrubia at Bonifacio High Street.
– Class Picture: Drew & Angela, Emilee & Eric (Running Beyond Air), Macky & Iah, and Lit. My partner, the hubby, took the photo –
During the two sessions, Lit gave us a background on Chi Running: how it began with its founder, Danny Dreyer, its basic principles and benefits. Lit said that Chi Running focused on three main principles:
1) needle/cotton approach – power comes from the core and the rest of the body remains relaxed during a run,
2) work with nature – allow gravity to propel your body forward, and
3) natural progression – one doesn’t become a master of Chi Running overnight but will learn it through consistent practice and application.
Lit’s talk was clear, comprehensive, and very enlightening. Once a university professor, he was very articulate and professional during the session, yet he maintained an informal, light, and fun atmosphere throughout the class.
He demonstrated the basic starting form for Chi Running and emphasized the following:
1) Get aligned
2) Engage your core
3) Create balance, and for the exciting part and one that Chi Running is known for…
4) Fall forward
He then asked us to do a number of drills to help us learn how to practice the needle/cotton approach and how to fall forward with a post as our partner. In the beginning, the drills felt awkward and elicited giggles among us, but all these made much more sense when we went out for a run.
In the first session, we ran easy around Bonifacio High Street applying everything we learned. Lit would focus on each one of us at a time, correcting our form, reminding us to focus on our feet all the time.
The 2nd run session was much more fun as speed was involved. We ran down a slight downhill, learning to lean forward in order to increase the pace without feeling spent. By pairs, Lit would run along with us, reminding us to open our hips and push our arms backward. We also learned how to run at a consistent cadence, no matter the speed by adjusting our stride.
MY THOUGHTS ON CHI
This is not a panacea for all your running problems. And I don’t think Lit nor its founder, Danny Dreyer, ever claims it to be. One doesn’t also get the perfect Chi Running form overnight. It takes patience and practice, not just during the sessions, but long after the lessons end.
Is it worth it? I would say yes if you give high importance to your running. To me, anything that can help me improve in my beloved sport and prevent injury is worth my attention. It already made a world of difference in my Cebu Half Marathon, where it was definitely Lit’s teaching that helped me run my descents with less fear and more ease so that I broke my PR.
During one run last December, I was fortunate enough to experience the zen-like feeling of Chi Running where I just focused on my feet, relaxed the rest of the body, and I truly felt one with the road and the wind pushing from behind. The leaves rolled forward along with my feet, and as I watched them sweep past me, I took a deep breath and recalled the reason why I fell in love with running in the first place. With Chi running, I can only look forward to more experiences like this.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING CHI RUNNING?
1) RUNNR ACADEMY will have its 1st CHI RUNNING CLINIC on January 20, 2010 (Wednesday), 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Activity Area fronting RUNNR. Click HERE to download details.
2) New Balance will have its own sessions too.
3) For independent sessions with Lit Onrubia, contact him at 0917-537-6870 or email@example.com