THE WRONG WAY TO RUN RIGHT The teaching of running technique has become popular lately. The top-selling running book of the last several years prior to the publication of Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run was Chi Running by Danny Dreyer, which taught a quasi-yoga-based style of running purported to reduce injury risk.4 Dreyer has made a thriving business of Chi Running, with videos, clinics, and even a certification program that trains new instructors in the technique. The Chi Running method is very similar to the Pose running method, created by Nicholas Romanov, which has been around for many years but has really taken off only within the last decade. Once all but ignored, running technique is now the topic of countless magazine and Web site articles, is taught by a growing number of running coaches, and is intensively discussed on Internet chat forums and actual training runs. Underlying all of this discussion is a gradually spreading consensus that running technique can in fact be effectively taught that there is an identifiably correct way to run that every runner can learn and use to run faster and with fewer injuries. (Most of the popular running technique systems, which, in addition to the Pose Method and Chi Running, include Evolution Running, are indeed similar to one another. Each is, at its core, a way of correcting the common error of overstriding. The various methods don’t peddle wildly different notions of the right way to run.) This belief that there is a single right way to run represents quite a departure from the old-school view of running technique from previous decades, which held that good running technique was essentially something that a runner was either born with or not, and that the only way to improve running technique was to simply run and let the process happen naturally.


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