Danny Dreyers’ Advice on Learning ChiRunning

Danny has a great article on his website on how you should begin the process of learning ChiRunning. Well worth reading and practicing. Read and print this out. This will help you with your focuses this week.

The first time you head out for a run, you’ll be taking TINY, tiny steps…not really running, but moving forward doing one one-legged posture stances after another. Every time your foot lands, your weight is supported by that foot, and you are in a one-legged posture stance.

ChiRunning :: Library Article

Run with mindfulness,


Steve and Gary’s RunCall 4


Sorry we didn’t get the link out about the show so you could listen live. But we did have Janet call in from the Beach Runners and so we were able to ask Janet some great questions about her learning process with ChiRunning. Scroll below for Janet’s race report about her Podium finish.
The topic of the show was OVERSTRIDING. And how most runners swing their legs too much in front of them which causes a variety of injuries especially knee pain.

Listen to the show and learn many tips on how to SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE. Steve and I agree, this is the one of the most, if not the most important part of learning ChiRunning.

EVENT: Steve and Gary’s RunCall 4

Great article on how to live with more courage!

No matter how difficult it may seem, make the choice to live consciously. Do not succumb to that half-conscious realm of fear-based thinking, filling your life with distractions to avoid facing what you feel in those silent spaces between your thoughts. Either exercise your human endowment of courage and progressively build the strength to face your deepest, darkest fears to live as the powerful being you truly are, or admit that your fears are too much for you, and embrace life as a mouse. But make this choice consciously and with full awareness of its consequences. If you are going to allow fear to win the battle for your life, then proclaim it the victor and forfeit the match. If you simply avoid living consciously and courageously, then that is equivalent to giving up on life itself, where your continued existence becomes little more than a waiting period before physical death – the nothing as opposed to the daring adventure.

The Courage to Live Consciously by Steve Pavlina

Warrior Workouts and Trail Running

Halfway Straight Up Taxman in PV, That’s Matt Pushing Forward

Want a warrior workout, trail run with Gary or I. The number 1 reason to learn ChiRunning® from us is because we put it to use everyday. Gary’s Tuesday Night Trail Run and Power Yoga tops the charts. When you look at the picture above, know that this is what a warrior workout is all about, learning to make it to the top of a super steep, long uphill with loose rocks.

You can work hard or ChiRun and work smart, its your choice. And don’t let this scare you. We have other trails that aren’t so difficult starting out of the same location. Everybody has to start somewhere. We thought about this and have a safe and fun way to get you going or really challenge you.

“Tough Races in Beautiful Places” that’s our motto.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Certified ChiRunning/ChiWalking® Instructor and Trail Running Instructor

Janet’s Gardena 5000 5K Race Report

Janet (Chi Beach Runner) with her AG medal and trophy

A little history
I’m actually a tennis player that happens to run for endurance. I’m not a fast runner, just your average middle of the pack plodder. Two years ago, I tore a muscle in my playing arm. I was sidelined, I couldn’t play, what was I going to do? I ran. So, I decided, why not take this running a little more seriously and started to enter in some long distance races. I didn’t become a ChiRunner till November of last year.

Okay, here’s the report
On Sunday, June 10th, while the 4 Beach Runners warriors did the Ultra marathon, I did a wimpy little 5K, the Gardena 5000. I’ve been running this race for years. I PR’d it once in my younger days. But, as time marched on, I was never able to match or break that time of 27:18. A torn synovial tissue in the ankle and knee surgery didn’t help matters either. I didn’t know what kind of running I was doing, I just ran. All I remembered was by the time I got to mile 2 I was tired. I had to walk, my knees hurt, and I struggled to get to the finish line. Even when I actually saw the finish line, I couldn’t muster any energy to get me there any faster. And I ached for days.

Now armed, or legged, with a couple of months of ChiRunning, I now know how to run efficiently. I went into this 5K race with no expectations, just wanted to finish in a decent time. I really didn’t train for this. I just did what was on our marathon training schedule, run on Tuesday, Thursday and the long run on Saturday.

And we’re off
With my meditation and body looseners done, I visualized what I wanted to do: finish under 30 minutes, do negative split around the mile and a half point.

So, with my plan and focused attention, I headed towards the start area and found my position in the middle somewhere. After the Boy Scout’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, we were off. With the crowd and congestion, and no where to go, I had to keep a slow pace.

By mile 1, I was able to get into my stride. I had to keep reminding myself to relax the shoulders (Gary’s tip) and to keep my posture up, no slouching (yes, Steve). Soooo much to think about, and that’s why I don’t wear my headphones anymore.

Heading into 1.5 mile mark, it was time to put my plan into action, do a negative split, our favorite words. I leaned a bit more, relaxed the hips and just felt my feet fly off the ground. What a sensation! I peeked at my Garmin and it showed that I was doing 7-8 minute miles. Wow, I only go that fast when I’m running downhill.

