ChiRunning helps you reduce impact, minimize overuse injuries, and makes running faster both easier and safer. But, it does not eliminate the need for walking. All runners can benefit from ChiWalking. In fact, all runners need ChiWalking to become better ChiRunners.
Walkers also need to reduce impact and improve the way they move. Walking is so crucial to our movement patterns! The speed we walk is considered a 6th vital sign by the National Institute of Health:
“Walking speed (WS) is a valid, reliable, and sensitive measure appropriate for assessing and monitoring functional status and overall health in a wide range of populations. These capabilities have led to its designation as the sixth vital sign.”¹
ChiWalk-Run offers a smooth transition between running and walking in addition to a set of skills that upgrade all aspects of your life. Although the foundations are fundamentally the same, ChiWalking and ChiRunning have some very important differences from which everyone can benefit.
ChiWalk-Run for Walkers
As a ChiWalker, you do not need to add running to your workouts, but there are several reasons you should give it a try:
- Adding just a little ChiRunning to your walks increases your cardio conditioning significantly.
- If you’re already a ChiWalker, your foundation for running is already in place: good posture, forward upper body, arm swing, moving from your dantien, and lifting your feet, rather than pushing off. From ChiWalking, running at a slow pace is easy!
- Adding running to your workouts will help you burn more calories.
- ChiRunning is easier than you think and may give you a new view of what you are capable of.
- You never know when you might want or need to run. It’s good to know you can!
ChiWalk-Run for Runners
For ChiRunners, learning and practicing ChiWalking may be more useful than you might think– not to mention, endlessly beneficial:
- Easily start or return to running with ChiWalk-Run. Whether you’re a beginner or coming back after a hiatus, building your cardio and muscular capacity with ChiWalk-Run is safe and gentle to the body while building your confidence.
- Give yourself the opportunity to practice your Chi Skills all the time: walking to the water cooler, grocery shopping, walking through the airport, etc. The more you practice in your every day walking, the better your running will feel.
- Transition with ease during an event. Most runners transition poorly, degrading their running form every time they stop and start up again. For example, if you’re stopping for water or fuel during your run/event, the transition from walking to running is critical to ensure you keep the Chi flowing, maintain your alignment, and stay relaxed and light-footed. The ChiWalk-Run transition is seamless, mindful, and easy on your body.
- ChiWalk-Run any distance, from your first mile to a full marathon, allowing you to participate in any distance event you choose.
- Return from injury with ChiWalk-Run. If you’re recovering from any kind of injury or illness, ChiWalk-Run will give you the foundational strength you need to recover smoothly, without relapse.
- Traverse easily through bad weather and terrain. Use ChiWalk-Run to give your body the break it needs when you’re faced with challenging weather conditions (snow, ice, wind, etc) and terrain (rocky, steep, etc).
- Smoothly transition to new, lower profile shoes while maintaining your current distance by adding ChiWalking intervals to your run.
- Improve your technique with ChiWalking. We teach a lot of the basic technique while walking because it can be easier to learn some focuses at a slower pace like moving from your dantien, picking up your feet, swinging your arms. The speed that comes with running can mask many mistakes, so slowing down to ChiWalking can help you evaluate where your technique needs work.
- Challenge yourself with ChiWalking. Learning ChiWalking can be more difficult than learning ChiRunning; but if you really get the movements of ChiWalking down, you’ll be a much better runner.
- Enjoy the scenery with ChiWalk-Run. Not every workout needs to be fast and furious. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down a bit: enjoy the scenery and smell the roses.
- Increase your mileage with ChiWalk-Run. Incorporating ChiWalk-Run can help you add mileage while preventing overuse injuries. Run 3 miles, then walk-run 2 more miles.
- Keep running as you age with ChiWalk-Run. You don’t ever have to give up running completely if you learn to give your body a break when it needs it.
- Keep your running ego in check. Running seems a bit more exciting and worthy of awe than walking, but walking is the underused, underappreciated, unsung hero of fitness. ChiWalk-Run combines the best of both!
Refine both your ChiRunning and ChiWalking skills for a lifetime of mindful fitness no matter your circumstances. The more you practice the ChiRunning and ChiWalking skills, the more confidence you’ll build in your capacity to handle anything that comes your way.