Title: BORN TO RUN
Author: Christopher McDougall
→ Devour it
Nibble till it’s gone
Spit it out
BORN TO RUN is a funny, suspenseful, entertaining, and educational book. It’s not a food memoir, but rather Christopher McDougall’s quest to figure out why his feet hurt when he ran. His search led him from doctor to doctor and finally to the reclusive Tarahumara Indians living in the inaccessible Copper Canyons in Mexico.
I’m not a runner but I stumbled upon this book while watching McDougall’s interview on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.
The Tarahumara are a fascinating people. They wear sandals and run hundreds of miles just for fun in an inhospitable climate. They have no crime, no depression and none of the big killers that the ‘developed world’ has — cancer, heart disease, diabetes and such.
McDougall also describes long distance racing. Not wimpy little 26-mile marathons, but footraces of 100 miles! I’d never heard of such a pastime. And the key seems to be to ditch your sneakers. All those high-priced running shoes do more harm than good. The theory is that all the stability and mechanics they build into the shoe means your body isn’t required do what it’s meant to do.
He talks about research studies that show regardless of training surface, running speed, motivation, weekly mileage, body weight, or history of injuries, the common denominator in injuries was the cost of the running shoe worn. “Runners in shoes that cost more than $95 were more than twice as likely to get hurt as runners in shoes that cost less than $40.”
But here’s a shoe McDougall talks about that mimics barefoot running …
Isn’t that a hoot?! (It is, however, more than $40.) They have oodles of styles and colors, both for men and women. BTW, Vibram … I’ll absolutely start running if you send me a pair of these! Just sayin.
I said this wasn’t a food memoir, but there is practical and instructive nutritional information in it.
Anyway, the result of McDougall’s quest is a highly entertaining history of the Tarahumara, of the shoe cartel, and of the science of running. You won’t want to put it down till you know who wins the final race.
Do you run? Would you try running barefoot? Will you send me a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes?