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1384 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 9, 2012 8:56 PM by NHLA RSS
Tharisa Rookie 3 posts since
Jul 26, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 26, 2012 7:12 PM

Help with Chi Running Issue

I changed my running form this Spring and began following the Chi Running concepts...landing on the balls of my feet and leaning slightly forward from the ankles. My calves hurt at first, but after a few months of training, this went away. I spent about 8 weeks training for my second ever 1/2 marathon using this new form. I crushed my previous time by 15 minutes. My new form feels more natural and easy.....the problem is, about 2 weeks before the race I began getting blisters on the side of my big toes and the bottom of my little toes. A day before the race, I was told my Transverse arches are falling. I took 1 week off of running after the 1/2 marathon. This week I ran two slow miles on the track and one slow 3 mile run on the local College XC course. The blisters on my little toes are terrible. Every step was painful. The filled with blood on both runs. I have not had issues with blisters prior to changing my running form. Please provide some advice....am I doing something wrong? Should I continue to run this way? I have tried different shoes with no improvement. I don't know what to do next

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 27, 2012 6:36 PM (in response to Tharisa)
    Re: Help with Chi Running Issue

    Oh my goodness!  Of course you're doing something wrong - running injured to start with.  Running yourself into blisters means your form is off significantly. 

     

    How did you learn your Chi Running? Reading a book?  I think you may have missed some important bits.  For example, does Chi actually have you running up on your forefeet? On the BALLS OF YOUR FEET?!!! That really doesn't sound right.  


    I'm no expert, but I've read a lot of books on running and have trained up from "couch" to comfortably running 10 or 15 mile races without too much stress, either barefoot or in Vibrams.  From what I've read, sprinters are good on their toes / forefeet.  Distance runners need to engage more of their Plantar facia, Achilles tendons and calfs in active energy exchanges and touch down on their midfeet.

     

    With your severe pain and strucutal problems, I think you need to engage a Coach and/or Physical Therapist to take a good look at what you're doing to yourself and to help you learn to run without the damage.

     

    Good luck!





    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,276 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 29, 2012 7:55 AM (in response to Tharisa)
    Re: Help with Chi Running Issue

    Maybe you need a larger shoe size (should be at least a thumb-nail width between longest toe and front of the shoe. Or maybe the size is right but you need a shoe with a wider toe box.  If you're a woman running in men's shoes, look for shoes specifically built on a women's last. They tend to be a little wider in the toe area, and slightly narrower in the heel. 

     

    Len





    Len

  • eChiFitnesss Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 30, 2012 10:41 AM (in response to Tharisa)
    Help with Chi Running Issue

    Tharisa,

    Who is your running coach who is teaching you Chi?

     

    ChiRunning does not suggest suggest running forefoot (balls of the foot). ChiRunning suggests landing as close to fullfoot as possible and loading on a the whole (full) foot as relaxed as possible. The lower leg should not be active, to either attempt to hold your heels up or to attempt to push (propel) you forward.

     

    Blisters on your feet or toes can mean there is this tension or active effort in your lower legs ... usually combined with shoes that do not fit. A blister comes from friction plus movement; often just relaxing the feet will reduce the friction. A blister on the side of the big toe might also mean you are pushing off with your big toe with feet everted. A blister on the bottom of your little toes might also mean you are trying to hold onto your shoes or the ground like a hawk.

    David.






    David Stretanski

    Fitness Coach, ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Certified Instructor

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,276 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 30, 2012 1:15 PM (in response to Tharisa)
    Help with Chi Running Issue

    Quite honestly, changing your running form is difficult at best.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.  Some knowledgable coaches even suggest that "if what you're doing is working for you, don't change it".  Take a look at the slow motion videos in the link below.  They do a good job of illustrating how the foot lands for different types of footstrike.  (There is a "replay" button in the lower left to view the video again.)  Note that even with a forefoot strike the rest of the sole of your foot quickly comes to the ground to provide cushioning and support.  This will help to reinforce what you're doing right and perhaps help correct what may not be right.

     

    http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

     

    Len





    Len

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jul 31, 2012 6:18 AM (in response to Tharisa)
    Help with Chi Running Issue

    There you go, Tharissa.  You've got the attention of some very knowlegable runner/writers now!  Your problems are as good as solved.  Well, almost.

     

    Good luck, and do persevere.  You are just finding a few bumps in your road and will find a way to get through this stretch.





    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • cboozb Amateur 11 posts since
    Aug 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Aug 7, 2012 2:41 PM (in response to Tharisa)
    Help with Chi Running Issue

    I salute you for working on your form. Most of the communication I read it all about this running plan or that running plan or this shoe or that shoe. IMHO, if there is one thing (besides you age/fitness/health-which cannot be ignored) it's your form. People talk about running like there is nothing to it---what's to "learn"---you can walk right????? So what's the big deal with running (?)

     

    Well, I don't agree, form is one of the most important; so keep at it. But I have to agree with some of the replies. Not good to run with blisters. Not good to run injured. That's no fun. Also one of the other replies mentioned "FRICTION". That's usually a good thing to look at.

     

    I guess you're pretty sure that your change in form is responsible for this, right? Did you change anything else when the blisters started showing up --- socks, shoes; new socks, new pair of shoes??. Was it warmer when you were running than before? weight change?

     

    If not, you might try seeing if you can find a good independent running store with knowledgeable help or a running coach who can look at your stride and footfall. Is your foot coming down pretty much right under your center of gravity? And how "heavy" is your footfall? This you should look at especially at the end of a long run when you are tired. Are you "pounding"? Can you "hear" you foot striking the ground "hard"? Do your feet point straight ahead or do you toe out/in when you land? Check these out. You will find the answer and when you get to the "other side" your running will be (probably) more enjoyable then it was before.

     

    Good luck

     

    59 yr old

    2012 Napa Valley Marathon 3:50

    2010 Big Sur Half-Marathon 1:33

  • NHLA Legend 353 posts since
    Feb 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Aug 9, 2012 8:56 PM (in response to Tharisa)
    Help with Chi Running Issue

    The cure for blisters is vasoline. After your feet get well.

    See a doctor if your arch is falling.

    Danny lives in Asheville NC. Mabe you should go to one of his classes. He is a really nice guy.

    Try working chi form into your running gradually. The tai chi open hand form is only 10 min. long for a reason. You can't maintain that level of awareness for long.

    I would only use chi form on uphills one day and downhills the next until it became part of the way I ran. Now I don't think about it.

    You don't land on the balls of your feet. You land on the eternal spring.

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