So I’m a few weeks into my ChiRunning preparation for the Great Birmingham Run 2012 in October and with seven weeks to go here’s a little progress report…
ChiRunning in Cannon Hill Park
I’ve been working at implementing the ChiRunning tips more than anything else. I’ve not ran as far as even 3.5 miles yet, although the pace has improved somewhat. The best part is the pain after a run has drastically improved. Of course, that is to be expected as my legs get used to the running again after such a long time off. However, the method of running is so different to my previous style that in conjunction with the leg draining after a run I feel no pain at all!
That’s not strictly true as my calves do get some but that is reducing with each run pretty much. The crux of the ChiRunning technique is to lean from the ankle so gravity puts in more effort than your legs! Great, but I’m holding some tension in the calves which is what I’m trying to address as I go on. As you run you check in and focus on different aspects of the ChiRunning technique. Staying mindful of what’s happening in your body. I do this a lot when I’m walking anyway so it’s not too difficult.
I’m aiming to continue working on the claves part in particular, softening the lower leg and allowing it to swing through while staying upright. I’m fortunate in that a lot of this stuff is applicable to the Martial Arts training I do, which means I have some previous in this regard. Also, I have kneeling computer chair which forces you to use your core to keep you upright. All of this helps.
One very pertinent point my brother made, via text, was that you really want to prepare properly so that you don’t spend the entire week or ten days following the event in pain and unable to walk. Indeed! But the same is true of the days following the training runs. This is where the leg draining comes in.
In ChiRunning, Danny Dreyer, claims that if you
do leg drains either immediately after stretching or after your bath… you’ll notice a markedly different pair of legs under you when you get up… it’s a great exercise to do anytime your legs feel tired… especially good for those of you who work on your feet… you can have fresh legs in minutes. Try it. You’ll be amazed.
It’s a method to help flush out metabolites after your run. I’ve done this twice now and it really does seem to help. All you do is lie down with your legs up against a wall.Close your eyes and relax for 3 minutes. Then using your hands wring them as if your trying to get water out of a towel! Easy, but I do add a few massage techniques, I can’t remember the name of them, it’s a long time since I did that training.Importantly, you should start at the ankles and squeeze down toward the heart, that’s a massage rule of thumb, so I go with that. This easy leg draining does seem to help so I’d recommend it, wholeheartedly.
Training Improvements – ready for the Great Birmingham Run?
I’m in Essex again and ran in the same park as the first run yesterday. There was some sort of children’s event on as well as a cricket match so I had to alter the route to avoid people as best as I could. In the first run I did 2.42 miles in 22 minutes 3.37 in 27:54 minutes, so that’s a pace of approximately 9:05 originally which has improved to 8:12 or so. That’s quite good and very much in line with what I’m after. So on the right track!