Your body is a column, people! Let your Chi flow...

Wish: I want to run a half marathon. Fact: My middle-aged mom knees hurt if I run too much. Solution? Chi Running, said Robin, my running coach. That’s Chi as in Tai Chi, not Chai Tea.

Is that just woo-woo stuff, or is it real? I asked. It’s real, she said. And then explained how she’s been pain free, even post-marathon, ever since she started Chi Running five years ago. It’s all about proper body alignment, apparently, and, like every.single.trainer.I’ve.ever.worked.with.says, it’s all about your core.

Core-schmore, I said, but then I called Keith McConnell, a certified ChiRunning coach who I met when I went to sign up for the Eugene Half Marathon. He invited me to his workshop this past Saturday to check it out.

So I did. And after 4 hours of figuring out where my core muscles are, how to engage them, and how to “keep my column straight,” and then “lean into the run” to let surface and gravity work for me, not against me, I have to tell you the truth:

It works.

During our runs around the parking lot and nearby trails, I didn’t get tired, and I didn’t hurt. At all.

And then yesterday, I put it to the real test: I did the timed 5K run at the track I’ve been promising Robin I’d do for the past week, so she can work out my training schedule. And I did it Chi style. And, lo and behold, it worked again. I ran 12.5 laps around the track and it didn’t hurt, and I didn’t feel tired.

This is kind of huge news for me.

I’ll tell you more about Keith’s tips and tricks this week, and I’m working on a short video I made of him talking and us running at the workshop. I took lots of notes! And, I’m going to join in his ChiRunning marathon training class too, so I can learn more. Keith and Robin and I are working together to help spread the word for Chi.

So, readers, have any of you tried ChiRunning? What do you think?