I discovered Chi Running almost two years ago and wrote about it here. Shortly after that post, I borrowed the Chi Running book by Danny Dreyer and a friend gave me the Chi Running DVD. I eagerly attempted to practice the techniques I learned, but I was never too sure if I applied it correctly. As time passed, I ended up practicing one basic principle, which I believe helped me recover and further prevent injury: midfoot landing. All the rest, I simply can’t remember!
Thank goodness then for this guy: Lit Onrubia, who has brought Chi Running into the Philippines. (If his name rings a bell, he’s the famous boyfriend who proposed to his fiance at the Julia Fordham concert years ago. Yes, he was also the Philo teacher at AdMU.) I had the pleasure of meeting Lit after the New Balance Power Run and, when I found out he took a Chi Running instructor course in the U.S., I knew I had to learn more about Chi Running from him. Below is my interview with Lit:
Note: On Dec. 28, 2009, Lit will give a FREE 2-hour intro session exclusively for TBR Readers. Wanna join? Details at the end of the interview below.
What is Chi Running? How will it benefit runners?
Chi Running is a revolutionary running technique developed by Danny Dreyer that combines the inner focus and balance of Tai Chi with the power and energy of running. The central themes of Chi Running are energy efficiency through relaxation, and injury prevention through proper form and alignment. The end goal is to learn a practice that leads to a lifetime of enjoyable and pain-free running!
I firmly believe that Chi Running benefits anyone who wants to run with ease, efficiency and without injury. It’s a fantastic starting point for beginners and for anyone returning to running after an injury. And experienced runners and triathletes have much to gain from Chi Running because it helps them run longer and faster without necessarily exerting more effort or exposing their bodies to potential injury brought about by a heavy training schedule. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of Chi Running practitioners — both new and experienced runners alike — and all of them really only have good things to say about what Chi Running has done for them.
How long does it take to learn Chi Running? Is it difficult to learn and apply?
This is a great question and is one of the most common questions asked about Chi Running. It is actually very easy to learn, but almost impossible to master. I could teach somebody the basic principles and start having them apply it in 2 hours, but it takes even Chi Running Master Instructors (including Danny, there are only 7 certified Master Instructors in the world) years before they understand all the nuances and consistently feel all the principles in their bodies. And I suppose that’s what makes the practice of Chi Running so wonderful and challenging! The goal is not to run longer or faster each time but to run better by gaining a deeper understanding of how your body moves and how the physical forces of nature around us work while we run. Chi Running is not at all difficult to learn and apply, but one must be willing to constantly listen to one’s body and adjust as he/she gradually sets higher goals.
How did you learn Chi Running, how long have you been practicing it?
I first heard about Chi Running back in 2004. This was shortly after the first edition of the book was published. At that time, all I knew about Chi Running was that it was this natural running technique that promoted a forward lean and a mid-foot strike. And it resonated with me because I always ran with a slight lean ever since I started running 12 years ago and was already mostly a mid-foot runner. Still, I never bothered to learn more about it or buy the book. Fast forward to 2008 — I read on a website that the revised edition of the book was released and planned to finally buy it. But as luck would have it, a good friend of mine gave me the book as a present. I started reading it and I was hooked by page 8! It just totally blew my mind! Danny’s book articulated all the things that I had thought about on how to run properly but could never fully understand. Applying the things I learned from the book and feeling the positive changes in my running inspired me to learn more about Chi Running because I wanted to share it with others. So in late 2009, I decided to get certified as a Chi Running Instructor and went to San Francisco and San Diego to learn from two Master Instructors and immerse myself in it. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed both experiences.
How has Chi Running helped you?
Chi Running has made running a hundred percent more enjoyable for me! I’m able to run as often as I want without any soreness, And though I’m now much fatter (double sigh — haha!), I run better now in my late 30s compared to when I was in my late 20s. And I believe that my mind has connected with my body like never before. I’m just now more aware and have a better understanding of how our bodies work and this leads to me setting appropriate goals which I’m enjoying meeting and hopefully exceeding. I used to be very ego-centric with my running. Like how my enjoyment was directly tied to how fast or how far I could run. That’s completely changed. My enjoyment is now a result of being able to run more frequently with the confidence that I could probably and hopefully run forever. (And I hope it stays that way!) Still, I find that there’s still so much about running that I’m discovering and I absolutely cannot wait to share this with people. By the way, Danny is aware of the running boom in our country and he told me that he’s absolutely thrilled that we’re formally bringing the practice to the Philippines! After all, it’s only fitting that we bring a running technique inspired by eastern principles over to Asia!
CHI RUNNING SESSION DETAILS:
Instructor: Lit Jose Onrubia
Program: Chi Running is a revolutionary running technique that focuses on running with the correct form for efficient and pain free running. Chi Running is ideal for beginners, for runners coming back from injuries, and for experienced runners looking to improve their skill.
Dates: TBA. Stay tuned to www.thebullrunner.com for updates!
Venue: Bonifacio High Street or Ultra
For Private Sessions (By appointment)
- Php1,000/hr for a one-on-one session
- Php1,500/hr for 2 people
- Php2,000/hr for a group of 3 people
- Arrangements could also be made for a private Chi Running Basics course for up to 12 people
For Public Sessions (Dates TBA)
- Php2,000/person for the 4-hr Chi Running Basics course. (Maximum of 12 people per course)
Contact details: Call Lit at:
- Cell: 0917-537-6870
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WIN SLOTS TO AN EXCLUSIVE CHI RUNNING INTRO SESSION FOR TBR READERS! Details below:
- Number of slots available: 3 pairs or 6 slots only (4th pair is for hubby and myself) since Lit wants to focus on each participant
- Exclusive TBR Chi Running Intro Session:
- DECEMBER 28, 2009, MONDAY, 6:30 TO 8:30 PM, BONIFACIO HIGH STREET (near Runnr/ Mizuno): 2 hours for the intro (mostly getting the form right — proper posture and “the lean”), understanding running efficiency and injury prevention, and then spending a few mins running
- TBA: 2-hr follow-up session would be best (mostly running, applying the forms and talking about the other elements: foot strike, arm swing, gears/cadence, pelvic rotation, uphill/downhill running)
- How to win:
- Wait for my post entitled WIN SLOTS TO A FREE CHI RUNNING SESSION anytime before Christmas.
- Contest will be open only for 8 hours from time of posting.
- 3 winners will be chosen by TBR based on the answers provided to a specific question.
- Each winner will be entitled to 2 free slots to the Chi Running Session.
- Chi Running slot is transferable.