I love this book. LOVE. IT. You must read it. Am I being pushy? Yes. Should you listen to me? Definitely.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall is a gem.
Well written. Exciting story. History of running mixed in with a crackerjack cast of characters. Christopher couldn’t have made up a more interesting bunch of folks.
And it made me want to run. Even more. The cool thing – in a moment of cosmic alignment – is that as I was reading along about this tribe of Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyon of Mexico who runs nearly barefoot and super fast I was thinking, “hey, this sounds a little like the Chi Running book I’ve been reading.” And it turns out it is all tied together.
Christopher describes the running style of these ultrarunners as gliding. Going back to how kids run naturally, before gravity and age and shoes start to muck around with nature. That made me think of this photo of my kid brother running on the beach. Kevin is probably about 5 years old here:
I want to run like that.
My girlfriend Nicolle lent me the book and had already ordered her pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes that are the bees knees for running barefoot while still protecting your feet from the evils of the road.
Here’s the pitch on their website – I think it’s pretty succint and well written:
The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.
That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception.
Nicolle got hers the other day and emailed me right away. She ran 15 minutes and was amazed at how her feet adjusted when things twinged. Though her knees and hips felt like they’d had a huge lifting workout afterward. It’s a big adjustment for all those bones, joints and muscles to go from the ultra support of most running shoes to barefoot. Makes sense it would take a lot of time to train them up to task.
I’m gonna get a pair and see where they take me.
Has anyone else tried this? Opinions, thoughts, input – please share!