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Chirunning: A Training Program for Effortless, Injury-Free Running

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  5,262 Ratings  ·  412 Reviews
Imagine running like a child once again'effortless, free, boundlessly energetic, without injury or soreness. Ultramarathoner Danny Dreyer combines the wisdom of Tai Chi with the insights of a champion runner to present ChiRunning, a step-by-step audio program adapted from his popular book (Fireside, 2004) to help beginner, intermediate, or professional runners alike access ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Sounds True (first published 2004)
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Aug 07, 2009 trivialchemy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fitness
I'm reading this as a counterpoint to Dr. Nicholas Romanov's Pose Method of Running.


Imagine that you have invented a device which has two functions:

1. It selectively weakens one part of the human anatomy.
2. Whatever part that the device weakens, it also allows to function in its weakened state.

For example, this might be a sort of earpiece that gradually causes you to go deaf; however, so long as you continue to wear the earpiece, you maintain your faculties of hearing.

Obviously, no one would
Robin Ripley
Jul 01, 2010 Robin Ripley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fitness
I have always said I am not a natural runner--although I still try to run. But in just two weeks I feel like I may actually be able to run long distances someday.

Two mistakes I was making I was able to correct right away--breathing properly (longer counts using my nose and not my mouth) and shortening my pace. I will continue to experiment with the "lean." It seems a little strange to me, but I will say that this morning's run seemed a bit of a breakthrough in that regard. I think I may get it
Jennifer (Baker) McMillin
I hate to give this book such a bad rating because I think Dreyer is on to something here with injury prevention and running technique tips. BUT...I just can't get over the constant sales pitch and bad scientific method. Also the book is very repetitive and I could do without the first couple chapters. Overall, good info...bad storyteller.
Apr 17, 2012 Saraelizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book because I had hit a 3 mile wall with running. I would be out of breath and in pain at that point. Now I know I was using my muscles inefficiently, taking too big of strides, and had bad form. Ha ha.
This book has helped me a lot so far. I see it taking years to really implement everything. I do feel a greater ability to run farther and with less pain already. I like how Dreyer suggests running to "practice running" for the sake of being a better runner rather than to get fit, or
Nov 24, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book itself is good not great. However, the impact it has on my running is nothing short of a miracle. I consider myself an amateur runner. At 39, I thought it was time to fulfill my bucket list item; run a marathon. I was under-trained when I ran a half marathon in May 2012. I ended up injuring myself and suffered IT Band syndrome throughout the summer. During that time I read Born To Run and was intrigued to learn more about minimal or barefoot running style. That journey led me to Chi Run ...more
Jul 15, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite many shortcomings (including a ridiculous name), the information on running form and technique make it something special. I’ve been toying around with some of the suggestions for three weeks now, and I’ll fully admit the Dreyers hit on something important with this method. As a minimalist running convert, I’d even go so far as to say this book provided me with the missing piece I’ve needed to fully hit my stride. So two thumbs way up for the information, which I think would benefit the v ...more
Rachel Smalter Hall
As someone who started running moderately almost five years ago, I've been hungry for inspiration to take my training to the next level. Although I'm not that interested in running competitively or ultra-long distances, I'd been frustrated that my regular 5 - 10K runs still felt a little sluggish after all this time. I had a hunch that my self-taught form could could use a mega overhaul!

As I sought out titles on running--Bob Glover's The Runner's Handbook, Claire Kowalchik's The Complete Book of
Glenn Burnside
One of the people on my team at work loaned this to me because she knew I was trying to get back to running, and was struggling with a lot of tightness and soreness after my workouts. There's some good advice in this book, but it's interspersed with a LOT of success stories and bad scientific method. What I want from a guide like this is:
1)Why I'm telling you this stuff
2)What are the components to my program
3) Here is the program.

