In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence.
With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a 50-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.
With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons.
Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
©2009 Knopf; (P)2009 Random House
"Equal parts quest, physiology treatise, and running history....[McDougall] seeks to learn the secrets of the Tarahumara the old-fashioned way: He tracks them down....The climactic race reads like a sprint....It simply makes you want to run." (Outside Magazine)
"Hugely entertaining. . . . One of the most joyful and engaging books about running to appear for many years." (The Irish Times)
A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete." (Kirkus)
Im not a runner, but this book inspired me to buy new running shoes. You don't have to be a runner to enjoy this book. It gets a little dry in parts, but fight thru. It's a better than average boom over all.
Very informative and it told an interesting story at the same time.
Even, enjoyable a non factor
Nike is the devil
Yes, I would recommend this book. it has really encouraged me, as a new runner, to push myself.
Possibly, not sure how interested I am in reading more running books, one might be enough.
That our bodies are capable of much more than we think. Knowing this has changed my outlook on training and am able to push myself a lot harder knowing we were "born to run".
I love this book and i'm listening to it again and probably going to repeat it everytime I need more running motivation.
As a former competitive runner I've always had problems getting back to it - my brain can run 19:40 5K but my body ... well though I love love, CRAVE even (this book made me realize/reaquaint with) the feeling of successful runs but I hate the getting back into shape which with the number of injuries I've been getting is pretty much always the case.
I listened to this book before "boot-camp" and managed to be so motivated that I did my 1.5mi test over a steep bridge even in 11:15 after not being 'up-to' running the full distance without stopping only ~3 wks before.
He got me back in touch with my original LOVE for running - cause he's more right than he may think I did run EVERYWHERE EVERYWHERE all the way till the last year of high school ... EVERYwhere.
man I love running now more like I originally did and I've recommended the book to so many people & I've found so many other fans since reading this book too - We are a running nation, a running world, a running race... :-D
I was hoping for more education on the running style and less on the story.
It ended as real life normally ends.
Yes, there was a good mix of characters.
No, maybe a documentary.
I love trees!
Already have..... 4 times!! Its such an inspiring great awesome book!!
Where to begin? The characters mainly, Caballo Blanco (RIP) The Story, The science, history....every thing!!
He's great!! He very expressive and easy to listen to.
Lots!! Our own evaluation, and how we truly are born to run!! so much more... you just have to experience it for yourself.
fantastic incredible book!!! so AWESOME!!
Do you really need to spend 10 hours explaining that our fancy Nike shoes are bad for us? I did not care for many of the characters and found that the narrator lost focus (especially in the middle of the book). Overall, I found the book aimless and superficial.
Life of Pi
Did not like this narrator at all.
A great story and a great way to tell it. Personally the best way to describe this book is like when you want to watch that documentary everyone is talking about but never get around to it... when you finally do, you can't stop telling your friends about it and regreat you haven't seen it sooner. It's a fun book, filled with funny moments and interesting facts, the reader is perfect as well. Don't miss it!
Great story! Honors the evolved human ability to run and the value of low tech solutions over high end, big business commercial products. Was hard to have the story end but it inspired me to get back to running more.
How we've evolved to run; how wonderful our bodies are adapted to it. Also the aspect of cross-cultural communication and bonding.
Running with minimalist shoes rather than huge cushioned ones that actually cause more injuries.
This is a great audio book. The author is caring, very funny, witty, and knowledgeable. I learned a lot about the people, runners, manufacturers, food, and human nature. I don't even run but this is a great book.
Where is the 4.5 button? I guess if I had to choose between a 4 and a 5, I will choose the 5. I am not an avid runner, but my wife is. I am not sure why I was drawn to this book, but I truly enjoyed it. It is about this group of ultra long distance runners called the Tarahumara. They are a Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. They are very reclusive but they are know for running distances of 100 miles or so and without injuring themselves. An average of 65-85% of all runners get injured and run much shorted distances. So what gives? The Tarahumara run in sandals and bare feet. We, on the other hand, run in all sorts of cushioned shoes to help correct all sorts of running quirks. Over-pronation, under-pronation, high arches, etc. According to Runners World Magazine, only 25% of the population have a "correct foot". Really? So 75% of the people need to have orthopedic shoes. That's what today's running shoes are. I find it ridiculous, and so does the author.
If feet are allowed to correctly assess the surface they are running on (barefoot or minimal shoes), they will give you instant feedback on what is right and what is wrong. Your feet will also get strengthened because they are not being babied. This may seem counter intuitive, but this leads to better posture, strong feet and less wear and tear on your joints.
Anyway, my biggest take-away is that our bodies were perfectly designed to run and we don't need any assistance in fixing all these mistakes in it. The author, through assertions from "experts" cite how our bodies evolved to do what it does. I do take issue with all this evolution b.s. This is a perfect example of trying to fix something that was never broken. In fact, the running shoes of today are actually causing the problem. Studies have shown that the more expensive the shoe, the higher incident of injury.
It was a great story of ultra-runners mixed in with some great facts on running shoes. There was some language issues, so be prepared for that. Otherwise a great book.
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