Home stretch
As I approach the last mile, I kept up with the pace and focused a lot on relaxing and letting gravity do its thing. I was actually passing other runners.

With only 10 feet to go, 2 runners, darn teenagers, don’t they respect their elders, passed me. Did I make it less than 30 minutes? Yes. But the biggest surprise is that I placed 2nd in my age division. I was so jazzed. My first trophy in running. I’m still smiling. Had I known 1st place was within ONE minute, I would have planted myself on the start line.

But, I’m totally happy with what I accomplished. Last year I placed 7th. So to come back this strong is really a great feeling plus I’m not sore like I was last year.

I did it even after running 8.5 miles the day before. It’s really a humbling experience.

All of this couldn’t have happened without the ChiRunning techniques and the coaching. As I mentioned before, I attended Steve and Gary’s retreat in Palos Verdes in November and again in April of this year. These retreats rock! If you are thinking about signing up for the retreats, do it. No, the coaches didn’t pay me to advertise for them. It really does help. It’s helped me in all of my half marathons; I’ve been shaving minutes off of each race I finish. Steve videotapes you and sits down with you and points out what improvement you need. I especially liked the wine, cheese and crackers afterwards.

Now, I’m an official Beach Runners, training for the Long Beach Marathon. This will be my first full marathon. I’ve met a lot of great people in this group, so supportive and upbeat. I am hoping to use all these experiences not only to finish the Long Beach marathon but to also finish the 2008 Goofy Race and Half challenge in Orlando. For those of you who are wondering what it is, it’s a half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday. I may be crazy enough to do the 5K on Friday also. I’ll really be goofy by then.

Janet, A humble Chi Beach Runners disciple

Steve’s Coaching, ChiRunning® and the Beach Runners in a Feature Article in Outside Magazine

Check Out the Full Page Article on Steve’s Coaching, ChiRunning® and the Beach Runners, Page 68

That’s right, the nationally renown Outside Magazine has a full page article on Steve’s Coaching, ChiRunning® and the Beach Runners. Written by the “Lab Rat” Nick Heil the article gives is account of training with the Beach Runners last January.

Before I go any farther, thank you Larry Rosenwinkel, new ChiRunning® Instructor – in training – for getting this started. He just finished the ChiRunning® Instructor training in Dublin last week and is going to be an awesome ChiRunning® Instructor.

It was a beautiful day on the So Cal Coast, with perfect 360-degree views of my favorite city, Los Angeles and all it has to offer.

When Nick was planning this trip he informed me he was coming out, he was a little worried about keeping up and going for 2+ hours. To be honest I was too. I was coming of my herniated disc injury and my left leg and foot were still not at full strength and numb. I want Nick to get the whole Beach Runner and ChiRunning® experience and tried not to let my nervousness and lack of training show. I was nervous because it had been 4 months since I had run that far and not knowing how my back would handle it.

I started out the way I always do, teaching the ChiRunning posture from chapter 4 in the book. Nick is a good athlete and caught on quickly. We started out heading for the hills of Palos Verdes. These trails are tough and perfect training for any marathon or endurance run.

When go on the trail and a group of us stayed together as everyone listened to my ChiRunning® tips. We were going at a good clip. Then it was time to turn around, downhill, this is ChiRunners shine.

The group split up. I took it slow to protect my back. Nick and I ran the last 6 miles in together and continued to work on his form. He got the feeling and that’s what we try to teach. It is really all about learning the feeling.

Once at the park I lead a fun flow yoga class under big tree on the San Pedro cliffs. We finished and some of us went to breakfast. What a great way to start a Saturday. Nick and I said good-bye and I wished him luck in his upcoming race, the Mt. Taylor Quadathlon in New Mexico.

He did an excellent job explaining ChiRunning® in his article. It is worth the read and Outside magazine is offers great information that excites and motivates people like Gary and I. Look for the article on page 68 of the new July 07, issue of Outside Magazine, on newsstands now.

The Beach Runners Enjoying Some Breakfast With Outside Magazine Writer Nick Heil (center in blue)

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Certified ChiRunning/ChiWalking® Instructor

Amma’s In Town This Thursday

I didn’t check early enough so I am going to try to move things to make it work, this Thursday, June 21 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045 starting at 7:00 for Devi Bhava then Darshan at 8:00 PM. I plan on getting there around 6:00 PM. To read more about Amma’s public program Click Here and Email Steve about hooking up before, during or after. It could be a long night, so be prepared.

I am looking forward to this hug!

Steve Mackel, Humble hugee

Thank You Dad

My Dad, My Coach and Inspiration

I know it looks like I copied Gary because now I have a Father’s Day post up yet it really shows how similar we think. Neither of us talked about it and we have three new posts ready to go on top of it.