I think most of this book could have been boiled down to about 4 b
This book is not going to win any writing awards. Dreyer writes poorly, repeats himself, and has many poor metaphors and jokes. At times I found the book slightly painful to read, and had a hard time plowing through the chapters. Sometimes the book comes off as a commercial cult or pyramid scheme. He is constantly mentioning the website, his classes, other books, etc, etc.

But the information in the book is incredibly helpful. Dreyer gives advice on how to run with physical suggestions and metaph
Vinit Nayak
Jul 22, 2015 Vinit Nayak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I didn't technically finish this book since the last bit is a running plan which lays out how you should be going about applying all of the lessons taught in the earlier chapters.

I kind of just added each lesson into my running plan, applying a new technique every week or two and then proceeding to the next one once it felt like second-nature.

And it worked! I started reading this book because I started having really bad "runner's knee" injuries to where I couldn't run at all anymore an
A very informative book, one which you shouldn't just read from cover to cover and think "Wow, what awesome insights!" and then leave it in a bookshelf to collect dust. There is so much shared wisdom in here, so much to be learned and ingrained, that I feel it would do the novice or seasoned runner well to refer back to it once in a while.

In his friendly and conversant style, Danny Dreyer passes on sage advice to get the runner on track (no pun intended--although it might have a funny ring to it
Sep 12, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will definitely be re-reading this one. In fact, in the first chapter (or maybe the introduction?) he advises the reader to read it all the way through first, then go back and consult it for instruction on applying the technique, the form focuses, and all of the other principles of ChiRunning. I like the method for its troubleshooting-type approach: right technique is a process, not an achievement, so whenever something isn't working, or whenever an injury or a problem surfaces, consult your f ...more
Jane Lebak
Jul 03, 2015 Jane Lebak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did a read-through with a couple of runs while still reading. I haven't done any of the exercises, but I did try some of his techniques while running. The book is, to be honest, overwhelming in the sheer number of corrections, but I also think he's dead-on with his suggestions. I'm going to have to work a bit more with this and revisit parts of the book. Fortunately there are several Youtube videos I can check out, so I won't be paying for the DVD. ;-) Well worth a read and some experimental r ...more
Emlyn Lewis
Ideal book for beginner runners or medium/ Pro Runners with injury issues.
Been running intensely on & off for 20 years now without too much injury issues, so found the book mildly interesting. Most of the book states the obvious about running form, basically repeating don't run like a duck (for 50 pages).
However the mindful approach I found interesting as my mind either concentrates on music in my head phones or meditating at anything other than what is happening here & now in my body.
Oct 06, 2008 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
This book presents a unique running philosophy with the purpose of conserving energy or "chi". The main points are to keep your body in column, lean forward from your ankles like a ski jumper, and to lift your feet and move them and your arms in a forward, circular "Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner" style. There is also some information on pacing and breathing. I've tried some of the techniques and have not felt comfortable with them, yet. There are several keys to remember and focus on during a run. ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Danny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chi Running was a reminder to stop, listen to your breath, check in with your form, and run intentionally, not destructively, I actually listened to this via the audio book version and tried incorporating aspects of chi running in to my daily runs since.
Paul Westwood
Dec 04, 2015 Paul Westwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Another one I didn't review at the time of reading but I can say this running style made my half marathon time 11 minutes quicker so it definitely works.
Some of the early sections were a bit dull because I just wanted to learn how to run differently and I never finished the later chapters because I'd learnt what I wanted by then but maybe that's more my fault than the writer's.
David Krohse
Mar 15, 2016 David Krohse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book instantly got rid of terrible shin splints, and turned me into a runner. It's not especially well written in my memory of it but the information was priceless for me.
Amilee Hodge
Aug 30, 2015 Amilee Hodge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm 45 and have been running for 15 plus years. Off and on I've suffered a few injuries, from shin splints to ITBS to achilles tendinitis. But after suffering plantar fasciitis for the first time last year, I decided enough is enough. I finally admitted to myself, I wasn't running correctly. Several google searches consistently led me to Chi Running technique so I went ahead and bought the latest publication of Danny's book. Best time spent as a runner. As I was still recovering, I read the chap ...more
Jan 05, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
Have to come back to this one -- it was much more technical than I expected, so having it for a week from the library meant I could actually put it into real practice. I'm trying some of the techniques out (the lean, midfoot-striking), especially because I'm interested in bare-foot running and am trying to get more milage in on my Vibram Bilkas. I like what I tried, but would probably have to buy a copy to get any deeper.
May 05, 2016 Tinea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: various-skills
I am giving this a preliminary three stars, knowing that as I run and apply the principles and techniques in this book, the rating may go up or down depending on how useful they feel.

