Articles, Blog

Triathlon Running Technique: Chi Running for Maximum Efficiency

December 4, 2019


– I think I got stood up. (sharp whooshing) (light music) (sharp whooshing) Just practice that feeling
of falling forward. (sharp whooshing) Good morning, Trainiacs. As you can tell by my ’80s
high school wrestling uniform I’m going out for a morning ride. Starting around middle to end of May we’ve got a Tuesday and
Thursday morning road ride group and it is awesome, we get up to like 29, I think last year we had,
at the peak, 32 people join and there’s a really, really fast group of dudes that are not the
high performance people in the province, those are
kids that are like 19 to 23ish, basically the age group guys that are really talented athletes that wanna get out there
and work themselves, challenge themselves few times a week and they challenge the bejesus out of me. We’re not doing that group just yet because it’s still minus one this morning, so it’s just coach Pat and one select cold weather badass and I. Working to figure out how I
get the GoPro on the road bike. This is tight as she’s
getting this morning. All right, brace yourselves, we’re gonna see how stable you are. (light music) (loud rumbling) You’re not that. These cold weather neoprene
toe covers, 6$ on Alibaba, haven’t failed me yet. I’m a little late so that
either means that they bailed and I have a really hard
ride to do to catch up or they ain’t comin’. My money is on hard ride to catch up. This here is the halfway point, I really woulda passed them by now if they had actually come out. I think I got stood up. I’m confused, these are not dudes that would stand up a good ride. Good, relatively speaking, it’s minus one and I can’t feel my fingertip. I’m gonna ride back and see if
I can meet a gang for coffee. I’m so confused about this. I’m at the office today I wanna
go over a running technique, this whole time I’ve been
like not really addressing running technique and there’s
something that I found, like a bunch of years ago, that was like, oh shh,
mind-blowing total change. I found some friends. – I’m a big rider, my son
(speakers talk over each other). – We’re getting the band back together. – Yes (laughs). – You might not know this
but on the back of my phone occasionally you’ll see a white sticker that says P05T, that’s
my social media ad agency and right now I’m going to do a talk to a group of local business owners about social media in Winnipeg. This is the Winnipeg
Squash and Racquet Club, home of squash, racquets and very fancy-pants business people who don’t wear triathlon
jackets to a meeting. I wear triathlon jackets to a meeting. Sorry, not a member. I don’t know if they’re gonna
let me take you in there. Okay, so far they haven’t kicked me out. I gotta get my presentation all cued up. When you buy a new MacBook you gotta buy a whole bunch
of cables just to operate. I’m ready to go, when I
give presentations like this I like to make it as tactical as possible, like one thing that really bugs me when I go to a presentation is like, when they just talk
about motivating people to do something but not
actually getting how to do it. So in this case there are only about five or six business owners in there, so I actually went
through every single one of their businesses, audited
their social media accounts and what we’re gonna do
in there after giving them just a general State of
the Union on social media is I’m gonna talk about
what they could do, like here is something
you could do on social, and hopefully I don’t get
kicked out of the room for tellin’ ’em what to do. (speaks quietly) Presentation done, successfully
did not get kicked out and they tried to give me a gift basket that I thanked them very much for, but could not bring back
because I ride a bicycle. He’s up the elevator,
he’s down the elevator, he’s up the elevator,
he’s down the elevator. This time going for a run. So what I’m gonna run you through here is called the ChiRunning technique. Who this is for is anyone
that’s looking to have a more smooth running stride, if you feel like your
