Combining running with ancient tai chi principles is the foundation of the latest New Age health regimen — ChiRunning.
On March 13, the Langara run club will host a workshop by ChiRunning instructor Angela James in room A218 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30p.m.
“[ChiRunning] not only allows you to be injury free, but it allows you to enjoy the running,” she said, “You don’t feel beaten up and sore after running.”
Running became a extremely painful for James after she developed Achilles tendonitis.
James, who has run over 20 marathons and completed Iron Man Canada, said her discovery and adoption of the discipline helped provide relief. She eventually began clocking personal-best marathon times.
ChiRunning can reduce stress and injury while running
A recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina shows approximately 50 per cent of runners in the United States sustain injuries, and the majority of those injuries occur at the knee joint.
The study, conducted in 2012, indicates ChiRunning may be able to reduce stress on the knees and ankles.
According to the study: “These findings suggest ChiRunning may be a desirable alternative running style for a runner with a history of lower extremity overuse injuries or someone who desires to reduce potentially injurious forces on the lower extremity.”
A core principle of ChiRunning is correct body posture – not throwing the shoulders back, but aligning them with the hips and ankles.
Propulsion while running then comes from a slight forward lean.
“Every part needs to be aligned. It’s going up and going forward. Often when people aren’t in alignment, that’s what causes injuries,” said James.
Remaining conscious of the body at all times is essential to ChiRunning.
James says this underlying principle can also translate into other parts of life like driving a car, playing a musical instrument or even walking to class.
The health benefits of practicing ChiRunning
Regardless of style, Langara run club member Dean Tsatouhas, who is organizing James’ visit, praises the overall benefits of running.
“I’d be working all day, going to school, doing a million different things and I’d be so drained and tired, just wouldn’t have a lot of energy,” he said. But when he manages to fit in a couple of runs a week, it makes a big difference.
“I find that the day’s a lot easier,” said Tsatouhas. “You wake up, you have more energy.”
-Reported by James McLaughlin