Two Teens And Their Mama: Books to Read - Born To Run

Friday, February 13, 2015

Books to Read - Born To Run


I do not run long distances - and as far as I'm concerned, anything over 200 meters is long.  My younger son T, however, loves to run, and he regularly logs eight to ten miles a day.  Last year he started having trouble with foot pain, and his running coach suggested I read Born To Run.

I'm so glad I did.

This non-fiction book is a page turner, even if you've never run a mile in your life.  Christopher McDougall is a vivid, wonderful storyteller, and he weaves an interesting, true tale with science and anthropological research.

It all began when the author, himself an avid runner, started having aches and pains.  His doctor told him that long distance running wasn't natural and that human bodies weren't made for the pressure put on the feet and knees.  He suggested that McDougall should probably stop.

Instead, McDougall tracked down the Tarahumara Indian Tribe of Mexico's Copper Canyons.  For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest - blissfully.  Known for their excellent health and serene nature, the Tarahumara Indians run barefoot or with the cheapest, flattest soles possible.

The book then leads you on a journey that explores why we were born to run. The human foot is a true marvel of engineering that has been robbed of its ability to do what it was designed to do by modern running shoes.  Our ancestors used persistence hunting - chasing something down until it collapsed from exhaustion.  Fascinating stuff that was all new to me.

McDougall also delves into the world of ultra marathoning - running 50 or 100 miles in grueling conditions - and introduces the reader to some of the unique characters involved in the sport.

This all culminates with an ultra race through Tarahumara country, which pits the tribe against an oddball group of American ultramarathoners, and McDougall himself.

Born To Run is entertaining, educational, and inspiring.  I found myself smiling as I finished the last page.  If you enjoy long distance running, this book will reinforce why. And if you're like me, it's a unique glimpse into the world that produces this kind of joy. 


I still don't get it, but T sure does.

24 comments:

  1. Oh I totally want to read this! I started running late in life and it didn't last too long with foot, ankle and knee problems. I really miss it! Thanks for sharing your review!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. I think you would really enjoy this book Jill!

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  2. This sounds interesting. I've always wondered about those newer running shoes that look like gloves for the feet I've seen a few people running in. They say it is supposed to be better for you.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I've heard good things about those gloves too - my son hasn't tried them though.

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  3. I don't read non-fiction often but I think this is one I'd like. Thanks for the recommend!

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    1. It's really good, especially for non-fiction.

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  4. I don't do long distance running but I enjoy walking and jogging intermittently. It's the only work out I truly enjoy, so your write up on this book is really interesting to me. I hope your son heals soon and will be allowed to run again and enjoy it. Thanks Lana!

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    1. Thanks Joy. He's already feeling better!

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  5. Lana,
    Thanks for sharing this! I wasn't born to run, but I have a friend who runs and competes regularly. Will be a great gift for her!

    I always enjoy visting here, you have such a way of inspiring your readers in so many different ways. I've nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Thanks for your gentle nature and your warm hearted posts!

    http://thefivefacets.blogspot.com/2015/02/healing-and-two-sides-of-inspiration.html

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    1. Thank you so much for the nice compliment and the nomination. I will check it out!

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  6. Running kills me, but I do enjoy a brisk walk.

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  7. I've heard of a "runner's high" and never understood it until one day when I was in my easy twenties and newly married, my husband ( a runner at the time) convinced me to run with him one night. I hated the first 20 minutes and felt like I was going to die, then something kicked in and suddenly I picked up speed and practically flew. I felt like I could go on and on forever, LOL. Sadly, that was the first and last time it ever happened. I just stick to my zumba classes now, Ha-ha!

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  8. I. Must. Read. This. Book. I love to run. But my knees give me trouble. This sounds like it could help. And entertain at the same time. What could be better?!

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    1. Exactly! I think you would really enjoy it Diane.

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  9. Very cool. You really have to admire that tenacity - to not accept that statement that humans aren't born to run.
    I think we so clearly are born to run!

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  10. I am not a runner but I love to walk and run together... I think I could run if I actually got past my mind thinking I might have a heart attack...lol... when I do run a bit I feel really free but then my mind takes over and go back to walking...

    This book sounds really great Lana... I highly doubt I would ever want to run 50 miles plus... heck I will be happy to do a mile one day ;) xox

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    1. I just stick to the walking part - so I commend you for running at all!

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  11. I always thought it would be wonderful to be able to just run like that! Just for the love of it. Sadly I'm like you though and prefer a much slower hike through the woods. The book sounds really interesting and I am always on a mission to find new, great books to read and being of Indian heritage it has a special meaning.

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    1. It's really interesting Rena - I think you would enjoy it!

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  12. Somehow missed this post. This book is a favorite in my family as well. Lots of good information. Hope that is the end of foot pain for T!

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    1. Thanks Susan. We bought different shoes and he seems to be doing better.

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