Poojan (Wagh) Blog

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My running form, and Pose vs Chi

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Today wasn’t my greatest run. I got lapped 4 or 5 times (depending who you ask) by a friend. Last week, I was able to do roughly 25 minutes for 37 laps (3.166 miles). Today it was 27:30.

What bugs me is that I’m not as fast as I was 6-9 months ago. And I’m not able to get back there, it seems, without a great deal of effort.

My friend and I reflected on our runs. For me, I notice that when I want to go fast, I take longer strides. This is counter to the advice I’ve read (Born to Run) that shorter strides are more efficient.

During my run today (and other runs), I periodically dabble in the shorter strides. But, eventually, I lose patience since I’m just slower with the shorter stride. I then go back to my long stride.

When I trained last year, I focused on just running as fast as I can for as long as I can. I started out fast, since I observed that I tend to save too much for the end, and I need to start spending stamina earlier. I’d then just try to maintain that clip as long as I could (or as close an approximation as possible).

It occurs to me that I learned to get faster the wrong way–by getting myself conditioned to a long stride and being able to sustain it for 3.1 miles, rather than shortening my stride and becoming more efficient.

My friend commented that I look very well-aligned when I run. I have a straight form. This alignment is something I do mentally. I focus on a point on the wall (we were indoors) and pretend that I’m going to run right through that wall. However, at some point during my run, I dabbled (once again) in trying to lean forward. I’ve heard that’s a good thing to do, too. Or is that only when you’re going downhill?

I’m thoroughly confused. So, I decided that I need to visit the running form itself and figure out what my goal should be. I was aware of two schools on running form: POSE and Chi. They are summarized pretty well here: HowStuffWorks “How is ChiRunning different from Pose Running?”.

But which one? And do either of these have any scientific backing? (Double-blind experiments with a control group, for example.)

Written by PoojanWagh

January 23rd, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Posted in Running

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