1. What is “Chi”?
Chi (pronounced chee as in cheetah) is the Chinese term for “that which animates all life.” It is also called “life force energy.” The ChiRunning and ChiWalking techniques have blended movement principles from the ancient martial art, T’ai Chi, with the active sports of running and walking. This blend creates a more mindful, centered and balanced approach to fitness. Please read our article “What is Chi?” for more information.
2. Do I have to know T’ai Chi to practice Chi Running or Chi Walking?
No, you do not. These technique blend movement principles from T’ai Chi with the sports of walking and running, and do not require any knowledge of T’ai Chi. Danny did the hard work for you!
3. I am a beginner. Is ChiRunning right for me?
Most definitely. Chi Running gives beginners the confidence to run correctly from the start. Since you’ll be learning correct biomechanics, your running will be easier for you because you’ll be a more efficient runner. You do not need any previous running experience to learn ChiRunning and enjoy all its benefits.
4. Will my ChiRunning practice help me with other sports?
Yes, there is crossover into other sports, certainly for running and likely for other sports/activities. ChiRunning is all about moving from your core muscles: just as Pilates and Yoga teach, powerful movement comes from your center. Movement that comes from the core, your center, is more balanced and has greater strength behind it. Anytime you can pair strength and relaxation, you’ll become a better athlete.
5. What is the difference between Chi Running and other running methods?
Most other running methods depend on strong leg muscles, so their emphasis is on leg conditioning and strengthening. Chi Running emphasises using core muscles which are stronger and more efficient. You’ll learn how to engage gravity, letting it do the work instead of your legs. As we say, “It ain’t the muscle, it’s the motion.”
6. Is ChiRunning truly effortless and if so, will I get any exercise?
With the ChiRunning technique, you are working towards effortless running. As your form improves, you’ll be able to run with less and less effort, but still get a great workout. The movement of ChiRunning keeps your peripheral muscles supple and relaxed and your core muscles strong while improving your cardiovascular and aerobic conditioning. You’ll still reap all the physical benefits of running, but do it in a more mindful, efficient way to improve enjoyment and prevent injury.
7. I have a bad back and haven’t run in a long time. Will Chi Running hurt my back? Will it help?
The foundation of ChiRunning is good posture and proper biomechanics, both of which will help many back problems. You should always check with a health practitioner before starting an exercise program but you’ll be glad to know that many people who have stopped running due to back problems have found that ChiRunning actually helps their back. This technique strengthens your abdominals, which will relieve contracted lower back muscles.