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)
Turns out I listen better than I read.
This book packs a real story, real-life modern personalities and useful information into a great read - one of those 'can't put down' reads. I probably listened to this book faster than any other. My 75 year old mother, began running, for the first time in her life, after reading it within a week on Kindle. To say that it is well written is an understatement - it is perfectly written in every dimension possible, and it's funny. This book got me running again.
This book is interesting, engaging and an overall reminder of what motivates me to run. Since my early twenties I've been through various stages in my life compelling me to run anywhere between 10 and 100 miles per week...I never feel better than when I am making time for high miles. I have not personally met another person who shares this passion. This book has helped me discover a new motivation to get out there and keep running.
Form and posture. How important it is to run the right way.
The audio version is very well performed and the story works well in audio format.
The narration is clear and spoken in a natural voice
I was expecting a lot more information about minimalist (no shoes) running: physiology, anatomy, injury statistics, etc. As the book's cover says, this is a story about atheletes and a race. It was less inspiring than I expected and I got bored of the drawn-out story. However, many of my friends recommend this book highly.
Tell us about yourself!
I listened to this book on my way to work and back each day. I looked forward to my commute because I was pulled into the narration, the people, their lives, and how it all weaved together into a fascinating tale about who we are as people. I goes well beyond running -- into philosophy, who we are as people, and what can make us extraordinary. I recommend this book to anyone.
A bit like an ultra run itself, it states the point over and over again, BUT that point is really worth it!
Anyone who feels they love running more than they actually do it.
It's quite an easy book to put aside for a few days and pick up right where you were.
Just read it
It's a great book full of good stories as well as great data nuggets. A very good read in general, a great read for all runners and a must read for people who want to run injury free.
The narration of the different races. Specially The Leadville 100's
Yes, awesome story that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next.
The new perspective it brings to something that we have all done for our entire lives.
This book was excellent. A little anthropology, a little science and a great story. I did love the iconoclastic portions - all the silliness that "Marketing" has made us believe (shame on us) to take our money. There is something in this book for everyone and I don't run, ever!
The part about how they got very drunk the night before a 100 mile run. Who would do that?
I have never listened to Fred Sander's read before but I will be on the lookout for his narratives. His performance was right on target!
Never pay more than $60.00 for running shoes. Expensive shoes are highly correlated with running injuries.
Yes, if they liked running.
That it kept my attention and was very interesting and informative
I was looking forward to reading this but I had thought it was mostly a narrative that really sold the barefoot running idea. But it turns out that is only one part of a very human and unexpected story. Very inspiring--now I want to run fifty miles (even though I have never run longer than a half marathon!).
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