I WonderedMight ChiRunning Improve My Form?
After our session, I called two triathletes I know and asked them about the ChiRunning workshops they took a few years ago (the workshops, held around the country, now cost $225 for a daylong session; Dreyer's website at www.chirunning.com has a schedule). After showing little improvement and becoming such a running grump that his wife told him to find a new hobby, Frank Lee says he's enjoying the sport again, thanks both to the technical tips and the chi philosophy. "It made me focus more on the mechanics and purity of the running," he tells me. Fellow Houstonite Mark Seale, who says his running form could never have been described as efficient, says the eastern philosophy angle left him cold but that the technical tips were invaluable. "For the same effort, I'm not necessarily a lot faster, but at the end of the run, I'm not nearly as tired," he says.
I find on my recent runs that I'm breathing more steadily, relaxing my shoulders, legs, and glutes, and focusing on keeping my elbows in and back. But the deeper philosophy behind ChiRunning hasn't yet grabbed me. And I'm still running to the beat of Britney.