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Jogging Technique For Beginners
The question now remains, how do we go from jogging like someone on the left, to this new technique on the right?...
Chi And Pose Running
They are almost the exact same thing. The main differences between Chi and Pose running are...
- In the Pose method you land on your forefoot, while Chi you run on your midfoot (whole foot)
- In Pose you lift your heel straight up towards your buttocks, while in Chi your leg goes more out behind you
- Both Chi and Pose recommend at least a 90 cadence. In other words, your stride should allow each foot to hit the ground 90 times per minute (so 180 total per minute for both feet). The difference is with Chi you always stay at 90 no matter how fast you run. You simply increase the length of your stride to increase speed. But, with Pose you increase speed by increasing your cadence. So, if you were a world class Olympian your cadence would be over 300!
I'll share the same opinion of most people, and that is you really can't go wrong with either jogging technique. They both are considerably better than being the heel striker that you likely are right now.
My recommendation is to try them out for yourself and go with whatever seems more comfortable for you. For me personally, Chi running makes more sense and seemed easier to get accustomed to. It's hard enough jogging at a 90 cadence. I couldn't imagine trying to increase that further whenever I wanted to pick up the pace!
I would recommend you start with the ChiRunning DVD. Yes, it's a little more expensive than the book, but it gets right to the point and sums up pretty much everything you need to know. Also, if you only read the book, you are going to go nuts wanting to visually see ChiRunning in action. YouTube examples will only provide you so much.
Lessons From Experience
After you've either watched the DVD or read one of the books mentioned above, here are some practical tips that helped me. While I'll admit I'm far from an expert, these are things I wish I would have known to get over the learning curve...
1) Run barefoot to get your technique down. The most important first step is transitioning from landing on your heel to landing on your middle or front foot (depending on which jogging technique you use). Your thick cushioned shoes makes it impossible to tell where you are touching the ground first.
Slowly jog on a treadmill and get used to not landing on your heel. Once it starts to feel natural, put your shoes back on and try to continue the same motion.
2) Get a metronome. I downloaded an app for free on my mobile device. You can also get one on eBay for $5 if you look hard enough.
You don't have to start at a 90 cadence! Start with 80 or 85 if going at 90 seems too fast. Then, work your way up with practice.
Cadence is extremely important. It's counterintuitive, but the higher the cadence, the less time you spend on the ground which is what you want for long distances.
3) Set up a mirror, or video tape yourself on a treadmill. It's kind of like golf, you may think your swinging like a PGA professional, but when you look at yourself on video you may be shocked that you are doing something completely different!
Seeing yourself will help you better understand what you are doing, and whether it's right or wrong.
When I did this, I noticed I was more hunched over than I should be. Instead, I needed to lean forward while still keeping a straight posture. Simply positioning a mirror to the left of the treadmill helped me correct this in less than a minute.
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