Oct 202012

The opposite of The Pull is The Drop (my terms not Danny’s),  when you drop your leg into place underneath you.  I already described quite about how to do that in the “The Pull” but there are a few things that need to be clarified.  You knee should not swing out much in front of you if you are running on a flat surface although it will if you are running up a hill a little bit.  One drill to get a sense for what this feels like is to stand facing a wall with your nose almost touching it.  Lift your right heel behind you (and this will take hamstring/calf work since you are not moving) and then let it drop in place while you lift your left ankle.  Jog in place with your ankles flying up behind you.  If you pull your knee forward you will bang it into the wall (ouch!).

So when you drop your foot into position you want to end up in the one legged posture stance with whatever lean you are maintaining.  You want your foot to land in its mid foot, full foot tripod landing.  You do not want to use muscles in the foot, ankle or calf to do this.  A heavy forefoot landing stresses the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle.  If you land in a full one legged posture stance then your Column supports the landing, your foot is really just a hinged block of wood underneath you.

A visualization Danny taught us to think there are balloons on long strings tied to our ankles.  When our ankles drift up our feet hang limply on the ends, toes drooping downward.  When we drop our feet into place they naturally land properly in the right place.  They should not land in front of you, but slightly behind you so that you keep falling forward.

 The muscles of the lower leg/foot are disengaged or relaxed as  much as possible. The body’s weight is supported primarily by the structure of  the lower leg/foot – and not by muscle. The statistics suggest that most running injuries occur at the knee and below.  ChiRunning suggests a primary cause of this statistic is asking a relatively small part of the body to repetitively do a relatively big job. ChiRunning limits effort, stress, impact and tension in the lower legs/feet which can have a significant impact  on this statistic. In addition, having a relaxed ankle ‘hinge’ may also limit resistance  to your forward fall.


My Disclaimer: I am not a Chi Running instructor or an expert runner or a coaching professional of any kind.  These represent my notes, primarily for my own edification.  If they are helpful to you then that is great and I am glad for that, but I don’t guarantee that everything here is absolutely accurate as they are a reflection of my own experience and memory. 

I highly recommend visiting the Chi Running Website as well as Danny Dreyer’s book and  DVD

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