says Danny Dreyer, co-founder of ChiRun­ning and an ac­com­plished run­ner who has com­pleted 40 ul­tra­ma­rathons in­juryfree in the past 20 years

Men's Fitness - - Experts -

The idea that you wouldn’t want to ex­am­ine and po­ten­tially im­prove your run­ning form is strange. Not just from the point of view of get­ting faster but be­cause there’s a tremen­dous amount of force go­ing through your body with each stride, and in­juries among am­a­teur run­ners are com­mon.

I’ve worked with run­ners for 30 years and have been teach­ing my own run­ning form since 1999. In my ex­pe­ri­ence and that of most peo­ple I’ve taught, ChiRun­ning re­duces in­jury and aug­ments per­for­mance by im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency of move­ment. ChiRun­ning uses a mid­foot strike and en­cour­ages a for­ward lean by us­ing grav­ity to help pull a run­ner for­ward in­stead of re­ly­ing solely on propul­sion by the lower limbs.

This idea came from tai chi, where you’re taught to move from the cen­tre. When I com­bined this prin­ci­ple with run­ning I found that my legs didn’t have to work as hard. Most run­ning in­juries oc­cur from the knee down be­cause you’re re­ly­ing on rel­a­tively small mus­cles to pro­pel your whole body. ChiRun­ning puts most of the work­load where the large, stronger mus­cles are: the core. Do­ing this eases the smaller mus­cles’ work­load.

Some peo­ple may have nat­u­rally bril­liant biome­chan­ics, but that doesn’t mean they can’t im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of their run­ning. Whether you use a spe­cific form such as ChiRun­ning or you sim­ply try to al­ter your stride in some way, it’s worth ex­per­i­ment­ing. And if you find that you’re fre­quently in­jured, you’ve got noth­ing to lose by try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent.





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