joints are really beat up and your muscles are
really beat up after a run, could be because you’re
landing really hard and you’re putting a lot
of pressure on your body, and there’s always this old
adage that you land on your heel with this big, built-up heel
that is gonna cushion you, but there’s a better way to run. With this running style
it’s like falling forward with style and strides in a race. Speaking of awesome runners, we have two Manitoba marathon champions right behind me here. Hey, hey gang. (woman breathes heavily) Nicole Walker, my pal from Campeche, either husband or brother-in-law, they’re twins so I don’t know. Now the whole purpose
of this running stride is to get your body
moving forward smoother and having less ground contact
time that slows you down. You want your body moving forward pass your center of gravity, so that instead of coming
down on your center of gravity and then having to push
yourself forward to get over it, you’re kind of just moving forward with the center of gravity
and having little hops. I’ve taught somewhere
around three or four people this method of running, I
learned it about six years ago and a lot of my injuries went away. Here’s how you do it
in three simple steps. The first step is to get used to bouncing on the balls of your foot,
the front of your foot, because that’s where you wanna land. With this drill, just going like this and you’re coming up and down
on the balls of your feet and just getting used to that motion of landing on the front of your foot. Which makes sense because if
you’re jumping up and down you don’t wanna land
really hard on your heel, just like you shouldn’t wanna land really hard on your heel
when you’re running. The next drill is to
have that same feeling where you’re bouncing up and
down on the front of your foot and then you add little bum kicks. You notice I’m on the front of my foot, coming up and down on
the ball of that foot. I’m going to add a one additional step as like a two B step. Picture yourself just falling forward, just practice that
feeling of falling forward and get used to it. And then what you do is
you combine the butt kicks and the falling forward and
there’s a running stride. So start with butt kicks and
then start falling forward. Try to think of that as
you’re doing all of your runs and just do repetitions
of that 20, 30 times before you go for a run and keep that in your mind as you’re going. All right, we’re gonna try to
do this a little bit slower. Start with bounces and bum kicks, and then start leaning
forward, not bending like that, but leaning forward from your hips. (breathes heavily) So every single run
that you do after that, try to think of that
feeling of leaning forward from your hips, not bending forward and collapsing your hips
and sticking your butt out in behind you, but think of
like a nice straight board, leaning forward and
your feet in behind you and landing with your foot right smack dab under the center of your body
and landing on the middle or front of your foot, thereabouts. If you haven’t done this before, fair warning, the first month,
maybe two of trying this, your calves are gonna hate you, you’re gonna think that you’re
gonna need to change shoes, you might, to a more
minimal or neutral shoe, but it’s not necessary. You’re gonna think that
you’re doing it wrong, but if the pain is in the
muscles of your calves, this is actually a good thing, this means that you’re stressing a muscle that is very stretchy and
intended to absorb that load. And you know what? A lot of people who are
staunch heel strikers are gonna go bonkers
on me in the comments. But you know what? It worked for me, it
helped me be injury-free and enjoy running a lot more and when I first changed over to this I could barely run for 10 kilometers. After this, I can run for 25. Took a lot of years to build up to that. That’s it, that’s for today,
we’re gonna go for a run. Okay, I’m not actually going for a run, ’cause there’s no way I’m
leaving my camera here. I’m gonna drop off the
camera, then go for a run. I’ll see you, Trainiacs.

