Freedom To Run - Ease, Efficiency, Speed

Jon Burdon, Chi Running and Chi Walking instructor based in England and Wales

Freedom To Run - Blog

This blog is all about my journey with Chi Running. I try to discuss all aspects of the practice. I also write a book review for every book I read about running. Please DO post comments below - you don't event need to have an account - just leave your name :)

6 ways to run more efficiently in 2017 ... and for ever.

6 ways to run more efficiently in 2017 ... and for ever.

​Do you want to take your running further in 2017? Whatever your goal, Chi Running can help your running to feel easier and more efficient. Here are a variety of ways to become more efficient. They are all basic principles of the current understanding of good running technique and fundamentals Chi Running technique.

1 Run Tall

Posture is a fundamental of good running technique. If you have never related this to your running before, you could be on the verge of something big... well taller. Have you ever seen that runner who crosses this finish line and has totally lost their form? One of the first things to go is posture.  Try experimenting with how long you can maintain good posture when you are running? Try a posture check every 10 minutes. If you aren't sure how to do that, you could start by imagining a helium balloon tethered to the crown of your head and lifting you up from that area.

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Working in London with Danny Dreyer - posture tips


I just got back from an absolutely inspirational weekend with Danny Dreyer, founder of Chi Running and Chi Walking. I was part of a crowd of 13 Certified Chi Running and Walking Instructors from the UK and Europe who flew in to assist Danny in teaching the large group of clients who came to Lee Valley Athletics centre, London for Level 1 and Level 2 workshops.
I have so many written and audio notes from the weekend that I will be adding further blogs with follow up advice, so keep an eye on my blog. 
To start with, I'm going to share advice and tips from the day that will help Chi Runners stay focussed on maintaining good posture.
Tip 1: use the Sit Up In Your Chair exercise
Revise the 'sit up in your chair' exercise and repeat this hundreds of times as part of your mindful practice of Chi Running. Yes I said hundreds! This is an important way to help you engage your core muscles to help you maintain good posture. This exercise is one I have worked on with all my clients, is a part of the level 1 workshop course, and is also in the Chi Running book.
A quick reminder of the exercise:
  • Sit in your best posture about 2 inches forward from your chair back. Remember the Chi Runnjng posture focusses that you have been working on.
  • Feel balanced, with your shoulders over your hips.
  • Now relax back in to the chair like you are watching TV.
  • Without using your leg muscles, come back upright in to best posture. Do this slowly, and lay attention to the muscles you are using.
  • Repeat this a few times, memorising the sensation of sitting up.
  • Now prepare to repeat this motion when walking, driving your car, and throughout your every day life. Whenever you catch yourself out of balance just remember the motion of sitting up.
Don't worry if you forget to stay in the posture - you won't be able to. As soon as you do realise that you are out of alignment, remember and repeat the motion of bringing your shoulders back over your hips and feel the light tension in your lower abdominals.
Tip 2: find a mental image to get your posture aligned
You might have a wide range of different ages in your head that help you align your posture. I have used 'reach for the coffee cup' for a long time, imagining I'm reaching to the top shelf in my kitchen. All this depends on your own mental imagery.
During the workshop, we used the image of a parasail, and imagined it tethered to the crown of our heads. It's important to lengthen your spine from the crown of your head. This will mean your chin drops slightly. The nice thing about the my image of the parasail is that you can let it take you up, and then take you forwards, as you apply lean and use gravity to take your body forwards.
Here is an infographic to help you remember this exercise:
An Image to help Align Your Posture for Running
Hopefully this has been a useful post. I'd be interested to know which mental images you use to remind you about good posture. Also, how successful are you at sitting up in your chair? Please do feel free to comment.


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Pelvic tilt

This article has a quite a bit of detail on pelvic tilt. Whether you want to work on the corrective exercises or not, the images alone on this page are worth studying to help you gain a clear understanding of correct posture, as compared with anterior or posterior pelvic tilt. It's worth a look.

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Chi walk run

Book and DVD Review: Chi Walk to Run - Fitness for Life!

There are lots different ways to 'get in to' Chi walking and running. I've studied this book and DVD set tonight, as I have a friend who wants to transition from walking her dog in to going for a run.

The DVD is full if really helpful posture checks and visual demonstrations. It reiterates lots of key concepts from the Chi Walking and Chi running materials. Ideas to remind you about key concepts on posture such as 'Sit up in your chair' and the 'C shape' really do help reinforce the book. There is advise I would suggest probably all walkers and runners could do with, such as how to reduce injury risk from toe off. Examples and explanation of good arm swing are also very useful. If you are a visual person, I'd really suggest using a DVD such as this alongside the books if you are thinking about learning Chi Walking or Running.
Personally I could loose the pan pipes.

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Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry - a review from a Chi Running perspective

This book is a must read for anyone interested in running without injury, or anyone interested in Chi Running.

As books on Chi Running clearly focus on what makes Chi Running unique and effective, they include a lot of information on the Chi Running technique itself. This book is a brilliant complement to that reading because it is deeply grounded in the science of running. If you have no idea about Chi Running but just want to be injury free - read this book!

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Where to find me


I live in the Holme Valley, near Huddersfield and on the very northern edge of the Peak District National Park. Workshops are in venues easily accessible from:

Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield, Barnsley, Cumbria, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Wales.


Mountain Training
I am a qualified Mountain Leader, registered with the Mountain Training Association.

Photos of the Holme Valley Landscape are by Andy Leader of Made in Holmfirth

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As seen in Runners World

UKA Leadership in Running Fitness qualified.

I'm UKA Leadership in Running Fitness qualified.