ChiRunning is a combination of the central movement principles of T’ai Chi and the sport of running. The result of this combination is a technique that shifts the work of running toward your core muscles, allowing your leg muscles to work less. This results in increased efficiency and a significant reduction in injuries. When you can run pain-free and with less effort, the joy of running naturally increases and ChiRunning can help you transform your running into a lifelong practice.
Since 1999, thousands of runners of all ages and abilities have used the ChiRunning technique to improve their efficiency and performance, and now find running to be pain-free, easier, and much more enjoyable.
Here’s a simplified yet very concise explanation of ChiRunning by David Stretanski, Certified ChiRunning Master Instructor:
And here’s a video showing Certified ChiRunning Senior Instructor Ryan Miller demonstrating what ChiRunning looks like at four different speeds:
Frequently asked questions about ChiRunning:
Can I learn ChiRunning on my own?
Yes, it is possible to learn ChiRunning from the book and DVD. Both are excellent resources and have helped countless runners improve their form, run with less effort and avoid injuries. However, there is no substitute for personal instruction. Speaking from personal experience, it wasn't until I attended a ChiRunning workshop that everything fell into place and I began to see meaningful results.
Do I need to know T'ai Chi to learn ChiRunning?
No. The ChiRunning technique combines the central movement principles of T'ai Chi with running and does not require any knowlege of T'ai Chi. Danny Dreyer has done all the hard work for you!
Is instructor-led training worth the money?
Absolutely! One ChiRunning class from a certified instructor can cost less than two pairs of running shoes and the benefits can be realized for the rest of your running life. Think of it this way--every time you go out for a run and return feeling more energized, you are getting a return on your investment. The workshop provides you with the tools to improve your running, but it's your choice to use those tools.
Can beginning runners attend a workshop?
Yes. In fact, beginning runners tend to learn much faster as they haven't had the chance to develop as many bad habits as some experienced runners. It makes a lot of sense to learn to run correctly. That way, running will stay enjoyable for you on the first mile all the way to the last mile. You will be much more likely to maintain running as a form of exercise for many years to come.
Can experienced runners benefit from a workshop?
Yes. Any runner who is concerned about conserving energy and preventing injuries can learn from the workshops, whether they are ultrarunners, marathoners, triathletes, 10K’ers, or seasoned joggers. Learning how to run with less effort and less chances for injuries means training smarter. Training smarter can translate into better performance, whether it means increased speed, running longer distances, or just being able to enjoy running even more.
How long does it take to learn ChiRunning?
You can learn the basics of the ChiRunning form in a half-day workshop. However, it will take persistence and consistency to master the components of the technique and how to get them to work together. As the saying goes, "If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it." It is best to think of learning ChiRunning as process-oriented rather than goal-driven. That way, you can continue to learn new things every time you go out to run and continue to improve over your running lifetime.
I have a bad back. Will ChiRunning hurt my back?
The foundation of ChiRunning is good posture and proper biomechanics, both of which will help many back problems. While you should always check with a health practitioner before starting an exercise program, you’ll be glad to know that many people who have stopped running due to back problems have found that ChiRunning actually helps their back.
Can ChiRunning help with my knee problems?
Yes. ChiRunning helps to stop knee pain by eliminating the reason for why knee problems come up in the first place. By teaching you how to avoid overstriding, heel-striking and dorsiflexing, ChiRunning puts the issue of knee problems to rest permanently.
Can I begin to use ChiRunning right away, or do I need to transition into the technique?
You can begin employing the ChiRunning technique on the first run after the workshop and every time you run afterward.