Chi Running

Chi Running, developed by Danny Dreyer almost 20 years ago, when done properly, can provide years of happy, pain free and energy efficient running to last a lifetime!   In Chi Running there is a purpose to every movement and the biomechanics of every body part determines how that body part is utilized.  The running style fosters a deeper understanding of the self, as Chi Running creates the conditions for constant communication with the self – always sensing what the body is thinking, feeling and doing.  Discomfort has great importance when Chi Running because when something hurts, it’s an indication that running form needs to be adjusted and corrected.  A Chi Runner honors and cooperates with the forces of nature – gravity and the force of the oncoming road.  As with life in general, when we cooperate with the forces of nature instead of opposing them, love and success can be achieved.

In 2004, Danny published “Chi Running” and since then, people worldwide can attest to how Chi Running has changed their life. He certifies instructors around the globe to bring this technique to others.  Chi Running technique includes four basic components:  Posture and Alignment; Ankle lift and Chi Walking; Lean and Arm Swing.  In Chi Running, you never lift your knees, you always lift our ankles and you are focused on a full-foot strike, maintaining a consistent cadence of 180 strikes/minute. Speed goals are achieved by creating the conditions for speed to occur – a beautiful and graceful stride in perfect alignment and form.  In Chi Running, a person cooperates with the force of gravity and the oncoming road in that your body is always in a lean from the ankles and your ankles/feet are always moving rearward in a circular motion.  Pelvic rotation is essential and there are other subtle nuances to the running form.  Strength comes from the core of the body in which the lower abdominal muscles are always engaged, while the rest of the body, especially the extremities, are relaxed.  In Chi Running, bones, ligaments and tendons do the work while the muscles are relaxed.  This not only minimizes the potential for injury, it is energy efficient.  Running in Chi-form allows one to feel freedom, incredible fluidity, graceful motion and a clear sense of mind, body and spirit connection.

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Maryann Roefaro is my mother.  A couple of years ago, I was not an avid runner, but when I heard my mom speaking the chi-running language, I'll admit, I was intrigued. Most of the time, I only jogged because I didn't want to mess anything up so to speak. I was apprehensive since I didn't really know much about running in general. When we started to run together, she kinda drove me nuts!  It would stress me out having her constantly respond to my running technique and remind me of the form focuses. 

After awhile, though, I began to see how Chi Running was improving my running form, speed and enthusiasm.  Now she is often the voice in my head when I run, “Check in with your abs – lift your crown to the sky – don’t bend at the waist – find that sweet spot when you lean – feel the tripod at the bottom of your feet – can you feel the pelvic rotation – keep that upper body going straight ahead - lift those ankles .. lift .. lift .. lift!” I’ve grown to love Chi Running and now I love when my mom and I run together. Yes – she’s often the voice in my head, but then again, she is my mom and I love her!