Evanston Public Library's Reviews > ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running

ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer
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May 23, 2011

bookshelves: nonfiction

About two years ago, I read a book called ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer. Before I read the book, like a lot of people, I assumed that if I didn’t look like I was working, then I wasn’t running correctly. With my face squished into a determined grimace, and my body tense, I ran hard for thirty minutes on the treadmill. Bouncing up and down, I pounded up my imaginary mountain four mornings a week. Within two weeks of doing this, my ankles hurt, I had shin splints, and I was discouraged. I took a break. Later, I bought new shoes with special inserts, and tried it again. My ankles still hurt. I took another break, slowed down and ran outside on flat ground. I still hurt. Unfortunately, running was still painful, and I resigned myself to thinking that some people were not designed to run.

In 2009, ChiRunning appeared on the new book shelf of my library. I flipped through the book and was intrigued. Apparently I was running incorrectly. Who knew? Instead of leading with my legs and allowing my heel to strike the ground first, I should be running in a more forward, yet upright, position. With the flow of a Tai Chi routine, I should be allowing gravity to do most of the work. My heels, instead of slamming into the ground, should delicately follow as the middle of my foot stuck the ground first. Although Mr. Dreyer did not push for new or different shoes, he did suggest that shoes with less padding under the heels help runners achieve proper form.

After reading the book and gradually increasing my walking/running intervals and being much more present when I was running, I managed to avoid all the injuries I had acquired previously. I don’t claim to be a great runner, but since I read the book, I’ve enjoyed running more.
(Juliette S.)
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