Running Paradigms, Mine Is ChiRunning®, What Is Yours?

With the start of a new year many people are thinking about getting back in shape and what better way than running. But whether you are a long time runner or brand new to the sport, it may be time to check your running form and pick a running paradigm.

There are plenty of running paradigms out there. What’s a paradigm? I like to think of one as a belief system or a map. Merriam-Webster defines it as:
1: pattern; especially: an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype
2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms
3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

So what is yours? Maybe it is time to define your style. That is why I turned to ChiRunning® and why I teach it. I was running the way I had ran in high school, without coaching. I played water polo and was never on the track team. I was dealing with nagging injuries. So what did I know? Let alone the principles in ChiRunning®. It was time for a change.

My first belief is that running is good for you. Second, I have found a system that focuses on biomechanics and physics on a scientific level, and Chi on a physical/mental/spiritual level. A system that teaches efficiency, teaches runners to become aware of their bodies, what their body is doing and how it is feeling. It teaches alignment and ease. No wonder I liked it.

It is important to find the system that works best for you, because in order to run your best you have to practice your system’s principles. Unless of course you just “run” to “run,” and that is not a bad thing either. I don’t like to judge running paradigms. I know what works for me and I like to encourage people to run.

I bring all this up because this year all my running times were faster than ever in my key races. I believe it is because I have bought into a system that works for me. It didn’t come easy. It took ChiRunning® founder, Danny Dreyer reminding me that what I did in the past wasn’t necessarily what I was going to do in the future. I had to let go of some of my past beliefs. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, let alone get others to do it, but as he suggested, teach ChiRunning® and let it happen for itself. And if you have worked with me, it may have happened for you or at least, opened you up to some new running thoughts.

If you don’t have a system, if you are looking for a system or want something new, I suggest you check out ChiRunning®. Go to the ChiRunning web site or email me. Gary and I are here to help if you are interested. Try one of our Group Runs and keep checking this site. It will be updated every few days. If what you see starts to make sense to you, think about trying a ChiRunning® workshop or a private lesson. Just remember, we are happy that you are here and running, but if you are interested in getting better it takes specific practice and we can give you plenty to practice. Keep running!

Train Focused,



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