Chi Running Shoe: Mid Foot Strike New Balance Shoe is Here!

ChiRunning: How to Learn Chi Running

How to Learn ChiRunning
Thousands of runners across the world are learning ChiRunning every year.The ChiRunning book by Danny Dreyer has been the best selling running book for the last three years on

What is ChiRunning? And what is the best way to learn it? ChiRunning is a running form, system, and philosophy devised by Danny Dreyer. Danny was a longtime ultra marathoner. Ultra marathons are longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles with some races as long as 100 miles or more. So ultramarathoners have to very efficient in their running form in order to save energy.

Danny also took interest in Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese movement science based on the observations of how animals move. Animals move from their core and their spine with relaxed arms and legs…the principle of cotton and steel. So Danny combines his knowledge of ultra marathoning and Tai Chi into a running system he called ChiRunning.

He taught thousands of people across America how to run using these principles.In a recent study of 25,000 runners who have learned ChiRunning, over 90% say it has significantly reduced their running injuries and made running easier.So how do you best learn ChiRunning? As a three year instructor of ChiRunning personally certified by Danny Dreyer and with over a thousand satisfied clients, I ‘ve observed the best learning strategies used by runners.

1. Read the ChiRunning Book. 71% of runners surveyed said that they learned ChiRunning in part or whole from the book. Reading the book is important because you will learn the principles behind why ChiRunning works so well for reducing injuries and improving your running form. I recommend reading the book at least three times using a highlighter to mark important sections.

2. Do the Exercises in the ChiRunning Book. The ChiRunning book is filled with useful and essential exercises for the learning this running form. You must do the exercises…especially in chapter four. Do the exercises every day. That way you will build muscle memory so you begin doing Chi Running automatically.

3. Buy the ChiRunning DVD. You can buy the DVD off Danny’s website at In fact, they have an economical pack where you can buy the book, DVD, and metronome (highly recommended) at a great price. Watching the DVD is important as it gives you a visual image of what ChiRunning should look like. That way you can shoot for that every time you go running.

4. Go to a ChiRunning Workshop. There are ChiRunning workshops around the United States and now some in other countries. Going to a workshop with a certified instructor is probably the best way to learn ChiRunning. The reason is because a certified instructor will guide you step by step through all the exercises. You will learn how to do them correctly AND learn the Tai Chi principles behind every exercise. Then you will learn how to do the ChiRunning running form including alignment, posture, lean, mid foot strike, heel lift, and relaxation.Working with an instructor is a highly efficient and effective way to learn ChiRunning as you get immediate feedback from an instructor so you learn how to do the running form correctly. Sometimes you might be doing something wrong and you just can’t see or feel by yourself…that’s where a good instructor and teacher can shorten the learning curve.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice. Once you’ve learned the basics of ChiRunning through one of the methods above…then you must practice. You should practice ChiRunning every time you go to run. Run slowly at first, that way you can focus on making your running softer and easier without the distractions of speed and heavy breathing.Take your time, be patient, and you’ll learn this running form that is changing the way runners move across the world.Try it out and see if makes a difference the same way it has for thousands of people.

About the Author: Gary Smith is a certified ChiRunning instructor, yoga teacher, and marathon coach. He writes for the Internet, speaks to organizations, and teaches groups of all sizes how to make running an enjoyable part of your life. He can reached through his website at or through his email

Pacific Open Water Challenge ’08 – Post Race Interviews

I had just finished a 1 mile swim (that was longer than a mile), threw on my running shoes and hit the bike path and ran a 5k. Boy, I was tired after that swim and it showed in my run time. I still managed a podium spot but it is more about the finishing without a lot of specific training. Just training with the Beach Runners got me through

It was a great event, one to put on your calendar for next June. Watch this video. Comments welcome!

Race Focused, Steve Mackel USA Triathlon Coach

The ChiRunning River

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond…” Rumi

About four years ago I sat in my room crosslegged meditating.

Listening to a whirling dervish trance musical spin into the unconscious.

And this sense of direction of came into me…a simple tugging…a calling for my future.

I picked up the phone as I opened my eyes and called Danny Dreyer of ChiRunning.

And told him I wanted to be a ChiRunning instructor.

He didn’t think the meditation vision was weird either. Cool. My kind of teacher.

The training was in Manhattan Beach…if it was anywhere outside of Los Angeles…I don’t think I’d have even attended.

Then after the first session…we were all partnered up to teach the script.

My first partner was Steve Mackel. He shared how he needed some help setting up a ChiRunning marathon group in Long Beach.

Somehow the topic of Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill came up.

That book has guided me like many entrepreneurs through our lives.

There’s this real cool concept in there of the Mastermind Principle. The idea works like this…when a group of people get together with a common purpose of helping one another…a third energy is created.

Like another ‘mind’…maybe the presence of God…maybe the frequencies coming together…whatever it is…it is more powerful than us individually. Great empires and business have been built with partnerships, mentors, teachers…a combination of people.