You Might Also Like

45 Comments

  • Reply sharpfork April 8, 2017 at 1:15 am

    walking backwards helped me learn chi running: https://youtu.be/VVPLcnnlwD0
    chi running helped me keep relatively injury free for a long time. great thing to share.

  • Reply Michael Buna April 8, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Damn!!! I was just sitting here after my run this morning thinking how the F$&? do I stop this pain in my joints after a run????
    I'm trying this technique on my next run!!! !

  • Reply Amer J. April 8, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Thanks! I need this for my tri this summer!

  • Reply CHASKIS April 8, 2017 at 1:33 am

    where is your helmet?!! 😉

  • Reply Immer Chriswell April 8, 2017 at 2:03 am

    another fun drill for people who use treadmills is to set the incline high and just jog on it. forces you to a non heel strike stride. I also swore off heel striking after 2 injuries in 4 months, nothing but good vibes since

  • Reply Painfull reviews April 8, 2017 at 2:39 am

    great tip, definitely going to try this out. thanks for the sick videos

  • Reply Austin Urias April 8, 2017 at 2:39 am

    I second that motion, keep your helmet on, especially when filming/posting on the YouTubes. You know, set a good example and everything.

  • Reply Triathlon Renan April 8, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I used to have a LOT of knee injuries last season.. After buying a "vibram" barefoot shoes and start to work on exactly the same drills you described, PFFFFF (this is the sound of the injuries going away)…

    Also, it's way more effective, my pace is way better this season!

    Great video as always!

  • Reply B T April 8, 2017 at 3:14 am

    what bike is that you galavant around town on?

  • Reply Kaitlin B April 8, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Do you have a breathing technique as well?

  • Reply xGshikamaru April 8, 2017 at 7:27 am

    You can do those jumping drills just before the start gun (after a proper warm-up of course). It helps keeping your legs warmed up. I also like that it helps me channel the rush of adrenaline right before the start.

  • Reply Chris Estabon April 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Well 100lbs ago I tried to do a couch to 5k but somehow that just threw out my back and set me up for months of back adjustments and I learned my spine had a curve. I sometimes wonder if this would have made a difference or if some people just aren't built for running

  • Reply Sam Staelens April 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Always wanna learn about technics and all but why the 5min something before you actually begin with the drill? Not really impressed with people that stoot you up and whatever it is you do for work. Maybe put these vids in the back, place in description at what point you actually start or even better yet, seperate the two video's.

  • Reply Andy LeBlanc April 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Great video, I just started training this past year (so far just running) this running technique is nearly identical to what I've been taught. Preparing for my first full marathon in a month. I found your channel while looking for ideas on incorporating bike and swimming. Keep up the vlog!

  • Reply Just Me April 8, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I am defo the guy that bails and forgets to let people know !!

  • Reply Tiberius Paul Savu April 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Switched to this technique half a year ago because of my knees hurting all the time as I was running too much on asphalt. Never looked back. Yes, the calves hurt like hell at first (the first 2 months for me), but your body adapts. It also helped me lower my pace, as I had hit the ceiling using the heel strike technique. You can also get shoes with a smaller mm difference between the heel and toe, as your heels won't need that much shock absorption now => lighter shoes. As I also do trail running, it helped a lot with my uphill/downhill technique as well, and the extra calf strength you gain also helps on bike climbs.

  • Reply Michael Lord April 8, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    You are in such a good mood when you workout in the early AM. I fight it, it takes me 30 minutes before I don't want to just go back to bed. Thanks for these, they really motivate me.

  • Reply capybaras April 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    If you like this style of running, you need to go try a pair of Newton running shoes. The shoe is entirely built around this concept. Another good tip is you want to land under, not ahead

  • Reply Rubi da Silva April 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I thought running on the balls of the feet was only for sprinters doing short distance, but if it works for you I'll definitely try it.

  • Reply Nicole Walker April 9, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Hubby!! For the record!

  • Reply Bucketlist Fit Running April 9, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I did the same thing man. Had injuries for years while running, thought it was my body type. NOPE, it was my form, learned to stop slamming the heel down and improve my cadence as well. Injury free for 2 years of running now.

  • Reply DavidRBeach April 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    +1 level up for the Toy Story reference at 5.15. Loving the vlog – infotaining!

  • Reply Ali Khalaf April 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Ops, riding with no helmet is no good example

  • Reply Car Fun April 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I'm on about 2 years or so and I now am absolutely feeling the benefits of changing to this style of running. I am able to hold the technique in last part of a race mode and I can tell it helps maintain speed at the end.

  • Reply Anders Skandsen April 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Agree; neoprene toe covers = awesome value. Running technique works for me as well.

  • Reply Darryl Swift April 14, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I had a go at the Chi Running today and my Calfs died at about 4km!! But it felt a lot more fluid! And my ground contact time was much lower than normal!!

  • Reply Gannet Markozen April 30, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I've never heard of "chi running" but I tried running like that and realized I already am anyways, guess it just comes naturally to me.

