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Just to provide a bit of balance, I bought the book and did the workshop, and have to say I was disappointed. In fact, I recently threw the book out having decided it wasn't something I was ever going to consider referring to again...
HOWEVER, I know that if I hadn't gone, I'd still be wondering if it would be the injury-preventing miracle that I needed. So I'm glad I went to find out that it wasn't (if that makes any sense!).
I've done pretty much what Daymoin has done - read both chi-running and Born to Run. Both books were excellent in helping me run with a more efficient style. Once you get to understand the principle of chi-running its fairly easy to put into practice, and I feel much stronger and above all quicker.
And Daymion is right about Born To Run - I don't think I've read a more entertaining book in a long time. The runners featured are all great characters, and the book is written with a mix of humour, education and an element of suspense as it climaxes with the race the book builds up to right from the start - a great read.
I was very injury prone and running in shoes with a lot of support. I used the book, changed the way I run and now mid-foot strike and run in lightweight shoes with no problems. Well, that's not strictly true. I still have the same ITB problem but now it doesn't occur until I hit about 40-45 miles and I don't run that far very often
I'm sure the workshop is great but if you don't have £100 to spend then please don't think you can't do it with just the book.
After reading the book I did a London workshop (with Mitch) - sometimes you get a better grasp on things seeing it - a bit like reading a book & watching the film.
Yes a bit expensive but one of my best investments in running I`ve ever done. Everyone is different thou.
(There is a DVD you can buy)
The books only a fiver from amazon so I bought that, it's a bit overly spiritual and such for me but the technique makes sense and theres some good info in there. I find the best tips for good technique are from barefoot kenbobs website (even if you wear shoes).
I found the main points are:-
-concentrate on bending your knee to lift your foot, but not lifting your knee
-push your hips forward and down
-lean slightly from the ankle
-run tall, run soft
You can learn it from the book and by using a mirror and practising your posture, I think. And the book is less than a tenner which is pretty cheap!
But I did get a lot from the workshop. It was great to have the time to work on it properly, get feedback and have the time and space to put it all together, see how it is meant to feel when you're doing it right! £100 is a lot of money for me too, I don't have cash to throw about! But it's not a lot more than the average pair of running shoes, which you have to replace. And it's cheaper than the orthotics you might need when you get injured lol.
I think the "chi" part of chirunning is offputting for a lot of people. And I can see why. There's plenty of people who don't buy into the whole "energy flow" and chi thing - which is fine, I don't think I do either! But happily they ignored that at the workshop and concentrated on the practical application and technique. I still think anyone could benefit from it, without subscribing to the chi stuff. It's just a running technique based on good posture and not slamming your heels into the ground.
Chirunning day 1.
Muscular effort: Minimal
Cardio workout: Maximal
Notes: Nearly drowned in my own sweat
Agree with YorksLass. Chi part can be off putting. I don't know about anyone else but it makes me run hell of a lot faster
My heart and lungs can't keep up wit the rest of my body LOL
Oh good I'm glad to hear that - must mean I'm not getting it completely wrong then
If I continue like this with my marathon training I will either
1. Get super fit
2. Die doing my long runs!
Interested to hear about the heart and lungs, needing to shorten stride bit.....me too! Not having done one of the courses though I wasn't sure I was just getting it wrong!
Totally agree with the comments about the Chi/Yoga/Energy flow etc. I tend to believe in the energy flow side of things from a quantum mechanics view point, but you certainly don't need to in order to benefit from changing your running style.
I'm training as a Chi Running Instructor and have come across countless life changing testimonials about the technique from those who invested a lot of time in learning the technique.
Many people find that they find running involves much less effort and also reduces impact, thefore injury. That's got to be good, hasn't it?!!