If you are a runner or not you really need to listen to this book. I would normally not listen to a book on running but this book captured my attention from the start.I laughed, cried, and smiled throughout this book. I listened to it once and then immediately started to listen to it again. The narrator is one of the best I have listened to. I can't stop thinking about the characters and even googled them to learn more about them. Do not pass this book by as it would be a big mistake!
Very possibly. And great narration. This is a combination of a great running story and terrific backround information. I was sorry it ended.
This is one fine book. I chose it to learn something I could integrate into my wellness program. I got more than I bargained for and a series of wonderful surprises in the deal. This is a story of the Tarahumara Indians who are distance runners. It is filled with great character studies, anecdocts, and information relevant to the runner and the marginally interested. It is informative, well written, and read in an excellent fashion. You will come to understand what makes these folks run, how they run, and a lot more.
I have regularly runs ultras since 2001. This book has spurred more growth in a single listen than all those years, combined. What others have called "bird walking" is the true substance of this book. While the actual race is fascinating, the research and stories about running, in general - shoes, or the lack thereof, nutrition, physiology, and psychology - are a veritable goldmine for an ultrarunner, or anyone aspiring to try.
Since reading this book I have taken off my watch, stopped training for specific events and forgotten about PR times. I have gotten back to running for its own sake and I have enjoyed every moment of it. I am enjoying running in a way that I haven't for years.
This book brought me back to what it was like to run as a child, to run for a shear joy of it. It captures the spirit of running better than any other book I have every read.
The changes I have made since reading this book I believe have reconnected me in a deeper and more meaningful way to what it means to be human. I am extremely grateful for that.
And its just a great story, perfect pace and great characters.
Excellent book ,great stories great characters,very good information about running and diet and training to run long distance.I am serching now for another book this good and it will be a long search.
Really like non-fiction with a well told story
I've always run a little.
With this book I found myself sneaking out of work with my iPod and running shorts to listen to and live this great story.
It's not surprising Christopher McDougall made so many "crazy" friends on his journey, his writing style makes me feel like he's my old college buddy (might be the language). Fred Saunders narrating goes perfectly with this text.
Based on this book I can't stop myself from telling people to throw away their expensive running shoes and run the way we were made to run. I've decided to go against the conventional wisdom and do MORE walking barefoot to get rid of my heel pain. I've gone from a mind set of "maybe I'm not meant to run so much to "I want to run for hours and hours, everyday and all the time" and I can't wait until I can.
Usually I don't like a lot of "names" in a book (my simple mind has trouble keeping them straight) but, I loved meeting all these characters.
I've got another hour left of the book that I'm saving for tomorrows "lunch". I hope the undercurrent of living "a good life" is what really makes a "good runner" carries to the end. Don't confuse "good life" with no partying 'cause there is plenty of that. This is the good life the prophets talk about with sharing, love, compassion and simple living.
A wonderful book that is well read. I have little interest in running, but I continually made excuses for listening to this book.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I, surprisingly, enjoyed this book. I have just recently taken up jogging for exercise and consider a 5K to be a near insurmountable distance. The idea of a marathon, let alone extreme distance running is not in my realm of possibilities or interest. However, I was quite intrigued by McDougall's tale of superathletes, the Tarahumara and the art of running. I am curious about my own running, pathetic though it may be, and how I might improve based on evidence presented in this book.
Clearly, this book is not for everyone, and I would even say it was a slow start. By mid-book I was hooked and anxious to hear more. If you are a runner of any kind, go ahead and give this book a try. You just might find yourself thinking about running barefoot through the streets.
So, what kind of book is this actually? It is part biography, part history, part science and part fun stories about the weird characters in the ultra running-scene. A short outline of each of the parts of the book:
1. biography: the search of Chris McDougall for how to run injury free, finally culminating in his participation in a 50 mile ultra-marathon in the Copper Canyons with the best racers in the world.
2. history: how running developed and what it has meant for human beings over time. Also the recent history of running (Nike) and ultra-running. This is really fun stuff, even if you don't like to run yourself. You feel yourself in the excitement of these extreme races that last sometimes more than a day in deserts, over icy mountains and through rugged forests.
3. science: running causes an amazing amount of injuries, where many people believe it to be healthy. It seems modern runners entertain the entirely wrong running style/method. This sounds strangely true, and other science books confirm this hypothesis.
4. story: there are about 10 great characters in the book, which are described vividly although almost too fantastic to be true. The main ones are Micah True (Caballo Blanco), Scott Jurek (the greatest ultra-marathoner ever) and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico.
Although McDougall has a tendency to exaggerate, the story develops at a good pace and it has both riveting sub-stories as well as many nuggets of knowledge related to running. The most perplexing the one about persistence hunting: the ability of humans to hunt prey by running after them until they die of a stroke. Apparently, this is the very first means of hunting mankind employed, only later abandoned for easier/faster methods.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who knows someone that likes to run, so can empathize a bit with the sport. You don't have to like it yourself, this book will not turn you into a runner (I am still not), but you certainly get a better feel of the thrill that people feel with running long distance and particularly trail and ultras.