Sunday, January 30, 2011

Could ChiRunning be for you? It's at least worth a look

Most of the time, when I get the chance to talk to a new runner or a runner with injuries, I will bring up ChiRunning. Given my positive experience with it, how could I not? It's a form of running that took me from knee pain and hopeless to a fourth season of triathlons and a knee injury-free world at my doorstep.

I've written about my experiences with it a couple times on this blog, most recently two years ago, and a recent comment from one of the ladies in my mentor group, took me back to a video that helped give me an a-ha moment with regard to how I approach running.

I will usually pull from this video to give my elevator speech on ChiRunning, though I'm sure the author might suggest a better one. Basically, instead of forcing your legs out in front of you to generate power, and letting that force pound your body, fall forward and let your legs fall behind you. Instead of fighting gravity, you cooperate with it.

Danny Dreyer does a much better job of explaining it in the video. It's only 4.5 minutes long, so I hope you get a chance to check it out. Also, below you'll find my post from March of 2009, which goes in to a tad bit more detail about how I came to be a ChiRunner. Maybe it's for you, maybe it's not, but - as I ask below - what if it is?


Some of you may notice a link on here to a Web site called ChiRunning. If you want to run better, and pain-free, you have to check this out.


I was skeptical when I heard about it, too, but about a year ago, I decided to pick up running. This was right before triathlons got on my radar screen. I started out running a half-mile and then worked up to one mile. The trouble is, my knees started to really hurt - again.

In fact, I decided to take a break from running and work on building leg strength for a few months. If the muscles surrounding my knees were strong, my knees wouldn't be so weak and, therefore, as able to be injured.

Meanwhile, I got interested in triathlons. I read a swimming book,
Total Immersion (TI), and just fell in love with the theories behind the author, Terry Laughlin's, techniques. At the end of his book, he recommended ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer.

Soon thereafter, I got a copy from the library. I read it in one day.

I won't go into all of the details about the mechanics of it. It would take a book to explain and Dryer's already written it, but basically it's about falling into your run instead of forcing yourself to run.

Here's a short video of Danny Dreyer, the creator of
ChiRunning, explaining the difference between ChiRunning and typical running.

I can say that since running this way since April, I have experienced no knee pain during or after running - none!

If you're tired of your running causing you pain, it is definitely worth your time to check out the book and/or DVD. It may end up not being for you - but what if it is?


KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Watched the video. Very interesting and totally makes sense. By the way, I love Total Immersion. I have 2 of Terry Laughlin's books and have watched the freestyle swimming video. I find that when I can visualize and breakdown the steps of a skill, I can understand it better and then practice it with purpose, especially in the pool. Thanks for posting this.

Lora Abernathy said...

Great to meet another TI fan. If I had to list one person who's made the most difference in my triathlon life, it would be Terry Laughlin. I feel the same way about having things broken down. Hope you have a great evening!


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