Episode 29: What is ChiRunning? Interview with Gray Caws

Episode 29: What is ChiRunning? Interview with Gray Caws
Train Smarter Podcast

00:00 / 00:49:03

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Last week I managed to catch-up with my good friend Gray Caws.

As head of ChiRunning in the UK & Ireland, Gray is the ideal person to tell me (and as a result you) more about ChiRunning, dispelling some misconceptions and providing some good food for thought 😀



  • Hi James,

    Just listened to your interview with Gray Caws and thought I’d give you some feedback from my own experience. I played rugby at school and enjoyed cross country running, in fairly flat Addidas Samba type shoes, 20 years later I started running regularly, with no formal coaching and wearing Saucony running shoes, Inevitably, I started suffering with lower leg injuries, visited a podiatrist and had orthotics made and fitted. They cured the problem in the short term, only for another issue to arise elsewhere.

    I then had some coaching from Nick Constantine, a Chi running coach in Newcastle upon Tyne. Switched to some flatter running shoes (Skechers Go Runs) and really focussed on form and cadence. Save for a torn hamstring (from an attempt to play lads and dads rugby), I have not had any injuries since. Enjoy my running immensely and am now training for a marathon.

    Marathon training has been really interesting. In that whilst I run regularly up to around 10 miles, I have found, through focus on form and cadence, a slight reduction in pace and I have in a very short space of time moved up in distance to around 20 mlles with little noticeable additional effort. The only problem this has created is that the marathon is scheduled for October and I’m now happily running 20 miles at 5k/min pace and am unsure what to do next.

    Chi running, despite its ridiculous name, is simply about good running form and for me it has certainly worked. It isn’t a one size fits all, although it does need you to meet wiht a coach ideally one to one. Again, the coaching was really enjoyable, something I had never done before and a day spent out running along the coast in Northumberland was fantastic. Especially the bare foot session on the beach.

    Love the regular videos, for which many thanks.


  • I am at the older end of the age range and have recently taken up Triathlons, having previously been a swimmer, especially long distance. I took to the bike very quickly and easily and found it enjoyable, but running was so, so difficult. Trying to stride out, constantly out of breath, and on a half Ironman had to walk/run it. Having booked a full Ironman (ending in a marathon) I needed to do something about my running, and quick !
    I attended a one day course with Gray last October. I spent weeks, if not months, stand, lean run, stop, stand lean run stop until I eventually could run just over a mile without getting ridiculously out of breath. I constantly increased my distance, but still, at times having to revert back to walking – then one day out of the blue having to go to Dorchester, some 5 miles distant and partly up hill, I decided to run. I ran all the way without stopping and arrived almost refreshed – a true EUREKA moment. I bought some Brooks Pure Connect Lightweight running shoes and haven’t looked back since. Did a half marathon in March in 02:0618. Last week in Greece I was able to run at a constant speed up a steady gradient of 8-9% for 3 miles (approx 500m elevation). Ironman in two weeks – hoping to maintain 10/11 min/mile. Then I’ll be back to Gray to try and increase my speed especially on shorter distances.

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