Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Q&A with Chi Running Trainer: Amy Peacock. Sign Up Today!

We sat down with Amy Peacock to discuss the new training program at the YWCA Central Carolinas on Park Road. The program, which starts September 4, will be an 8-week course on how to walk and run injury- free! Learning these techniques can help all levels of runners. This program is open to all fitness levels. Training runs September 11, 2012 - October 30, 2012. At the end of the program, choose to participate in the Rock & Read 5K (Nov. 3) with the group or just participate in the 8-week course. Practices will be on Tuesday evenings from 6pm-7pm at YWCA Central Carolinas. More information can be found on the YWCA website at http://www.ywcacentralcarolinas.org/fitness-center/chi-runwalk-training.

Q: How did the whole ChiRunning idea first come about?

 A: Danny Dreyer, the founder of Chi Running realized his Tai Chi practice and principals could be incorporated into his running to prevent injuries, enhance energy and reduce stress. By applying these principles he developed, a life changing running form and philosophy was create. It has led to numerous books, DVDs and most recently an online training program.

Q: How did you hear about it? 

 A: In The Charlotte Observer about seven years ago. The small article covered the fact running injuries were on the rise despite running shoe manufacturers creating expensive, stabilizing shoes. The reporter suggested it was perhaps the runner’s form and body mechanics and not just the shoe. He referred injured readers to Danny Dreyer, who had just written Chi Running or Barefoot Ted.

Q: Why did you decide to try it and then teach the techniques? 

 A: I got injured while training for a marathon and working out! I had pain in my metatarsals (across my toes). My doctor gave me "the $100 boot", a prescription for $350 orthotics and told me to stop running. Not once did he look at my running or walking form. That was my second boot prescribed to me. So, I was a bit upset and realized this was either going to keep happening or I needed to find another solution. I would check out Chi Running and make a change to my form. Not running was not an option!

Q: How is this technique different than how most people approach training? 

A: Based on what I have seen over many years, most people I have come across focus on the goal of running a marathon, a mud run, a fast 10K or doing a triathlon. Running form is not on their mind. They buy shoes and gear then think that will be the key. They then start running the mileage or training schedule they have chosen to follow. It all makes sense. Most of us are not taught how to run - we just run! However, at some point as mileage increases, it is very likely an injury may occur to a heel, ankle, knee, hip, back or shoulders. The runner may assume "injuries are a rite of passage", then go to the doctor or buy more gear. Years and years of this wear and tear can take a toll as well as develop into a chronic injury -- which is stressful. Chi Running asks people focus on form as the foundation, then distance, then speed. Form is home base and essential to prevent injury, enhance energy efficiency and reduce injury. We also believe with great form, the less shoe the better.

Q: What’s the hardest part of teaching people to change the way they run?

A: Reminding people that being mindful with each step is a small price to pay to prevent injury!

Q: How will this specific program help runners? 

A: It will bring more joy to their running and life, reduce injury, and stress. Many have also said they feel more graceful and feel like they are running like a kid again!

Q: Is this for all types of runners, beginner, advanced, those who run a 5K and those who run marathons? 

A: Yes, it is for all levels and types of runners.

Q: How long does it generally take people to learn how to do it correctly? 

A: It is different for everyone. Some pick it up immediately.

Q: The biggest pro to this is that people can learn to run injury free. Is that true? How have you seen this? 

A: Yes. I have heard from many of my clients as well as read thousands of positive testimonies from clients and instructors from all over the world.

Q: Is there a specific success story you can share with one of your trainees? 

A: One of my clients is an avid triathlete. She has chronic back pain. When she applies the Chi Running principles - her back pain goes away. This is a similar story to many of my running clients who suffer from back pain.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share about this type of running and the program at the YWCA? 

A: Chi Running is a running form and philosophy that reduces stress and injury and enhances your running and life. When people can run without pain or injury, it impacts their life in the most positive way. Look at the little 4-year-old kids running at the YWCA! They are so focused and excited - and injury free! We have to learn how to have more fun running - just like kids!

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