Recent Changes - Search:

Quick Links



edit SideBar


Useful Information

New Study Reveals ChiRunning Technique is Best at Reducing Running Impact

The study, A Comparison of Lower Extremity Joint Work and Initial Loading Rates Among Four Different Running Styles, (Goss, 2012) compared four common types of running styles. Of the four styles studied, the ChiRunning technique was the most effective at reducing both the overall impact and the rate of impact. Participants practicing ChiRunning benefited from:

  • Lower Impact - reduces the cause of the most common running injury, "runner's knee"
  • A smoother landing - reduces sudden impact that leads to stress fractures in the feet, lower legs and hips.
  • Less Knee Extension - reduces the common problem of over-striding which produces the "braking effect" that often leads to "runner's knee"
  • Less Braking Force upon impact with the ground, making for a much more efficient run.

The Basics of Chi Running

ChiRunning focuses on posture, leg swing, the position of the pelvis and a forward lean. It's not a fluffy, hippie theory--it's based on the physics of body mechanics. Here are the basics:

  • Shorten your stride
"If your stride is too long, that means you’re reaching with your legs trying to ‘eat up’ ground, which is inefficient,” says Dreyer. Instead, try to take quicker, shorter strides, which will also help you to land mid-foot instead of on the ball of your foot, says Dreyer.
  • Lean Forward
One of the biggest forces we have to fight every day is gravity. Why not make it work for us instead of against us? By adding a slight forward lean when you run, your body falls forward and you use gravity for your propulsion instead of your legs. This forces you to land closer to the ball of your foot instead of your heel, which may help prevent injury. “It’s a very slight forward lean using your core to maintain good posture and avoid relying on your quads and hamstrings,” says Dreyer. “Think of it like a controlled fall — you don’t want to just bend at the waist.”
To do this, lean from your ankles, not your waist, and keep your spine straight. The lean is subtle; don't lean so far forward you are out of control or actually falling.
  • Run from your Core
"Having good core strength is key to preventing injuries like IT band issues and hip problems", says Dreyer. Engaging your core while you’re running is one of the key principles of Chi Running, but doing core exercises like planks outside of your runs is important, too.
To reduce injuries, it's vital to keep your pelvis level. You do this by engaging your core muscles while you run. To level your pelvis, try this simple exercise: Stand against the wall and try to press your lower back into the wall. Watch what happens to your pelvis. You have to engage your lower abdominal muscles in a vertical crunch movement. Remember that feeling in your body and try to maintain it as you run.
  • Land on the Mid-Foot
To keep your posture in alignment--which helps reduce injuries--while you're leaning forward, land with a mid-foot strike when you run. You want your foot to land underneath or slightly behind you, in line with your hips and shoulders.
  • Run Tall
Think about this: When you're standing straight, your joints are in alignment and your skeleton is supporting your weight. When you run, you want to keep this alignment so your skeleton continues to be involved.
It's common, however, for runners to slump the shoulders or bend at the waist, which then requires the leg muscles to support most of the body weight, instead of the stronger skeleton. By maintaining good posture, you lessen the amount of work your legs have to do and move more efficiently.
  • Relax, Relax, Relax
It's common for runners to tighten up their shoulders or other muscles as they get tired. But all that stiffness and tension wastes energy and makes you less efficient. When you feel your technique slipping, ask yourself: Where am I tense, and what can I do about it?
"Think about areas in your body where you’re holding tension, and try to release them", says Dreyer. For instance, let your arms swing naturally instead of pumping them.
Pay attention to what’s happening right now (instead of thinking about, for instance, the bagel you’re going to scarf the minute you’re finished!). Ask yourself questions like: What does my body need right now? Am I thirsty? How am I feeling?” This will help prevent injury because you’re maintaining focus on your form and technique. Just make you’re thinking productive thoughts about how you feel in the moment — complaining (“Oh my gosh, I have 16 more torturous miles to go!”) is counterproductive and will just drain your energy, says Dreyer.

On Cadence


  • What is cadence?
In running, “cadence” is the number of steps you take per minute, and training to increase it is one of the most effective ways to improve your running form and efficiency. It's definitely worth your time to track, monitor, and analyze your cadence.
  • What is a good running cadence number?
The average runner will have a cadence of 150 to 170 SPM (Steps Per Minute), while the fastest long-distance runners are up in the 180 to 200 SPM range. It's worth noting that these numbers are typically maintained in shorter-distance endurance races and full marathons.
  • Why bother about cadence
Improving your cadence also helps you avoid injuries. Overstriding is a major source of running-related injuries, and it occurs when your heel lands in front of your hips with an unbent knee. These punishing strides take longer to execute, so if you increase your cadence, you decrease the likelihood of overstriding. High cadence provides a smoother run, regardless of whether you're a heel-striker or a glider. There is less stress placed on your knees, hips, and back.

On Negative Splits

Learn how to run the second half of a race faster than the first and enjoy faster times at any distance.

When Ronaldo da Costa broke the marathon world record at Berlin in September 1998, he justified a racing tactic I've promoted for a long time. Da Costa ran negative splits, which means he finished the second half of the race faster than the first half--a full 3 minutes faster, in fact.

You don't have to be an elite athlete to run like da Costa. Anyone can and should run negative splits. Unfortunately, most runners don't. Instead, they start in a near sprint, hang on through the middle and resort to a survivor's shuffle at the end. In contrast, those who opt for negative splits patiently run a bit slower for the first third of a run, pick up the pace in the middle and finish with strength and speed.

The reason this works is because it can take your body several miles to get warmed up. After that, your muscles are charged, your joints lubricated, and mood-boosting endorphins flood your system. You'll find yourself running faster without feeling any more effort.

While even 5-K racers can benefit from this negative-split technique, marathoners will find it even more beneficial.

  • Trust the method
Many people are so used to charging out and then gradually slowing down that they don't trust their bodies will ever speed up during a run. Trust me. It works. If you conserve your resources during the early part of a run, they'll be available to you at the end.
  • Train negative
To build confidence in the method, practice negative splits during your training runs. Instead of starting your fartlek or interval sessions at the pace you want to average, run the first portion of the workout 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower. By the end of the session, you'll be running faster than planned and will probably be feeling better than you've ever felt during a speed session.
  • Practice during 5-Ks
Running numerous short races will help you predict your starting pace for a longer race. Think of these races as miniature marathons, where you're honing your negative-splitting abilities. Just as in your practice runs, start out conservatively and gradually build speed.
  • Start slow
Begin your race 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than the race pace you've predicted. Don't be tempted to speed up when you notice all those other runners flying by. Instead, hold back by imagining yourself comfortably passing them later in the race.
  • Gradually build speed
As you near the middle of the race--8 to 10 miles into a marathon, for example--you want to hit your race pace. Then, toward the end, use those fresh legs to pass as many tired runners as you can.

My personal journey

to come

Updated on 8 October 16:50

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on October 10, 2021, at 04:34 PM