Danny Dreyer And ChiRunning
Multi-marathoner, T’ai Chi enthusiast, an esteemed running coach, author and founder of a revolutionary running technique that’s saving lives of seasoned runner’s globally, Danny Dreyer is a force to be reckoned with.
Introducing the technique called ChiRunning to the world back in 1999, Danny Dreyer has transformed the running spectrum in its entirety.
As a runner himself, Danny was in search of a less stressful, far more effective running technique to strengthen his skills before taking on more serious running expeditions such as a 100 mile ultra-marathon. As a serious runner, Danny felt the need for a far more effective training method than the ones available in order to conserve energy and prevent injury without compromising on speed and distance. It was during his search that he stumbled upon the mother of martial arts, the ancient Chinese technique of T’ai Chi.
Holistic Approach In ChiRunning
Danny founded the ChiRunning with the aim of making running a mindful and process driven exercise, rather than a result and fitness oriented activity. ChiRunning is a mindful practice like a “moving mediation.” Every running step is a mindful practice of perfection, working in harmony with the forces that is acting on us. With this Holistic Approach, your mind pays attention to the signs of your bodily movements, listens and then directs it. This holistic approach helps us to sustain our running interest for a long period of time and avoiding burning out.
Postural Alignment With Relaxation In ChiRunning
The main goal of ChiRunning is Energy Efficiency and Injury Prevention. The first principle in ChiRunning is “Needle In The Cotton.” Needle refers to our Postural Alignment against the pull of gravity. Cotton refers to the relaxation of our shoulders, arms and legs as we are running, moving and rotating around a strong engaged and straight central axis (COLUMN). With this concept that he learned during his T’ai Chi classes, he combined it into his running and found it to be useful in increasing our running efficiency and reducing running injuries. A position as streamlined as the one defined by T’ai Chi, enables you to perform any action or activity with minimum stresses and effort on the body, therefore allowing you to sustain the activity with minimum effort and injury risks.
Cooperating With The Force of Nature With A Forward Lean In ChiRunning
The second principle in ChiRunning is “Cooperate With The Pull of Gravity and The Force of Oncoming Road.” ChiRunning draws the inspiration from the relaxed gait and movement of young children who do not necessarily follow any rules, preferring to just fall forward and run the best they can while maintaining a semblance of balance. We cooperate with the pull of Gravity by having a forward lean. That forward lean with our body center of mass ahead of our contact point with the ground (landing) will achieve two main objectives of ChiRunning. First, a forward lean will allow us to run efficiently. With a forward lean, we are using the pull of gravity to propel us forward, instead of pushing our legs to run forward as compared to running with the body upright. Second, running with a forward lean allows our legs to swing to the back, cooperating with the force of oncoming road, this reduces the risk of injuries that is associated with impact forces from landing on the heel.
Running WITHOUT A Forward Lean – The Main Cause of Running Injuries
Danny emphasized that running with the body upright is the cause behind complains of pain and injuries for runners. Running with an upright posture WITHOUT A FORWARD LEAN uses our leg muscles to propel ourselves forward. Running upright prompts the leg to swing like a pendulum, locking the knee and letting one’s body weight to fall heavily on the heels. The force of oncoming road creates an impact to the leg when the runner hits the ground, it takes the shock further up the body from the heels, onto the ankles, knees and eventually the pelvis and back. The weakest point will becoming injured eventually.
Gradual Progress In ChiRunning
Danny promotes running through progression. When you run based on this principle, you will focus all of your attention into perfecting one certain aspect of your training before moving onto the next slightly advanced skill improvement. This principle ensures our body having enough time to absorb and learn new skills, avoiding the risk of burning out.
Danny Dreyer’s running technique is the culmination of half a life-time’s worth of running, teaching and coaching experiences. It is the running technique that is perfect for the invested runner that is looking to enjoy the process of running without falling prey to avoidable injuries even if speed was the goal.
For runners out there that are tired of kicking out mile upon mile on exhausted legs, try the art of ChiRunning. Not only will it allow you to gather and harness your inner concentration, ChiRunning will take the agony and sweat out of your endurance running, leaving behind a smooth flowing movement that’s guaranteed to leave you energized and refreshed.
Run Well And Run Safe.