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February 2021 Instructor of the Month: Becky Croft

Becky Croft with racing medals

Tell us a little about you. Where you live, what your background is. What (if) you do in addition to being a Certified Instructor.

I am from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I don’t have much of a history with fitness from an early age, like a lot of people do. P.E. was more of a formality and never something I was super excited about when I was young.

In addition to being a Chi Running Instructor, I am also a certified RRCA running coach. I coach locally and virtually through an online platform.

How did you start running? 

I began running in 2012 with the Couch to 5K app. As a brand new runner, I thought I was going to die after running for 90 seconds straight.

When and how did ChiRunning come into your life? 

I discovered Danny and ChiRunning on YouTube. I was searching for a way to adjust my foot strike from heel to mid foot. After practicing a few of the cues, I immediately found ease and efficiency in my stride which led to faster pacing.

In what ways has Chi changed your perception of and success in running?

ChiRunning has taught me how to run smarter, not harder.

What do you think is the biggest misconception of ChiRunning?

That it takes a lot of work to adjust your form. Most people overthink the small changes initially.

What motivates you to run?

Running is my happy place. I enjoy challenging myself but also slowing down to connect with nature.

What achievements are you most proud of?

Running an entire half marathon in a crazy downpour without walking. Also, enduring an entire international marathon major in similar conditions. Running in the rain wasn’t always something I’d give into previously.

What led you to become an instructor?

My mission is to redefine running for masters and menopausal athletes that wish to perform in their sport. I do this by teaching them efficiency and consistency in the programming I create for them. Most coaches do not address form or see it as an important piece of their athlete’s training. I know that my athletes and students benefit greatly from not having this area overlooked.

Why do you enjoy being an instructor, and how has it affected your life?  

That moment that my client’s eyes light up and they say “Oooooh I get it!” or “You ARE a good coach!” just because I’ve asked them a simple question to dig deeper into their limitations; this feeds my soul. I love sharing those little things with them so that they can enjoy running for the long-term.

What does your average week look like, run-wise?

I run at least 5 days per week and have 1-2 “quality” days, which include long run workouts. I also cross train a few days a week. My monthly mileage varies based on goal race training and I take a few weeks of planned rest once or twice a year.

What other forms of exercise do you practice to compliment ChiRunning?

I incorporate yoga and strength training so that I reduce the risk of injury since I never really have an “off season”. This includes restorative yoga, weight lifting, non-impact cross training, and resistance training.

Advice for people new to Chi Running?

You didn’t develop inefficient form or overcompensation for issues overnight and new form changes will not happen that quickly either. Be patient with the process and take one cue per run to focus on. The changes will come! If you don’t think they will, try out your old form for a few minutes to feel the difference in your body.

Short answer! Okay, GO.

Most memorable race: The Berlin Marathon

Ideal weather for running: 40 degrees and no humidity!

Focus that currently dominates your running: I’m currently focusing on relaxing my arm swing on easy runs.

Favorite place to run: New places! The lack of racing has challenged my local running routes so I don’t get bored while waiting on the return to races.

Go-to before race food: Peanut butter and banana sandwich and my daily vanilla latte.

Celebratory food after a race: Kansas City introduced me to amazing hamburgers with fried eggs on them. PERFECT after a hilly half!

Upcoming race/goal: No 2021 races on the calendar yet but I’m keeping my eyes open while I keep working to become a stronger and faster runner.

Run with or without phone/music: Mostly podcasts or audiobooks on easy days. A good upbeat Classic Rock channel for days when I need more “oomph”

Repeat on your playlist: Anything Beyonce or AC/DC

Fill in the blank.

If I didn’t… run, I’d be very unpleasant.

I can’t run without…my Garmin, even if I cover it up to hide my paces. Gotta have the data!

My first race was…a local 5K and I… wore yoga pants…and was beat by a tiny human

My current favorite shoe to run in is… Brooks Ghost

My most difficult run ever was…Several of them after having a full hysterectomy a few years ago.

I’ve run…4 marathons and almost 90 races overall.

The longest distance I’ve ran…. Where?  Technically an Ultra…The Route 66 Marathon with the Center of the Universe detour in Tulsa, OK.  The detour added .3 miles to make it “the World’s shortest Ultra”.  It was my first full marathon.

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