….and My Story Runs On….
I’ve decided to just go ahead and let it all out! I debated whether I should do this or not….I’m a true believer in being authentic and I’ve learned that showing vulnerability is not a bad thing at all.
So here it goes…..
I’m going to share my personal video analysis and Danny Dreyer’s (founder of ChiRunning) critique of my ChiRunning form. Keep in mind that I started using this form back in 2009, became Certified in 2010 and have been practicing ever since. (Click here and scroll to bottom of the page to see the evolution of my immersion into ChiRunning).
One of the things I love most about ChiRunning is that it’s truly a holistic practice. We like to say Practice Makes Progress (not perfect) because we are always looking for ways to keep getting better and better at it. I always tell my students that you get what you put into it. Even Danny Dreyer has aha moments as he works on “perfecting” his form.
Anyways, here is the video. Danny gave me specific directions to
“Be pretty nitpicky. This way I can see how good your critical eye is, and also how good your form is.”
The video is 7:37 minutes but note how many “nitpicky” things I found in my own form.
Here is Danny’s email back to me after his review:
“You did a fabulous job of nitpicking your form! Below are some of my comments to add to what you saw.
Foot splay in the flight phase on both feet. Only very slight in the right foot… not enough to worry about. When you were running in a counter-clockwise arc you were pointing your right foot as it swung forward and you were dorsiflexing your left foot as it swung forward. This was accentuated because of the curve and less obvious when running straight.
Landing on the outside of the feet is fine. It creates a natural pronation and makes a midfoot landing softer.
Much of your leg work would improve if your stride were a bit shorter. This would prevent any overuse of your lower legs, reduce over-pronation and help keep your cadence up around 177 where it should be. It’s a more efficient gear for you.
Good alignment and lean
Right calf is pre-firing and plantar flexing for stability but I don’t see it used for propulsion.
Left ankle is dorsiflexing but not heel striking. On both feet you’re landing below your knees, which is great.
Slight upper body rotation: right elbow comes back behind you. Left elbow not as much. I’d say that the main thing you need to work on is your armswing… everything else is very close to right on. With your arms, let your elbows swing in the direction your arms are aligned. When you’re holding an imaginary volleyball your hands are closer to your centerline and your elbows are wider because they’re angled out a bit. The reason why your shoulders rotate is because your elbows are not following the line set up by the volleyball, but instead they’re swinging directly rearward and not rearward at a slight angle to each side… in a “V” shape. Swinging your elbow straight back pulls your shoulder with it. Swinging your elbow in a “V” shape doesn’t.
A small amount of vertical motion is a good thing. If you had no vertical motion, you’d be walking. It’s necessary. But, we teach pelvic rotation just to insure that people aren’t bouncing more than they need to.
I’m happy to go over any of this with you on Skype, so I can demonstrate what’s happening….. You’re doing a fabulous job in many ways.
Keep up the good work.
Yesterday I had the privilege of talking to Danny via Google Hangout to discuss my video even further. We worked on my right arm swing a bit and now I’m excited because I have some more things to focus on when I’m running.
Moral of the story:
Just because I’ve been teaching and practicing for awhile, doesn’t mean I can’t learn and become a stronger runner. It wasn’t easy being vulnerable and having the founder of ChiRunning critique my form but boy am I am re-energized and motivated to keep working on it. The better I get, the more I can help my students get better too!
I do video analysis in my 4-hour ChiRunning workshops. Students tell me this is the most valuable part of the class. There is nothing like making that mind/body connection by seeing what your body is doing so you can correct it.
Although I was pretty nervous about this whole process, I’m so grateful because ChiRunning has changed my life both professionally and personally. I continue to look forward to helping injured runners change their form so they won’t be injured anymore AND show brand new runners that running doesn’t have to be painful or hard.
“It’s not running that causes pain, but HOW you do it.” Danny Dreyer
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)