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