Laura's Reviews > Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
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's review
Sep 13, 2009

really liked it

I really enjoyed reading this. McDougall has a very interesting story to tell and does so in a very entertaining fashion. I was raised in the culture of running (I think my earliest memory is the smell of Bengay) and have been a runner myself for many years, but this book really made me think about my own approach to the sport.

Born to Run is probably most known for bringing nationwide attention to the barefoot running movement, but I think its most important message is one people mention far less often: the most successful runners are the ones who run for the sheer joy of running. These stories inspired me to concentrate more on finding joy in my own running instead of viewing it as a chore.

The book spends a lot of time discussing the merits of barefoot running and the questionable benefits of running shoes. I found these chapters interesting and thought-provoking because they raised questions it had never occurred to me to ask. Whether or not you agree with McDougall's conclusions, the debate is worth exploring. I think ultimately the answer is "do what works for you." I've been experimenting with short barefoot runs because I'm intrigued by the idea of strengthening unused muscles in my feet. I enjoy it and am exited to see where it takes me, but I'm not chucking my Brooks in the trash just yet.

It was fun getting to know all the different people McDougall met in the course of writing the book, and the glimpse of Tarahumara life and culture was fascinating. It does jump around a bit but I didn't mind; the chance to delve into the characters' backgrounds and get a bit of historical detail about different people, places, and events was worth a little loss of cohesion in the narrative.

Highly enjoyable and highly recommended, especially to runners.

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