Moving with Nature
Posted Tuesday, 22 June, 2004
After a couple of years of knee and lower back problems, I had been advised to find a gentler activity. This is not something a runner wants to hear. In an effort to keep running I tried everything I had ever been told. I would spend my ‘running time’ at the gym strengthening quads and glutes. I tried knee straps and different shoes, all of which worked perfectly for the short term but it was a bit of a ‘Jaws’ syndrome – just when I thought it was safe to get out and run, the old niggling pains would come back to bight me. Lucky for me, I happened to go to the Boston Marathon Expo where I made the discovery of a lifetime, ChiRunning.
ChiRunning has given me new hope that I will be able to keep on running. It is what I love to do more than any other activity and after reading some of the amazing emails and letters that Danny Dreyer (founder of ChiRunning) has received, I realize that I am definitely not alone. In fact, just one of 15.6 million runners to be sidelined with some form of running related injury each year in the US.
"My body feels better than it has in ages and I am continually amazed at how many ailments Chi Running heals -- used to have sore knees, hips, neck, back, spine, etc. and I can honestly say that I'm pain-free these days. …, as long as I'm using the correct techniques, the running is very healing for my body and my conditioning improves with nearly every run. Totally amazing!”
San Francisco, CA
By now you are wondering, just what is ChiRunning?
By combining the skills he has learned in Tai Chi and his experience as an accomplished ultra marathon runner, Danny Dreyer has been able to achieve something that runner’s have been dreaming about, a relaxed, easy to learn, pain-free form of running. Chi Running teaches people “bio-mechanically correct running form that is in line with the laws of physics and with the ancient principles of movement found in Tai Chi.”
A non-running friend once asked me, “Runners always say how they love to run, but why is it that they never seem happy when you see them out there running?” I thought about this for a while and the only answer I could come up with was that mostly, runners are in pain during their run, and you don’t smile when you are in pain. After all, how does the saying go? “no pain, no gain!”. I now know that it doesn’t have to be that way, we can run to the rhythm of “no pain, no pain”.
With ChiRunning, core muscles and gravity are used to move you forward, unlike power running which relies greatly on leg strength for forward movement. Most runners use power running, with the exception of the Kenyans, who you have probably noticed, seem to float effortlessly when they run.
"..moving from one’s center and letting the arms and legs follow”, making the movement both “effortless and powerful"
At one of my local gym sessions I recall watching a petite Asian lady go through a routine of exercises that required great strength and control yet she was very slender, she was also 65 years old, or should I say young. She also did her routine with a relaxed half smile on her face. Her secret, I found out, was Tai Chi. I didn’t think any more of it until I discovered ChiRunning, then it all made such perfect sense, “ ..moving from one’s center and letting the arms and legs follow”, making the movement both “effortless and powerful”.
The ChiRunning program enables beginner runners to start out ‘the right way’. It enables runners who have stopped through injury to get back into running, and gives experienced runners who want to have a competitive edge, the means to do so with minimum recovery time and little risk of injury in training. For some runners, like Cecilia Peterson, the benefits of ChiRunning v’s power running are obvious. For more on ChiRunning v’s power running visit the ChiRunning web site at http://chirunning.com/chi/about/chivspower.html.
Hi Danny, I’m back in the UK after a wonderful weekend. And part of that was the race. I won the women’s section in 1:40 – and that’s thanks to you! It could have been a commercial for the techniques you showed me! Here I was, tiptoeing up that mile-long hill behind other runners who took big strides. At the crest, I leant over, got that heel kick going – and gone I was!
It was a marvelous feeling! Most of the race felt rather effortless, although towards the end I did get tired – probably courtesy of my London Marathon six days earlier! ….”
All the best,
(Women’s winner of 2000 Golden Gate Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA)
ChiRunning is a whole new way of running. You can find books, DVD’s and classes on improving technique for just about any sport you can think of, and there are lots of training books available on when, how much and how fast to train , but none on how to run properly. That is, until ChiRunning.
With the help of ChiRunning, you can learn to ‘move with nature’, not fight it and begin to enjoy effortless, injury-free running. One runner, describes ChiRunning as being “…..like a dance” when it falls into place.
I have read the ChiRunning book from cover to cover, and watched the ChiRunning DVD many times. After just a month of practicing the ChiRunning techniques I can now run pain-free. Best of all, I wake up the morning after a run without aching and creaking. I have a long way to go but I am totally confident that this is something that will enrich my life in every way and for me, ChiRunning is here to stay.
ChiRunning.com will give you all the information you need to start out on a new running adventure. I highly recommend you read the ChiRunning book and view the ChiRunning DVD, then make up your own mind about the ChiRunning program. Who knows, after one of the ChiRunning workshops you may want to become a ChiRunning instructor yourself and spread the word about this amazing, innovative running program.