I recently watched a ChiRunning DVD produced by Danny Dreyer. My conclusion was that ChiRunning can help the vast majority of runners to improve their running form, increase their running efficiency, prevent injuries, and run faster.
While I don’t necessarily buy into the idea that ChiRunning uses gravity to drive forward propulsion, I think that ChiRunning’s focus on maintaining good posture, a slight forward lean from the ankles, bending the arms 90 degrees, and maintaining a stride rate of 170-180 steps per minute help to build a good foundation for efficient, injury-free running.
For faster runners and sprinters, I think that the ChiRunning technique has to be modified slightly to engage the calves and feet more. Dreyer has acknowledged in his blog that the classic ChiRunning method has to be changed for sprinters.
Unlike Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s Pose Method, which calls for maintaining the same stride length and increasing stride rate to increase running speed, ChiRunning recommends maintaining a fairly constant stride rate and naturally increasing stride length (and forward lean) as your running speed increases.
While the Pose Method requires the runner to pull their heels up vertically, ChiRunning has you pick up your heels behind you in a much more natural swinging motion.
Have you tried ChiRunning? Has it helped you improve your running? Tell me in the comments.