Thousands of runners across the world are learning ChiRunning every year. The ChiRunning book by Danny Dreyer has been the best selling running book for the last three years on Amazon.com.
What is ChiRunning? And what is the best way to learn it?
ChiRunning is a running form, system, and philosophy devised by Danny Dreyer. Danny was a longtime ultra marathoner. Ultra marathons are longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles with some races as long as 100 miles or more. So ultramarathoners have to very efficient in their running form in order to save energy.
Danny also took interest in Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese movement science based on the observations of how animals move. Animals move from their core and their spine with relaxed arms and legs...the principle of cotton and steel.
So Danny combines his knowledge of ultra marathoning and Tai Chi into a running system he called ChiRunning. He taught thousands of people across America how to run using these principles.
In a recent study of 25,000 runners who have learned ChiRunning, over 90% say it has significantly reduced their running injuries and made running easier.
So how do you best learn ChiRunning? As a three year instructor of ChiRunning personally certified by Danny Dreyer and with over a thousand satisfied clients, I 've observed the best learning strategies used by runners.
1. Read the ChiRunning Book. 71% of runners surveyed said that they learned ChiRunning in part or whole from the book. Reading the book is important because you will learn the principles behind why ChiRunning works so well for reducing injuries and improving your running form. I recommend reading the book at least three times using a highlighter to mark important sections.
2. Do the Exercises in the ChiRunning Book. The ChiRunning book is filled with useful and essential exercises for the learning this running form. You must do the exercises...especially in chapter four. Do the exercises every day. That way you will build muscle memory so you begin doing Chi Running automatically.
3. Buy the ChiRunning DVD. You can buy the DVD off Danny's website at www.ChiRunning.com. In fact, they have an economical pack where you can buy the book, DVD, and metronome (highly recommended) at a great price. Watching the DVD is important as it gives you a visual image of what ChiRunning should look like. That way you can shoot for that every time you go running.
4. Go to a ChiRunning Workshop. There are ChiRunning workshops around the United States and now some in other countries. Going to a workshop with a certified instructor is probably the best way to learn ChiRunning. The reason is because a certified instructor will guide you step by step through all the exercises. You will learn how to do them correctly AND learn the Tai Chi principles behind every exercise. Then you will learn how to do the ChiRunning running form including alignment, posture, lean, mid foot strike, heel lift, and relaxation.
Working with an instructor is a highly efficient and effective way to learn ChiRunning as you get immediate feedback from an instructor so you learn how to do the running form correctly. Sometimes you might be doing something wrong and you just can't see or feel by yourself...that's where a good instructor and teacher can shorten the learning curve.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice. Once you've learned the basics of ChiRunning through one of the methods above...then you must practice. You should practice ChiRunning every time you go to run. Run slowly at first, that way you can focus on making your running softer and easier without the distractions of speed and heavy breathing.
Take your time, be patient, and you'll learn this running form that is changing the way runners move across the world. Try it out and see if makes a difference the same way it has for thousands of people.
About the Author
Gary Smith is a certified ChiRunning instructor, yoga teacher, and marathon coach. He writes for the Internet, speaks to organizations, and teaches groups of all sizes how to make running an enjoyable part of your life. He can reached through his website at http://www.SoCalRunning.com/gary or through his email firstname.lastname@example.org.