So super successful people put themselves in this Mastermind energy. Because they know the power of it.

The success of Beach Runners has been through this Mastermind principle. Through the combination of a thousand conversations between Steve and I. Through the contribution of our long time mentors like Larry, Bob, Christy, Barb, and Janet and many others.

When we sit in prayer at the end of a yoga session I invite God to join us to protect us to guide us in health and safety across the finish line.

And through all of this…magic happens. Steve and I and Beach Runners have gotten over a thousand runners over the finish line of a marathon or half marathon.

We’ve coached hundreds of people at our ChiRunning workshops.

You’re all part of a lineage of teaching that comes down not just from us but from our teachers…Danny, Steve Ilg, Rosie Good, Eben Pagen, Desikachar, Josh Waitzkin so many to mention.

You would all freak out if you saw what Steve and I spend on OUR EDUCATION every year.

We know that every dollar we spend goes back to our people our tribe. It helps people like you cross the finish line. It helps us use a system of training that makes running easy and safe.

Our teachers have taught us to teach yoga to all of you. Yoga is over 6,000 years old. It is our honor and pleasure to share this with all of you.

I haven’t been writing much lately…for I have been studying from a new teacher.

But now it is time. Time to share these ideas…these discoveries.

I teach through this blog, through Beach Runners, but also at my trail run and yoga class

Please come. You’ll learn some fantastic things and you will grow.

God Bless


Beach Runners Training Program Video

This video was taken last Saturday as we just started our Spring/Summer Training session. Please click the play button and watch it. Now is the time to join! Learn how to join the program

Just email me and ask me any questions.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel Beach Runners Head Coach

Steve Teaches ChiRunning® Posture Techniques

ChiRunning® is hot with all the marathons coming up and people getting started for their fall marathons, I thought I treat you to a quick lesson on finding the proper ChiRunning® posture.

The Beach Runners Starts This Saturday! We have a ChiRunning® One hour workshop with the Beach runners in Long Beach this Saturday, 7:00 AM

Beach Runners Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program

Beach Runners Saturday Group run meets at Marina Vista Park in Long Beach (on Eliot St. near Colorado St. right by the end of Marine Stadium) Free parking on street or in Marine Stadium parking lot.
Find Location

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – MarathonTraining.TV Head Coach

ChiRunning is oriented towards long distances efficiency not speed…

This is because sprinters make up such a small subgroup of runners, that there was little need for the information. The ChiRunning technique is geared toward long distance running. Because if thi

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s, you’ll have to do some adjustments for faster running that are not in the book. With sprinting, there is much more emphasis on use of the upper body (arm swing and lean) during running. Any time you are running faster than is normally required from most human beings, there is a need for more muscle usage, which is opposite to all you’ll read about in the book. But if you can learn to make your running highly efficient at all times, then when you need to run at sprinting speeds you’ll become a very efficient short distance runner…which equates to speed.

Danny’s Blog

But if you practice the techniques, the improved efficiency will help you maintain your speeds for longer periods of time.

I just found Danny Dreyer’s blog on his website

Great information and well worth revisiting.

Blogged with Flock

ChiRunning® founder, Danny Dreyer – Learn Injury Free Running Techniques


This is a special event and your chance to ask ChiRunning® founder, Danny Dreyer your questions. Be sure to to check out the link below. Once the program is finished you can download it to a podcast.

EVENT: Steve and Gary’s RunCall #12
GUEST: Danny Dreyer DATE AND TIME: Monday, Nov. 8, at 6:00 PM PDT
FORMAT: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast — it’s your choice)

Listen Focused, Steve Mackel, Certified ChiRunning/ChiWalking® Instructor

Larry’s San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon Experience!

A picture that we can all relate too from the SF 2nd Half by Larry

Thinking it might be an opportunity for me to meet-up with my nephew and his girlfriend (she’s currently working on her master’s in the Bay Area while he’s preparing to join her from Chicago), I, in mid-June, registered for the San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon.

To clarify, this wasn’t my second half marathon overall; nor was it the second time I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon. What the San Francisco Marathon folk have created are two half marathons within the full marathon so when it comes time to register, runners choose to run either the first half or second half of the full marathon course (well, more like weave in and out of it; at least that’s what we 2nd halfers did).

Continue reading…

Chi Running Ain’t No Bull!

Keith Making Friends Before the Race

On July 7, 2007, I entered a footrace unlike anything else I have experienced. This footrace would involve thousands of runners on a beautiful summer morning. Oh yea, did I mentioned it also involved “BULLS”. Yes, I was going to run with 1200 pound animals that don’t even have shoes. However, before I tell you about this special race, let me go back and tell you how I got to the starting line.

