Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good for Your Health?

A friend of mine recently agreed to get in the pool with me and tell me what I was doing wrong with my stroke. The short answer is, well, everything, but that was not the most interesting part of the whole experience. Kerby observed that when I breathe, I could take a fluid breath on my left, but struggled a bit more and lifted my head higher on the right. I replied, "Right! That's from all the biking. You always look over your left shoulder for passing traffic, but rarely over your right. Look at this! I can actually turn my head much further over my left shoulder than my right."

We talked about extending your stroke straight out ahead of you. This time my right arm was doing a good job of staying straight, but my left arm was going too wide. I shared, "Well, that's from running for years with a jogging stroller that pulls to the side. I didn't even realize that it made me crooked until recently. My right elbow always stays down by my side, but my left elbow sticks out at 90 degrees when I'm pushing the stroller."

So much for all this exercise "improving" my body!

Finally, we talked about extending each arm stroke all the way behind you to give you the maximum pull as well as the maximum window to take a breath. Well, I don't even know if my arms go back that far. That one maybe is from pushing the stroller, or maybe from lifting at the gym, but my money's on my bad posture when nursing the baby. But we already knew that no matter how much you love them, your kids are sure to screw up your body one way or another :)


Will said...

Any thoughts on whether chi running technique is possible with jog stroller? Have been reading about it and experimenting a bit on shorter runs (particular trail runs) without the jog stroller, but haven't tried it yet with one. I may try it on the long run with Samara this weekend.


runningfor3 said...

I had never heard of Chi Running before, but I have heard of Tai Chi and I have increasingly felt pretty "zen" on all the medium long runs I've done by myself this summer. So relaxed, in fact, I've literally almost run into a deer - twice! It's like we live on the set of Bambi, but anyway...

What little I've gathered about Chi Running from a cursory web search, it sounds like you can definitely apply the concept with some modifications. You certainly want to "use your Long Run to train your mind and your body to be focused and relaxed it is a discipline that will allow you to accomplish any goal that you set yourself. Focus on your core, relax all else. Keep your self centered, and be responsive to anything that comes your way. Take it slowly and stay in there for the long haul. These are key principles to any successful process." as they say on the Chi Running website.

Of course, one of the things certain to come your way is dealing with the kids in the stroller. The slow breathing sounds great, concentrating on your core is also really important with pushing the stroller to protect your back, though the thing about big arm swings will be harder to pull off when you've got to push the stroller. Gee, if this gives me permission to run slower, it can't be too bad!