What an uneven, poorly edited, poorly researched book... but still helpful. If you take it as ONE MAN'S RECOMMENDATIONS on barefoot running, it's goodWhat an uneven, poorly edited, poorly researched book... but still helpful. If you take it as ONE MAN'S RECOMMENDATIONS on barefoot running, it's good. If you take it as a well-grounded, well-researched book... not.
The first few chapters are new agey "connect with the magnetic fields of the earth" kind of hooey, but if you can wade through that (or skim fast), then the book gets pretty good. Its discussion of mechanics, exercises, how to build up your foot, injuries - all are good. The discussion of food and nutrition is very basic: eat organic, eat local; nothing different for a runner than for any other human need. The author makes goofy outlandish statements right and left that make a reader wonder if there's any truth to that phrase (hot peppers are a superfood! sugar is the only food that makes you want to eat more of it!) I stopped making notes for things I wanted to fact-check after a while - they all might be true, but the author doesn't support any of it, beyond a quasi-religious enthusiasm from his personal experience.
There's a decent little mini-chapter at the end about minimalist shoes, but you're better off visiting a barefoot/minimalist shoe store and asking for help. I'm very fortunate to have www.borntorun.com local to me in Seattle.
All in all... good resources, but take it as more of a memoir with some good details, rather than a well-researched resource....more
This is one of the best nonfiction books I've read this year.
Starting with the basics: McDougall's book begins as an exploration into running injuriesThis is one of the best nonfiction books I've read this year.
Starting with the basics: McDougall's book begins as an exploration into running injuries, but is really about three interweaving themes: Ultramarathon running; the Tarahumara people; and barefoot running.
I was most impressed by *how* McDougall tells these three stories. They're all interconnected, and I had the sense that the book works like waves crashing onto the beach - each wave overlaps the ones that had come before, mixing and making the previous wave reverberate. It's a truly impressive writing job.
And it's a fascinating story, and inspiring, and very entertaining. ...more
What a beautiful meditation on daily practices. Contrary to the title, this isn't really a book about running. It's more a book about rhythms and discWhat a beautiful meditation on daily practices. Contrary to the title, this isn't really a book about running. It's more a book about rhythms and disciplines. Running and racing in triathlons, sure, but it's more about the rhythms of living and writing that Murakami has wound into his life. It's a deeply impactful book wrapped up in a delicate little package. Very spiritual in the broad sense of the word.
I've never read Murakami before this, but I'm diving deep into his novels immediately after this as a result.
I can't say enough positive about this book. I loved it on audiobook, as I got a great sense of the author's humor that I may not have heard in the written text in the same way. I'll buy it and hand it around....more