Born to Run & barefoot running.

April 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Posted in running | 7 Comments

Since my real book club was this week, I thought I’d have a mini-book club on here too. I’m reading Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Chris McDougall.

I’m obsessed! The thought of this book and the runners profiled in it is literally what got me out of bed and on my feet all this week. I’m only just past halfway through, and I’m riveted. McDougall follows the Tarahumara, a group of extraordinary ultrarunners living in Mexico’s CopperCanyon, and the elites of the American ultrarunning circuit. They are all amazing athletes who can run for literally days on end, and it seems that the one thing they all have in common is that they just love running. It’s a joy for them. They don’t stress about training schedules – they just go out there and pound the pavement until they feel like stopping.

Also, there’s quite a case made for barefoot running. McDougall cites a lot of research proving that runners who run barefoot or in thin soled shoes are approximately a bajillion times less prone to injury than runners who wear cushioned, “corrective” sneakers. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that buying a pair of Vibram FiveFingers is at the top of my to-do list this weekend. But I know that the jury is still out on the safety of barefoot running, so if I do get one of those things, I know I have to start very, very slowly. As in, walking.

I still have a bit left in the book, so I’ll give you my full report when I’m finished.

Confession: I didn’t do strength today. I was wrapped up in some must-see TV (come on, you were watching too) and prepping for this move (which is way more work than we realized we were in for). Oh well – as long as I get in the runs on my schedule. And I swear I’ll find time for strength over the weekend.

Did you read Born to Run? Have you tried barefoot/semi-barefooot running? What do you think?


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  1. I have about 30 pages of this book left and I am just as enamored with it. I already ran in minimalist shoes, but this book has taught me so much about correcting my form and the reasons to run. I often think about how the people in the book run just because they love it when I am struggling through some miles.

    • I do the same thing!

      can I ask what shoes you run in?

  2. Reading that one now! Planning to post a review on my site… just read “Bounce” also and decided book reviews on running related topics are my next foray into specific blog posts ;). Haven’t tried my new Saucony Hattori’s, yet.

    • did you like Bounce? would you recommend it?

      • I did like it, and I think it would be interesting to any athlete – fairly quick read and always nice to read about athletes working hard to get where they are. He made some points I hadn’t thought about, and his section on race & athletics is definitely interesting. And it is an excellent reminder that you can get better by working at something! I reviewed –>

  3. This has been on my to-read list forever! I saw Christopher on The Daily Show a while ago and was so intrigued. I love my big cushion-y Sauconys, but maybe one day I’ll give barefoot running a try…

    • once you read the book you’ll be at the running store buying new sneakers before you even realize what you’re doing 🙂

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