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ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running Paperback – May 5, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Running coach/ultramarathon runner Dreyer's (Chi Walking) program applies principles of t'ai chi to running in a "practice" akin to yoga. Three how-to sessions cover principles and techniques and direct runners to perform specific movements; there are also guided training runs. Because this is an inherently visual, movement-based technique, it can only go so far, despite an otherwise successful adaptation to audio and the descriptive 33-page study guide. Listeners who bring open-mindedness and intention, however, will benefit from Dreyer's one-on-one lecture, which he delivers in a mellow, well-spoken voice. Recommended for all libraries.—Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"The most exciting and revolutionary book to hit the running community this decade." -- Toby Tanser, author of Train Hard, Win Easy

"ChiRunning is the solution we've all been looking for to maintain high performance and avoid injury." -- Mark Cucuzzella, M.D., masters winner, 2008 Marine Corps Marathon (2:34)
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Product Details

  • Series: Chi
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Revised edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416549447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416549444
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Very well written and easy to understand.
Mustafa Farooque
The technique of using your Chi energy to help you run better, longer, and free from injury really works.
S. Mendelson
Running is something I like doing anyways, Now I really love running.
Harry R. Krimm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,104 of 1,230 people found the following review helpful By Lincoln TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a barefoot runner since 2005, at which time I re-learned how to correctly run using my awareness and the teachings of numerous sources. I have read Danny Dryer's ChiRunning book and watched his ChiRunning DVD. I have also studied The Pose Running Technique on DVD and the workbook. In addition, I have experience practicing Qi Gong (Chi Kung), meditation, and yoga. I have also studied anatomy, posture, The Alexander Technique, and Rolfing Structural Integration. My partner is also a Chinese Medicine professional and Acupuncturist. So basically, I know a thing or two in this field...

In light of the acclaim that Danny Dryer is receiving for his ChiRunning technique, there are some critical errors and marketing misperceptions that I feel should be addressed. I base these insights on my own personal experience and my extensive research into natural running techniques and chi energy.

1. This book does not at all use the chi (qi) energy for running. Dryer teaches a method of using gravity to encourage the body to move through space. After reading and watching Dryer's published material, it is clear to me that he uses the term "chi" as a marketing strategy. All things eastern - yoga, tai chi, etc - are hot selling points these days. Yes, Dryer states that he has practiced Qi Gong under a teacher. However, nowhere in the DVD or book does he teach about the movement of chi the body, its pathways or its functions. Dryer should have title his technique "Gravity Running" instead.

2. Dryer combines a commonly misunderstood Pilates technique (tightening the core), claming it to be engaging the "hara" or "dan tien / tan tien". While the dan tien is the chi energy center below the navel, never are core muscles used when working with this center.
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391 of 435 people found the following review helpful By Jerry L Fletcher on May 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
[...] This book is a brilliant print presentation of Danny's methods which are revolutionary. He deserves the much wider following he will get with this (his CD is great too).
My story: I've been a runner for 45 years. I nearly gave up running at age 57. The pain in my knees and lower back made me seriously think of quitting. I literally saw an ad in the newspaper for Danny's class and took it as a last resort. He was at the time in his 50's and a nationally ranked ultramarathoner. I figured he ought to know something about efficient running.
I learned his initial techniques in two hours. It took about five or six runs to feel comfortable with the changes in my stride, but from the first day, there was no back pain and such minimal knee pain at the end that I couldn't believe it. I've taken his advanced techniques workshops too (all in the book). The "sidewise" stride up steep hills is another brilliant technique that literally makes running hills fun.
I went from struggling to run for 30 minutes at a time to 1.5 hour runs on steep hills without pain. I'm not a ranked runner. I run for fitness, for weight control, and for the sheer joy of it. I did finish third in my age group in a local race a year ago -- first medal I've ever won (I'm 62 now). But I got my running life back, and that's priceless. I plan to be running into my 80's now -- pain free!
And for what it's worth, I have a doctorate and I'm trained in physics. Danny's techniques are scientifically valid. There's a spiritual side to his methods too. If you don't think running has a spiritual side, I feel sorry for you, but don't ignore his methods just because of that.
Jerry L Fletcher
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132 of 156 people found the following review helpful By M. Strong on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of good information it - probably too much. Unless you are really going to focus on something, it's very hard to remember more than two or three core ideas. I am a casual runner - maybe two or three runs per week of three to five miles - and I really hoped this book would give me a couple areas of focus that would make my running safer, more comfortable and perhaps faster. Instead, I got overload. There is a single 2-page spread in this book that lists about 50 points to focus on in your running. Come again? That doesn't sound very Zen to me (I know it's a different Eastern philosophy, but you get the idea).

Dreyer ackowledges the length of the list and suggests picking out two or three of these ideas to focus on for each run, but you still need to be pretty serious to do that. I don't want to consult a checklist before each run and I want to plug into my iPod and relax a little while I'm running.

In addition, Dreyer gives a pre- and post-run routine that would add about an hour to any run you wanted to do - again, more than I'm able to commit to this portion of my life.

If you are a very serious runner or want to become one, this is a great book (assuming you can handle a few funky mystical references). On the other hand, if you are looking for two or three areas of focus to make you a better casual runner, they're tough to pull from this book.

Recommended for serious runners who are looking to avoid or recover from injuries.
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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful By S. Sutton on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
A decent book with some interesting ideas, but little to do with anything "Chi," which was a little disappointing.

The underlying emphasis throughout this book is on competition, even though usually unstated. It's all about technique. He advocates using as little leg muscle as possible. Specifically, one does not push off using the toes or propel the body using the leg muscles like a sprinter might do. Instead, the only muscle action of the legs is to pick themselves up. He uses a good illustration: stand straight and fall forward. Instinctively, one of your legs will swing forward to catch you. I you use ONLY this muscle action, you'll have the basis of this book's technique.

In addition, he advises you engage your core muscles and maintain an erect, proper posture. (That's good advice because it keeps your body from getting sloppy.) His advice for deep, rhythmic breathing and for relaxing the body overall are sound. The arms swing loosely and to the rear which opens up the chest for better breating.

It is important to focus on what our body and our breath are doing as we run (and not be distracted by our normal day-to-day thoughts). This makes running almost like meditating, which in my opinion is a good thing.

I'm trying this technique in my regular runs and so far it seems "interesting," but no final verdict yet.

Some advice sounds a little dubious. For example, he advises pronaters (whose feet strike the ground not parallel to their path) to force their feet parallel to avoid injury. I'm certainly no expert, but seems to me that forcing a natural pronation to an unnatural angle might itself lead to injury. In any case, I'd certainly want to see some clinical studies before adopting this advice.

Now for a few disappointments.
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Frequently Bought Together

ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running + Chi Marathon: The Breakthrough Natural Running Program for a Pain-Free Half Marathon and Marathon + ChiWalking: Fitness Walking for Lifelong Health and Energy
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