Book Review: Born to Run

My sister tried to buy me Born to Run for my birthday, but it was snatched from my doorstep.  She tried again for xmas, sending it to our folks instead.  Success!  Two days later, I was finished, and what a great read!

Yes, that’s right, I read it all in two days flat.  It’s an amazing story, centered on the Tarahumara, but with fascinating tangents into evolution, nutrition, the Leadville 100 (which now I want to do some day), and much, much more.  I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.

Some bits that stuck out for me:

  • We are not descended from Neanderthals.  They were big and muscled, and attacked large animals in groups to get their meat.  Our ancestors actually evolved to chase down food in what’s called ‘persistence hunting’, literally running your prey to death.  Wow!
  • As crazy as my friends think I am for my triathlon goals, ultra-runners are far, FAR crazier.
  • The majority of the running shoe industry is based on fundamentally wrong assumptions about proper running form.
  • We are designed not just to run, but to enjoy running.

One of the most exciting things to me during the past couple years was discovering how fun training can be.  My body likes to move, to be challenged, to respond to physical stress by becoming stronger, faster, fitter.  Born to Run tells the story of a whole population that feels that way, and can finish a 100 mile run through the mountains with smiles on their faces and plenty of gas left in the tank.

Read it.  Be inspired.  Get out there and smile.

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