Is a running school for those who do not seek trendy formulae but an inspiring interdependence of mind and body: a body without the mind is immovable, and a mind without the body simply does not exist.
Runtown's founder Boštjan Tadel was a writer and newspaper editor and long time recreational runner with a chronic Achilles tendinitis. He was trying to find a therapy for more than a decade, but nothing worked for long until he tried ChiRunning®. After that he was able to run pain-free and faster, too – mostly because this safe and more efficient technique permitted him to train better.
After this almost miraculous, but actually perfectly rational transformation I was inspired to share this revolutionary technique with other runners. During my endless issues with permanently hurting Achilles tendons I kept meeting countless runners who were dealing with similar problem either because of chronic injuries or non-satisfying results – mostly with both as injuries are the main cause of insufficient training.
From childhood on I carried in my physical memory the feeling of extraordinary happiness while sprinting at full speed when for a few ecstatic moments it seems as if you are flying. During those years when I was exploring ways to cure my tendinitis, I did not dare accelerate to the full. Now this fear has gone, and I am regenerated much faster after long runs, too. In speed sessions I run all out without fear, and it really feels like flying – it still seems like flying!
Boštjan Tadel, among Slovenia's fastest sprinters in his teens, has an athletics coaching certificate (issued jointly by the Athletic Federation of Slovenia and the Faculty of Sports at the University of Ljubljana), and during 2016-17 he has become a ChiRunning® Certified Instructor after having studied with technique's inventor Danny Dreyer at his base in Asheville, North Carolina.
Boštjan was editor-in-chief of life-style, marketing, and arts magazines, and several of his plays were produced either for the stage or radio. Prior to his media career he was an advertising copywriter. With his wife Vesna he is a proud father of two (almost) adult daughters.
Allows a runner to run easier and further and faster. Easier does not equal less work, though: better technique translates into less physical effort, but technique is controlled by the runner's mind. Obviously every human motion is led and co-ordinated by the mind, but the purpose of ChiRunning® is to make this a conscious process leading to the most efficient and least harmful movement
The starting point of ChiRunning® is the optimal use of our anatomy in co-operation with two major natural forces: gravity and the force of the oncoming surface. It results in motion that requires very little effort and has been proven to eliminate most of even the most persistent chronic injuries*.
ChiRunning® has been developed in the USA at the turn of the millennium by ultra runner Danny Dreyer. He has now been teaching it for almost two decades, and has written three books about it. ChiRunning® has been growing in popularity in America constantly, but it has only recently made its way to Europe. RunTown is the only one to teach it in Slovenia.
ChiRunning® is based on tightly knit influences by traditional Chinese martial art T'ai Chi and Western anatomy and physics. Following two key principles of alignment and relaxation Dreyer came up with four basic elements of his technique:
— straight posture from ankles to shoulders,
— heel lift by the body's core muscles,
— improved arm swing and
— leading with dantien.
The concept of dantien bridges Western and Chinese traditions: in Chinese it is the body's energy center, and in Western it is the center of its mass. It is the same point, a few centimetres below the navel and inside body's core. The name dantien makes more sense in relation to running, because the conscious movement of the center of mass leads to movement with a minimal energy use. This means that dantien is in fact an engine at the core of our body, and therefore a transformer of energy into motion.
Like every sport running takes time to master: Danny Dreyer considers ChiRunning® not only a technique, but a practice, and so even after twenty years he is still perfecting his own running form. Such humble approach is familiar from Asian martial arts in which grand masters even in their advanced age display a formidable degree not only of skill, but above all of purpose of their practice. In martial arts it is self-defence, and in amateur sports it is preservation of overall health and mobility with simultaneous exercise of both body and mind.
In theory a practice never achieves perfection – but in real life the basics of ChiRunning® can be taught in a few hours: the base course takes 4 hours, and the advanced one as well. After learning the technique's basics you can use your skills for designing your own personal programmes with specific goals (run a distance, improve personal best etc.), and all runners who have completed the advanced course are invited to specialized programmes.
* ChiRunning® is not a magical therapy that would have the same effect on all, but according to the study by the University of West Virginia, it has helped more than 90 % of runners to get rid of injuries and to better running performance.