chirunning book and dvd

If I could go back in time, the first thing I’d do is buy Google stock on the cheap right after their IPO so I would be rich now. But the second thing I would do is order a ChiRunning DVD so that I could have prevented all my past running injuries!

Earlier this spring I learned about a program called Chi Running from ultra-marathoner Danny Dreyer, and I have been putting it to the test ever since.

What is it? ChiRunning is a revolutionary new way to run that lets you run with less effort and (I love this part) allows you to avoid injury! I know, it sounds too good to be true. But I have been using it for over a month and I can say that this is the real deal!

My History with Running

Before we get into the review, I want to give you a quick recap of my past running experience.

I started running track in high school, and I had played sports beforehand, plus I did lots of running from ‘here to there’ growing up. I was very active, but despite all the running I did, I never thought about running. Running was always just a part of something else. Whether it was running down the field for a touchdown or sprinting up to the pit for a pole vault, running was just a means to an end.

All that time, I never worked on my form. I don’t think my form was ever very good at all, but I heard different things from different people, and didn’t know what to believe.

One piece of advice that I’ll always remember is when a coach once said “don’t slap your feet so hard.” Well, believe it or not, I wasn’t slapping my feet for the pleasure of it! That’s kind of like saying “hey, run with better form.” If I knew how to use better form, don’t you think I’d use it?

The only thing I could do was run faster with a longer stride hoping my weight wouldn’t all come down on my forward “slapping” foot. But I still hit pretty hard no matter what, and I definitely had a heel strike, which is not very good for your body. (Another piece of advice I got was “land on your heels, it’s like a cushion for the rest of your body” – but my experience differs.)

Somehow, despite numerous injuries from my poor form, I went on to race 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, and even a full marathon without doing anything about my poor form. I just thought running beat you up no matter what since it was an impact sport, so I continued in the cycle of run, get injured, rest, and start over again that seemed to happen to everyone.

Until now…

How ChiRunning Is Different

ChiRunning takes the typical “power running” style that nearly everyone uses and throws it out the window! Instead of focusing on building bigger leg muscles so you can push off faster, ChiRunning focuses on relaxing your muscles and moving from your core, which lets you run easier and even use gravity to your advantage.

It incorporates concepts from T’ai Chi and at first it might sound like some hocus-pocus, but give it a try and you’ll be hooked! (Don’t worry, there are also scientific principles behind each and every ChiRunning movement.) Once I learned the method and the reasoning behind it, I became a believer.

Think about this: You know how Kenyans always win the prestigious marathons? Well, Kenyans are pretty small, and their legs are much smaller than most American’s. So how do they carry themselves 26.2 miles on those legs, let alone do it faster than everyone else?

It’s their form! They have mastered proper running form, so they don’t need big leg muscles to win a race. Their form is just so efficient.

So what do you think? Do you want to continue focusing on big leg muscles and treating injuries, or do you want to improve your form and kiss injuries goodbye?

ChiRunning – The Book and DVD Combo

Now you have an idea of what ChiRunning is all about. So let’s look at what you get with their products… (We’ll focus on the DVD to start with.)

The DVD is about an hour long, and it starts by covering the concepts of Chi Running, then it gets into drills and lessons to help you learn proper form and technique. At the end, you can put these lessons together and go running!

The DVD is great because you actually get to see proper running form, and it’s easy to understand all the drills considering you are watching other people do them right there in front of your eyes. It’s second only to an actual class where Danny Dreyer watches you and tells you exactly what to do (and how to do it).

Another nice feature is how the DVD menus work – you can skip to whatever drill you want to practice on a given day without wasting time.

I think this DVD is the best running coach I’ve ever had!

As for the book, it contains everything from the DVD, but in written form. It includes diagrams, which are great, and it goes into greater detail about each piece of ChiRunning. It also includes a lot of extra information for racing, running hills, and other scenarios. (It’s 200+ pages, so yeah, there’s a lot in there!)

ChiRunning DVD Screenshots

Here are some screenshots to give you an idea of what you’ll see in the DVD…

The DVD starts with some nice nature scenes. Here’s Danny Dreyer running past a waterfall:

chirunning danny dreyer running

It includes lessons, which are demonstrated as seen here:

chirunning group exercise

Then it points out correct posture, alignment, etc:

chirunning foot placement

And shows you what incorrect and correct movements look like:

chirunning in sand

How about checking out a class with Danny Dreyer himself?

chirunning class in california

Want to see more? Watch the trailer for the DVD:

Getting Started with ChiRunning

If there’s one more question, it’s “how long does it take to learn ChiRunning?”

That’s a good question, and the answer is surely different for everyone. I was able to put ChiRunning to use in my first run after watching the DVD, and I would improve each run. After watching the DVD a few more times, practicing a few more drills, and reading some of the book, I think I’m doing pretty good with the main principles.

(I only run a couple times per week and I’ve only had the program for a little over a month… but one of my typical training runs has progressed from 4 miles and being pretty sore afterwards to 5 miles at a faster pace and feeling fine and dandy afterwards. I’m impressed!)

If you’re already a good athlete, you will probably pick it up pretty quick, especially if you understand good posture and have strong core muscles. If you’re a beginner, it might take longer, but a ChiRunning survey showed the majority of customers made noticeable improvements within a month.

The beautiful thing is, even though I’m already happy with the improvements I’ve made, I know I have a long way to go before I truly master ChiRunning. That means there is still potential for me to be running faster and longer!

My final verdict is…

This definitely gets the CoachLevi.com seal of approval. I highly recommend ChiRunning for any runner, but especially for people who are dealing with or are worried about getting injured.

If you are a professional runner with perfect form, this might not help you, but for the other 99% of the population, trying ChiRunning is the best thing you could do for your running and for your body. I really can’t give this a high enough recommendation. It drastically improved my running within a month, with quite a few improvements after just one run. Perfecting the technique will take a long time, but it’s worth it.

If you want to improve your running, run faster, have more fun when you run, or reduce injuries, I highly recommend picking up the ChiRunning DVD today. The book is great, too, although you can get a good start with the DVD. (Best bet – buy both together and save a few dollars.)

Official website: www.ChiRunning.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: ChiRunning
Product: Chi Running Program DVD
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-06-12
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. Thanks for the information and taking time to write the review!

    Amy
    RunnersLounge.com

  2. Glad to help Amy. There was a lot of testing for this review but it turned out to be one of the most useful products I’ve ever tried!

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