Chi Running

By: Mark Toorock

This is the start of a "book of the whenever" ... just a place ot talk about books related to health or fitness or philosophy, or that somehow tie in to Parkour. (More...) 

Introduction: Running Lessons from a T'ai Chi Master

Not long ago, I was running past a grade school. It was a warm, late-spring day, and the kids were out on recess. They were busy playing tag and chasing balls and just doing what kids do best -- running around. I stopped to take a swig of water from my bottle, and as I watched the flurry of little legs, I was reminded once again why I love to watch kids run. Every one of them had perfect running form: a nice lean, a great stride opening up behind them, heels high in the air, relaxed arm swing and shoulders. They had it all! One of my biggest desires as a coach is to help adults learn to run like they did as kids. It's such a natural movement when kids do it. It looks so effortless and joyful. Many books about running tell you to just go out and run like you did as a kid. There's just one problem with that suggestion: You don't have the same body today that you did back then. If you do, I'd like you to be my teacher.

Click the image to see this book at


I'm starting it tonight, inspired by my 5k run as part of todays Workout of the Day. My wife read this book about a year ago when we were training (well, she was training) for the Disney Marathon. If only I'd read it too, and done a little training, I may have avoided a day in a wheelchair!

Now we're setting our sights on the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC next October, so I'll still need what this book has to offer. From the little I know of it now, it may just help to avoid injuries in Parkour as well.

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Written by Mark Toorock   
Monday, 28 November 2005 15:01
Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2010 05:24