My post is similar yet very different than Gary’s. I thank God for my dad. Most of who I am is because of him. My family is a family of four boys. My mom did her best trying to keep us in line but my dad was the enforcer. When we got wild he took control of the situation. He would put us back in line.

At the same time he really fostered our athletic skills. Unlike Gary’s dad, I don’t remember him ever working out yet he coached all our sports team when we were growing up. I played every sport: Baseball, football, basketball, swimming, track and he had me on a bike as soon as I was ready. I still remember the training wheels. Then he would fix our bikes and show us how to do it ourselves. My brothers and I rode everyday.

I remember when I was in seventh grade, he bought me a ten-speed bike. It was Dutch made and really special. The other kids had heavy Schwinnn Varsity’s. My bike was a lite, racing bike. We lived on a hill so my mom was scared of me riding to school; flying downhill on busy streets. She was probably right because I had some close calls with cars but I was developing my bike handling skills at an early age. I also had a dirt bike and we rode on the trails in the hills. We would ride over the Santa Monica Mountains towards the beach on single speed bikes. We looked for jumps and would fly downhill. This was long before shocks were put on bikes. I had so much fun riding.

I owe my athletic mindset and skills to my dad. As a coach, he pushed me to be the best and always had faith in me when the game was on the line. He told me to look forward to those moments and would put me at bat or give me the ball in those moments. I usually did well. I learned so much.

Now that I think about it, I have really followed in my father’s footsteps. He was a coach and now I am a coach. He worked hard developing skills in all the kids on his teams and cared deeply about their welfare. I hope I show that same care.

I owe a lot to him. So, even though it is couple of days late, “Thank you dad, I love you. I feel very fortunate for all the experiences you allowed me. Let’s see if I can do the same great job you did.”

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Beach Runners

Giving the Gift of Fitness for Father’s Day

My Dad climbing PV Drive East

Normally on Fathers Day my father and I go fishing with my brothers. Getting the boys together like this is becoming increasingly difficult due to my brothers having children of their own now.

So this Sunday I decided to take my father out bike riding. My father has always been a fitness idol of mine. As a young man he could run the 100 yard dash in 11-12 seconds. He was a star winger on a rugby team. He has kicked my ass in Judo numerous times.

He was a runner for years. Primarily focusing on 10K’s. At forty years old he ran a 36 minute 10K. That is smoking fast. My best time is 42 minutes (but that will be shattered this year).

For over ten years he did a Cardio Commute 3 or 4 days a week to work. He would ride his bike from Palos Verdes to El Segundo and back. He’d be riding in the dark at 5 a.m. in order to make it before work, while I was snoozing away in my bed. I struggle to do one Cardio Commute a week right now.

So this Fathers Day I recommended we go bike riding. Since retiring, he has not been so good about working out. He did come to my Power Yoga class a few times, but it might have been a little too much for him. He had excuses Sunday morning about his back, fitness level, yada yada.

To give the gift of fitness, you sometimes have to be forceful. “Dad, we’re going bike riding.” Halfway on the ride, coming up to Palos Verdes Drive East, with a 3 mile sustained uphill, he tells me…

“I’m not riding up that hill.”

“Dad, you can do it. Low gears, keep your head up, and lots of breathing.”

And you know what? We did it. A steep 3 mile uphill climb with views of the ocean, the golf course, the LA basin. We laughed about his fitness level at times, but he hung in there like a warrior and did the ride.

We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon together, watching some boring golf on TV, and I got crushed in tennis by my overly competitive younger brother Jason.

I took the dog and my two year old nephew for a long walk also. Well my nephew didn’t walk, he ran. The whole time. He didn’t even let me help him up down the concrete steps on the way. Another athlete in the making. My brother has spent many hours pushing him up TRAILS in an offroad baby jogger.

As I left that day, we shook hands, and I could tell the gratitude and love in his voice as he said goodbye. Like dogs need a walk every day, we humans need to get out, use your legs, breath deeply, and cover some ground. It was nice to be of service to so many people’s fitness this weekend. To help my father like this, to teach a yoga class at Beach Runners to over 100 people, to get on a RunCall tonight and inspire others to be fit and healthy: I am trying to make a difference.

So athletes when you get up at 5 a.m, go running or riding, while the rest of the house sleeps…

you are creating karmic fitness for your whole family. The family is watching and admiring. And even if they are not following your lead immediately, the message is being sent.

Thanks Dad…for showing me the way. I’m just returning the gift.

I love you,



(Evan, Kaiden, and Kelsea enjoying post workout recovery cones)

Steve and Gary’s RunCall 3


Steve and Gary are doing their SoCalRunning.com RunCall tonight @6 p.m.
We will answer questions that our listeners send in about….
marathon training
injury prevention
or any other fitness topic you’d like to ask
EVENT:  Steve and Gary’s RunCall 3
DATE & TIME: Monday, June 18th at 6:00pm Pacific
FORMAT: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast — it’s your choice)

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