App Review by Stein Langlie
Chi Running is a collection of techniques designed to help you run easier and injury free. While it posits important ideas shared with various coaches and professional athletes, Chi Running collects many of these ideas together as a comprehensive approach to running. Key aspects of Chi Running are reducing impact, improving posture, core strength and using gravity to make running easier. Recently I was fortunate to review the Chi Running iPhone app.
I really liked the metronome because the recommended cadence encourages you to run with light and quick steps. I also like the Chi Focuses (periodic verbal cues while running) to help improve running form. It was nice to have a verbal reminder to loosen up the lower legs and shoulders, achieve correct posture and focus on a proper forward lean. Of course the app utilizes GPS so you get a detailed summary of your run as well as a map when finished. I liked the ability to follow a warm-up routine and the short-but-sweet videos made it easy to review key concepts.
The Chi Focuses became annoying after 20 or 30 minutes; it would be nice to have a time limit for this feature. The metronome was generally welcome but became a nag when oppressive heat slowed me down. Because the warm-up routine is video-based I couldn’t watch it while my phone was strapped to my arm – so generally I found myself skipping them just to get on with the run. I would also like to choose my own “soundtrack” because the metronome monotone is too much for a long run.
For short training runs of ten to thirty minutes this smartphone app is a great tool to help focus on proper running technique. The Chi Running iPhone app would appeal to beginners with questions about good form as well as anyone who needs an occasional review session. I found this to be a handy tool with some good video content and at $9.99 the price is reasonable.