Popular Running Styles


Chi Running

What is it? Chi running is based on the principles of Tai Chi. Through Tai Chi breathing techniques, the muscles are relaxed, and the core is engaged.

Who started it? Danny Dreyer, an ultra-marathon runner, and Tai Chi practitioner.

How does it work? The five rules of Chi Running include: (1) Running tall; (2) Leaning forward; (3) Using a mid-foot strike; (4) Running from the core; and (5) Staying Relaxed.

Why does it work? Running relaxed with shorter strides encourages mid-foot striking. In contrast to heel striking, landing with the mid-foot greatly reduces the impact that goes through the knee. Running tall encourages the utilization of core muscles, making a more efficient run. By engaging core muscles, less strain is put on the legs, while leaning uses gravity to make for a more efficient run.

Good Form Running

What is it? Good Form Running is based on four principles that emphasize efficiency and reduced impact.

Who started it? Curt Munson & John Benedict, owners of Playmakers, an award winning footwear and apparel store.

How does it work? The four principles of GFR are: (1) Posture; (2) Cadence; (3) Mid-Foot Strike; and (4) Lean.

Why does it work? Proper posture aligns the body and engages the core muscles. High cadence prevents the runner from over-striding and facilitates a mid-foot strike. This reduces rotation and impact on the body by providing a more stable landing. The lean uses gravity for increased forward momentum.

Barefoot Running

What is it? Running barefoot or in barefoot shoes reinforces a more natural running style. This is to reduce impact through the knee while strengthening intrinsic muscles in the feet.

Who started it? Made famous by Christopher McDougall, author of the best selling novel, Born to Run, and Zola Budd, a South African Gold medal Olympian who trained/competed barefoot.

How does it work? Running barefoot utilizes a mid-foot strike, while promoting better overall running form by using your own natural bio-mechanics.

Why does it work? Barefoot running follows the principle that natural bio-mechanics allows for the most efficient run, running barefoot, or close to barefoot utilizes a mid-foot strike, reducing impact and helping keep proper alignment throughout the body with a natural lean.

Pose Running

What is it? Pose running is based on the pull gravity has on a person. The utilization of this pull creates a more efficient run.

Who started it? Dr. Nicolas Romanov, a two time Great Britain Olympic Triathlon coach, who holds a PhD in Physical Education.

How does it work? The three fundamentals phases of Pose running: (1) The Pose; (2) The Fall; and (3) The Pull.

Why does it work? Pose running uses gravity to create an easier run. The pose phase creates a number 4 with your legs, this form lets gravity pull you forward, leading to the fall phase, letting gravity pull you down, following with the pull phase, where you pull the leg out from underneath you. After the pull phase, the other leg comes down and the cycle restarts, propelling you forward.