Born To Run - A Review
McDougall writes in an enchanting, engaging style that is as dramatic and exciting as it is informative. The result is a book that oozes a sense of intrepid exploration and offers the potential of newfound athletic wisdom that might just change your ife, or at least your running. And it delivers too, the book is full of observations and insights into not only the life of the running tarahumara indians, but the nature and art of running itself.
The book reads as a reflection of McDougalls personal journey from shoe-provoked running injuries to the heights of healthy and natural athelticism; tracking his journey away from conventional medicine towards the finding of his own solutions. It explores all the intricacies of modern day running, askming why we run, how we run, and why running casues as many injuries as it does. It also offers an alternative, McDougall proffers a natural style of running more akin to the style of the tarahumara indians, who run wearing sandals and subsist on little more than ground corn, barbecued mouse and a mysterious elixir made of chia seeds. Despite this, they still manage to run injury-free for many miles more than most.
The title itself belies McDougalls hypothesis, suggesting that extended cardiovascualar workouts are not only a beneficial activity, but a cornerstone of peacefulness and good health. Thus the story begins, and thirty two chapters later it is complete. The thesis develops as the book progresses, finally reaching a conclusion in the symbolic merging of the two cultures as modern super atheletes run alongside the tarahumara.
But McDougall skims the subject of reccomending specific shoes - instead allowing the reader to make up their own mind. It is this approach that makes the book so convincing. He does not so much avidly suggest that readers use a specific type of shoe or adopt a specific type as just let the facts stand on their own. Because the concepts contained within the book are so well defined, and the information accurate, the reader is drawn to naturally change their mind about running. It is for this reason that the book is such a seminal work that has become so popular.
As a writer for Mens Health, McDougall is perhaps only too aware of the benefits of sticking to science and solid journalism based on fact. Before running out to purchase a pair of huarache sandals or vibram fivefingers however, I would advise runners to remember that wearing shoes with practically no sole to pound the streets on is very different from wearing minimalist sandals to run across the desert. A good compromising minimalist shoe is the Brooks Green Silence
If you are looking for a good read to inspire yourself to run, or to learn more about how to run naturally. I wouldn’t hesitate to reccomend this book to you, it can be purchased from Amazon Here