I look at life as a series of adventures and challenges. One of my challenges has been running. I have been running all my life, which has included 27 marathons and other various races. However, I also have dreamed of other adventures in my life. One was driving a race car which I did. However, I do not have a desire to jump out of an airplane or bungee jump; I would prefer to keep my feet on the ground. Now that I have given you a brief overview of where I have been, let me tell you where I went.

It started about two years ago with a conversation I had with one of my co-workers. He too is a runner and we share many of the same interests. We were talking about many of the races we had completed, including many different marathons all over the world. As we were talking, he shared with me a trip he was planning to Spain. While this was not his first trip to Europe, he was very excited about going to Spain and attending the fiestas of San Fermin which is celebrated in Pamplona every year in July.

Keith is in there some where, maybe climbing over the fence
The festival of San Fermin in the city of Pamplona (Navarre, Basque Country, Spain), is a deeply-rooted celebration held annually from noon July 6, when the opening of the fiesta is marked by setting off the pyrotechnics (a rocket) accompanied by music, to midnight 14 July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mi. While its most famous event is the encierro, the running of the bulls, the week-long celebration involves many other traditional and folkloric events. It is known locally as Sanfermines and is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona and of Navarre. Its events were central to the plot of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, which brought it to the general attention of English-speaking peoples. It has become probably the most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain.

As a child, I remember reading the book for an English assignment and the adventure always was in the back of my mind as something I would like to do someday. When my co-worker returned from his adventure and the tales of the encierro, I thought I need to do this. So we began planning, as a family, to take a vacation which would involve this adventure. However, my wife and daughters never thought I was serious. Fast forward to 2007. After 18 months of planning and saving, we were going to Spain and I was going to run.

On July 5, 2007, we arrived in Pamplona and began to explore the city and get ready for the fiesta. What I was about to learn and experience was unlike anything I had done before in my life. The Encierro involves running in front of bulls down an 825-metre (0.51 mile) stretch of cobbled streets of a section of the old town of Pamplona. I walked the entire section to see what I was about to do. The next day, we celebrated the start of the fiesta which is another story all together. After enjoying all the activities, it was time to get ready to think about the next days run.

On July 7, 2007, I awoke at about 6:00 a.m. for a race which would start at 8:00 a.m. I would spend the next 2 hours on the cobbled stone streets anticipating the start. Everyone is clad in white, with a red handkerchief (the panuelo) tied about their necks, and a red sash (the faja) tied around their waist. The runners are all gathered in an area at the beginning of the route and all along the 825 meters of street. It is so packed you cannot even move to look behind you.

The encierro begins with the letting off of two rockets at precisely 8:00 a.m. However, on this day, 2 minutes before the start, something spooked the crowd and we started moving. I’m not talking a gentle walk, it was pushing and shoving and panic. It was all I could do to stay on my feet. Then about 90 seconds later we stopped. I looked back to where I had started and I noticed the street was clear, so I began to walk back. It was about this time when I heard the first rocket which announces the release of the bulls from their corral. A few seconds later, a second rocket signaled that the last bull had left the corral. They were on their way. I was about 100 meters from the start and I could not see anything however that soon changed. All of a sudden I noticed a mass of people moving toward me. Before I could even blink, the bulls were here. I started to run, but before I knew it they ran past and I mean they were moving. I was within arms reach of the bulls when they passed. As I started after them, I had to start looking out for all the other runners in my way. This was actually more dangerous and stressful then the bulls. As I approached a particular stretch of the course called Mercaderes, which is also known as “dead mans curve”, I noticed everything had stopped. This is the most notorious portion of the course where most injuries occur. However, as I approached this curve, they closed the fence to prevent the runners from going forward. The main reason is to prevent the bulls from turning around. After about 30-45 seconds, they reopen the street and you can then try to catch up. However, you cannot catch the bulls. The only thing you can do is try to get to the bull ring which is the finish line. So I began to sprint down the street. Forget my posture, forget Chi Running, it is simply a footrace to the finish. As I closed in on the doors to the bull ring, I thought, I can get in, but just then they closed the doors and my race was over, or was it. Just then the doors reopened and I thought I’m in, but wait, something didn’t seem right. Something was missing, but what was it? What I forgot was the “second wave” of calmer and older steers that run the streets in order to collect any stragglers. On this day there were no stragglers, just three 2,000 pound animals running behind me. As they started to enter the bull ring doors, I got within inches of these animals. It was then I decided to get out of their way and let them finish their run as I had just crossed my own finish line.

Once all of the bulls have entered the stadium, a third rocket is released while a fourth firecracker indicates that the bulls are in their bullpens and the run has concluded. The rockets had sounded and the run was complete. I had done it! I had survived a close encounter with a bull and as the legend goes, I was now protected by San Fermin’s cloak.

In closing, I know life is an adventure and you need to enjoy every minute you can. The adventure of San Fermin is something that will stay with me forever and I am glad I could share it with you. Let the celebration begin!

Keith, Beach Runner Mentor

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