Friday, 29 January 2010

Marathon Running: Getting It Twisted

So with about six weeks left until my annual run Hogweed Hilly Half Marathon, I've finally finished the Chi Running Book. I was following the book pretty much, with an occasional nod and an "a huh" then I hit page 175. This threw me off big time.

Hill running should be an essential part of all runners training, builds stamina, strength endurance and can be brutally great fun. Danny Dreyer's advice? If you hit a steep hill run it sideways (that's right) sideways. Now, this defies convention, but I swallowed my initial WTF?!! and heard him out.

"The beauty of this unconventional technique is that it engages the lateral muscles (side of the leg). These muscles are generally not used much when you're running on level ground, so it's like having a fresh set of muscles helping you out."

(D. Dreyer, Chi Running: pg: 177: 2004)

Really Danny? ok, lets put this stuff to the test. So out on my Thursday night run , I hit the hills at the back of Tooting Bec Athletics Track. Modest pace, nothing hectic. As the incline of the hill began to increase I adopted my new running stance(much to the amusement of onlookers). When I reached the peak of the hill I returned back to the 'standard' Chi Running technique, and you know what? my legs felt as if they still had a lot more in the tank. Pleasantly surprised and slowly chewing humble pie I returned home.

I don't know if the Chi Running technique will improve my performance (Hogweed will tell), but I do know that coming back off certain runs which would usually leave me feeling dented, I'm feeling pleasantly tired and not hammered, and that's good enough for me.

Next week I'll be comparing the clinical evidence for Chi Running V Pose Running
Until then, enjoy your marathon training.

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