As other commentators have said, this book could easily be called Yoga Running or Mindful Running or reference any other practice of paying attention to your body, meditation, and postural alignment. Dreyer rooted his running style in Chi because he is a student of Tai Chi, but the book loses some universality by no
Feb 05, 2008 Kipahni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Make your work day a moving meditation"- a quote from the book.
This book has some amazing tips on how to run the most effective and enjoyable way. Since implementing the chi form of running I have been able to run longer distance and add more endurance. The only down side is that I wished it came with a DVD so that one could see the form in action.
Feb 23, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always avoided running, but have wanted to figure out how I could 'run and not be weary'. When I realized that I was holding my breath it was like a light bulb went on "hey, maybe I can run!" I don't run far or fast, but I feel that because of the tips in this book I am learning to run and enjoy the experience.
Apr 06, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by an experienced runner after finishing one of my first 5k's about three years ago. Admittedly, the ChiRunning technique/book was a bit advanced for me at the time. I was new to the sport and completely overwhelmed in that race. Dreyer's advice ultimately made me think about running economically, leaning forward, hills (I say chop, chop, chop - often out loud - as I follow the author's recommendation to shorten my stride up hills), and body alignment. In short, I ...more
Rebecca Rose
Dec 18, 2011 Rebecca Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! I feel like it gave me a lot of good advice on how to turn running into something I "practice" and has really helped me come to love running. That is something I NEVER thought would happen. The only downside is I'm going to have to read the book 1000 times to get everything out of it.
Denise Mamaril
Mar 06, 2015 Denise Mamaril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this one a five star rating for the concrete advice on how to make a lifetime of running possible without injury if not for the fact that I had to slog through the incessant attempts to sell you on how much it works and how you should buy his dvd. That and I don't really buy into the concept of "chi" as presented.

That said, it does really seem to work. I've been working at evolving my running toward this concept for a number of months now (not knowing that's what I was doing) and ad
Jul 22, 2015 Vishal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The human body in motion is a beautiful thing. The way that our joints, muscles, and limbs have come to be what they are. When children run, they do so in a completely instinctual way, with perfect form. The problem is that as we grow older, we forget that form. This book is about how to get your running form back. How to run in a more natural way to minimize energy/muscle usage and more importantly injuries. It's about how the human body was meant to move. It's about how to let the Chi take ove ...more
Ben Wenzel
Jul 12, 2009 Ben Wenzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a combination of eastern philosophy with biomechanics. All I can say is that this book has allowed me to be a 275lb man running nearly every day pain-free. I'm a fan of chi running.
Oct 19, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I could recommend this as a fun, easy read. It was a bit like reading a sales pitch at first and when I'd read it at night I'd fall right to sleep! But the tips are fantastic. In the past few weeks I've started incorporating one focus at a time; the mid-foot landing, the lean, picking up my feet, pushing back my elbows.

Just one month ago I was running 12 minute miles, winded, and one of my knees was starting to hurt. Today I can run 10 minute miles without any undue pressure on my
Feb 03, 2013 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Learn to love running!!
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“If you’re short of breath, it’s not because you aren’t breathing in enough—it’s because you’re not breathing out enough.” 0 likes
“does not hurt your body. It’s the way you run that does the damage and causes pain.” 0 likes
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