Thursday, September 20, 2012

Long Distance Running

I ran for many years. A few dozen marathons and then many ultra marathons. My base training mieleage was 70 miles a week. Then I had to grow up and travel, bills and family intervened. Doing most of those miles in the Headlands of Marin County just across the Golden Gate Bridge was like having a small bit of magic where my frustrations could be smeared on the uphill sides and the realty that I was alone and unlikely to be found anytime soon. I learned to look inward and monitor myself, my energy, my resources, the weather, the trail, etc. This article reflects a bit of what I found. Chi running marries method and mindfulness Please read the whole article. It seems to offer an introduction to many of the things I learned the hard way. The rest must come from you. "We teach focus: how the arms are held, why the hips and shoulders are relaxed," he said. "It's about learning to pay attention." "In tai chi, everything moves from center," Dreyer said. "Runners are used to running from their legs. When I switched to (running from) the core, it changed how I ran. I felt better." Correct alignment is a tenet of chi running. Posture is the first thing Dreyer works on with clients. "If posture isn't good, the support system isn't good," he said. "Any weakness or misalignment will really affect you because you're always on one leg," he said, noting that running injuries happen from the knees down. In his method a forward tilt from the ankles moves the runner's center of mass ahead and allows gravity to take on more of the body's weight. "The body gets to fall," Dreyer said. "All you have to do is lift your legs." He also teaches landing with a mid-foot strike to engage and balance the entire foot. If you're new to running, Dreyer suggests starting with a walk/run sequence to allow the muscles to adjust. "Run 'til you feel tired, walk 'til you feel recovered," he said. "Our system is based on sensing your own body. If your body says it's too fast or time to go home, you listen." If you're holding yourself or just one part of your body tense while you run, work or socialize... you need to focus on those muscles and relax. The body is healthier when there i lots of air, lots of water and tension comes in small spurts. One should look inside themselves and as "What is bothering me-? Why am I tense-? Am I working against myself-? " I did and soon found that relaxing different muscles when they are not needed gave me more energy for the long run. The endorphins flowed and I was happier with the whole experience. If you're running are you running "from" or "to" some place or someone-? My final bit of advice on running and most endeavors is "Have Fun" We only pass this way once so find some happiness and stay there.