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ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running
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ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  6,860 ratings  ·  491 reviews
Join the hundreds of thousands of people who are now running without injury or pain using the ChiRunning method. This new edition is fully updated with fresh insights and innovative training techniques from one of the sport's leading voices. Danny Dreyer teaches us how to heal and prevent injuries and also to run faster, farther, and with much less effort at any age or abi ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Fireside Books (first published 2004)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  6,860 ratings  ·  491 reviews

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Jan 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Riku Sayuj
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, running
Trying out Dreyer's tips and focuses. So far so good :)
Will update after a couple of months on progress.
With Danny Dreyer :)
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No matter if you want to learn and apply all chi running aspects or just some of it, it is very much worth listening to/reading this and giving it a try to see how it works for yourself. Even without much practice I noticed some immediate improvement in my running performance. But it is not a quick fix. Quite a bit of practice is necessary. This audio CD is great in teaching how to do it and can be used over and over again to practice even while out for a run. It is a great resource to improve m ...more
Jun 30, 2011 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
Jennifer McMillin
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 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
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
Started reading this one the week before I sprained my ankle... running... looks like I need more CHI in my RUNNING!
Bethany Piggott
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5*. Some good information, but poorly written. But turns out I will read anything if it will help me run without shin splints. 🙃
Glenn Burnside
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sarabjeet Singh
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book, in the beginning only I realized, running is way bigger art than we all think it is and if we run in a natural way having a proper form, we won't be complaining about running injuries. I purposefully took few months to finish this book and if you're planning to read it, I recommend the same to you. Read few pages daily. Try to adapt each point mentioned and go ahead.

PS: Obviously practicing and bringing correct form into habit will take some time, and you might
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
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 04, 2012 added it
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
Vinit Nayak
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 09, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jane Lebak
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book, which explains how you can run in harmony with your body, and with nature. A major point of this book, which I found quite odd once I thought about it is that very few of us who are joggers were ever taught how to run. Danny Dreyer describes the importance of poster and flow in running, and busts the myth that we have to stop running after we are 50-something once our knees wear out. I have gifted this book to about 6-7 good friends who are runners and often also include ...more
Brandon Dukes
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book provided the structure for which I will now begin to train for ultra-distance running. Running form stands alone as the single greatest way to improve upon mile time and recovery. Though I wish I would have found this book when I was just starting, I'm fortunate that I accepted short-term set back for long-term gain. My running is in it's adolescence and I look forward to the future. If you find yourself wanting to take your running to the next level, or powering through a list of seem ...more
Dec 09, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Emlyn Lewis
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
"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 rated it really liked it
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.
Rebecca Rose
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Paul Westwood
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: health-wellness
Some good tips on form, relaxation, and checking in with your body while running. It's from 2003 so there's out of date information (e.g. That strength training is not beneficial to runners), and there's some lifestyle tips I found outrageous (e.g. eating organic is necessary; never snack between meals).
Jesse Sumrak
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book! I’m an ultramarathon runner who’s new to the game but has tasted success. But I got too anxious and excited by the sport and suffered a recurring injury. After reading this book and practicing the principles, I feel like I’m on the path to recovery and returning to the game. The form and focuses of this book just make running feel right...the way it’s supposed to.
Danny Schiff
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
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 have tried incorporating aspects of chi running in to my daily runs since.
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You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
42 likes · 19 comments
“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.” 2 likes
“does not hurt your body. It’s the way you run that does the damage and causes pain.” 1 likes
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