  • Reply Filip Latocha May 14, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Naturally ended up changing my heel-strike to this mid-foot/ chi running style earlier this year. I ended up straining both of my soleus muscles within a week apart from one another (went away 2-3 weeks later), but I've been running faster, stronger, and more often since. Worth it.

  • Reply mnbeck May 24, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Maybe I missed this point, but do your heels ever contact the ground ??

  • Reply Chris Reno June 20, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    I changed my running style to something similar to this by barefoot running short distances first on grass and then concrete (see Christopher MacDougall's book: Born to Run) and noticed how I ran differently without running shoes.  Then I just do that style with shoes.  I think easy, light, and smooth (in that order), taking quicker, shorter steps.

  • Reply Sebastien Brochard June 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Same, that method saved my knees! 😁 started to apply it 2 years ago. Then then, running feels less of burden. 🏃🏼

  • Reply Christopher Mohr June 24, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Taren, thanks for the chi running tips. I used them on a run tonight and it seemed to help. Hopefully it continues over multiple runs.

  • Reply Ian Zhang June 26, 2017 at 12:01 am

    have you heared about pose method running, which actually invented by national triathlon coach

  • Reply Jane Anderson July 20, 2017 at 5:30 am

    nice vid. I have the world's worst running style. the worst. Have shuffled through 11 marathons with an awful gait that is too embarrassing for me to watch. But my physio and I sat down and watched this together this morning, and I'm already putting this into practice. If you can fix my running style Taren, you'll be a miracle worker. I'll let you know!

  • Reply Julie Barnes August 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    So cool! I am going to try this on my next run! Thanks for the awesome videos.

  • Reply Country By Terrilyn September 4, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I am totally flat footed so I where the happy soles I think they are called and when I try this I feel like I a rolling out on the out sides of my feet?

  • Reply Михајло Јеремић October 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    i tried this but i'm faster when landing on heel and injury free with 80k per week. i don't think that i should change it..btw good video!

  • Reply Tristan Maubec November 27, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I realize this is a bit late in commenting – being so long after the video was posted – but thought I would comment to help add to what Taren said…
    It's good when leaning forward in your run to think of bending from the ankles, as Taren says above: "think of your body like a plank" where your ankles are your pivot point.
    Also, the guy who thought up 'ChiRunning', Danny Dreyer, often notes that the techniques as Taren shows here are extra useful when using a Metronome (beeping every left foot for example)… Improves both cadence and technique no matter what pace, (trying to increase steps/minute to about 180). Slowly building metronome speed every week so that you gradually get closer to 180 spm.
    p.s. @ Taren, Love the vlogs. Always such awesome energy 🙂

  • Reply Mattia Bianucci Trainer February 10, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Nice piece of advice here! Good job! A good way to get into the ChiRunning technique more gradually is to jump rope, that's in order to let the calves and the balls of the feet get used to the motion while running 🙂 Cheers

  • Reply Chris Luna June 12, 2018 at 3:32 am

    started doing this two weeks ago before seeing this video and yes calves are sore last few runs but NO MORE knee/joint pains:) LOVE your videos!

  • Reply Jason Kerr September 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I just kicked my own butt! I’m suing myself!

  • Reply Jason Kerr September 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I had to transition to this style of running after a soccer strike tore my front shin muscle and it never grew back. Transitioned to this and now my run is faster than before. No shin splints or heel pain ever again. Speedy!

  • Reply Gray Man April 29, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    My cross country coach in highschool taught us to run this way. Now when I try to follow the "heel to toe" advise, it feels like I'm pounding my body really hard.

  • Reply Ultraextremefit May 31, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I love how to explained it in simple steps. I call them Junk miles but this is the key to long distance running.

  • Reply Andrea Siqueira August 2, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Love ChiRunning ! I am a certified ChiRunning and ChiWalking instructor and yes! You are correct it is a game changer for every runner if they believe in this style of running.

  • Leave a Reply