Is ChiRunning truly effortless running?

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I’d like to clear up a bit of confusion about ChiRunning that seems to crop up every now and then. Some runners have come to ChiRunning workshops expecting their running to feel effortless by the end of the class. Then, afterwards, complain that they didn’t feel as though they gotten their money’s worth because “effortless” wasn’t happening.

I feel unequivocally confident in stating that ChiRunning can be effortless and injury-free. BUT, there’s a caveat. The process of learning is distinctly not effortless. If it were, it wouldn’t be called a mindful practice. If anything in your life feels effortless, it means that you have already attained some level of mastery with it. And, it follows that if you want to master anything you must take the time to put a lot of practice and concentration into all aspects of it…mind, body and feelings…everything in your power to do the best with it that you can. We are all surrounded by a result-oriented, instant gratification society. But, if someone wants effortless running to come easy they’re missing the whole point of what we’re trying to teach.

Everyone’s body responds to learning something new in a very individual way. Some folks find it easy to feel the correct leg swing, while others find it easier to feel what good posture feels like. Are all of my runs effortless? Hardly. But, a part of every run IS, because the more I practice the ChiRunning focuses, the higher the odds are that my runs will feel effortless.

Mindful work takes immersion, concentration, surrender…and sometimes even a good dose of “suspended disbelief.” It’s not a path for lazy people and nothing that is truly life-changing happens overnight. There are exceptions to every rule, but we’re not marketing exceptions.

“The Practice becomes the goal.”



Posted in Technique

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