Born to Run – Christopher McDougall

Bought this on something of a whim – although the same could be said about a lot of my book shopping so… I’d seen my mate reading it and asked if he was enjoying it, and he said yes, so that was good enough for me. It’s not about The Boss, it is about running. It’s kind of about a tribe of Mexicans who run as a bonding, festival event. It’s also about a few guys with slightly less well-tightened screws than the majority of the world, whose idea of fun is to run two or three or four marathons back-to-back, often through mountains or deserts. It’s also, to some extent, about barefoot running and the evil greed of the running shoe industry. There’s even a bit about the evolution of modern man as a running animal who hunted by literally chasing animals until they dropped dead.

The style isn’t to everyone’s taste (I had it recommended to me on Amazon after I’d read it, so I checked the reviews) but it’s a chatty, anecdote-y style, flitting from one story to the next – past races, the struggle to organise the Big Race, biographical snippets, it all makes the pages turn. Some of the science might be a little bit suspect, but it’s inspired me to try running without the balloon padding “support” running shoes that (a) give me blisters and (b) don’t seem to do anything to help my knees. After all, the Tarahumara run miles and miles every day on used car tires sandals.

What it did best, though, was to articulate much better than I’ve been able to, that running is definitely something that the human body knows it should be doing.

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