Jtokar84'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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U 50x66
's review
Jun 16, 2012

really liked it
Read in October, 2010

If you have ever considered yourself a runner, or like many of us "run" to burn up those excess calories, I highly recommend this book.

The title of the book stems from the concept that humans are unique in the mammalian world in running endurance. The author does an admirable job proving it.

This is the first time I have read any of McDougall's work and was impressed with the quality of his writing. This is a non-fiction book with a fascinating story line and a set of characters that McDougall does a materful job in describing to the reader. He dives into the arcane "sport" of ultra running, follows some of the elite members of the sport, and follows as they take up a challenge to compete against the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyon.

While telling the story McDougall also knits in significant background research around a the very popular and growing retro barefoot running movement. Basically the theory goes something like this - modern running shoes are Bad because the encourage "heel strike" substantially increasing impact forces and increasing joint pain and injurty. Barefoot running is Good because it forces "flat foot strike" causing the calves and thighs to absorb much the strike impact substantially reducing joint pain.

After reading this book I was so intrigued a spent a month running flat footed (with running shoes on - to chicken to run barefooted.) And for me, it worked! Knee pain gone, hip pain gone. Been running flat footed every since.

I will say that the book over sells the barefoot running concept. I was able to get the same benefits as attributed to barefoot running but still enjoyed the protection and cushioning of my modern running shoes.

If you run and have not read this book, read it.

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