Chi Marathon “Productive Discomfort” versus “Injury”

Following my Chi Running workshop/class on Saturday, I did a little more research and found that Danny Dreyer also wrote a book called “Chi Marathon” that discussed running programs based on the Chi Running platform. Ditto! The book has 4 stars review on Amazon, which means that it’s an above average book. There were some negative comments, which were not surprising. You cannot please everyone. Frankly, that shouldn’t be a goal anyway.

I was delighted that my local library had a copy. On my lunch break, I drove there and picked it up. I started reading last night. There were few points that drove home for me: (I’m only two chapters in)

1) Emphasis of “Productive Discomfort” versus “Pain resulting in injury” I’m delighted that someone finally dropped the whole “no pain no gain” mantra. This is especially true for marathon/long distance running. Nine out of ten runners I met use phrases like “got to push through” “pain is good for you” “suffer through a run”… Frankly, I always feel like if something is not fun, why do it? Granted my running “career” is not even a year, I still believe in enjoying the run for the run itself. Kudos to Danny for putting it out there. His idea of productive discomfort means that adjusting our muscle to new running form will mean some ache/soreness, but certainly NOT injury.

2) Danny’s concept of “Chi’ really resonates with me. I’m very big on Chinese medicine, therefore very familiar with acupuncture, Chi, and energy. I especially like the whole “Body Sensing” idea, checking in how the body feels and adjust along the way. It’s all about awareness and taking care of the “correct” balance. I can see if I practice Body Sensing, the chance of injury will reduce. Because of my Eastern philosophy background, I was already doing some of it unconsciously. When I was training on my own, I would  get knee pain (when I thought I needed to “push”). I always stopped, if the pain did not go away after 10 minutes. Now I know, I need to stop and re-align my posture before continuing. Pain is body’s way to telling me something. I need to acknowledge it. Running should not cause any pain.

I’m very excited about reading further into Chi Marathon. I already scanned the Appendix where Danny laid out the training program for half marathon and marathon and it made a lot of sense to me. In fact, the book is worth it just for those training plans. He emphasized a lot on technique in the beginning weeks & gradually moving into conditioning and then mastery. It was well thought out.

I highly recommend anyone training/thinking of a half marathon or full marathon, give “Chi Marathon” a try.



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