Basically, “Born to Run” is a story about distance running. More specifically, it’s about the people of the Tarahumara, a tribe of people living in the Copper River Mountains that is located in Mexico.
These people were amazing.
They could run 50-100 miles at a time! Even though they were bred the run these distances out of necessity (in order to survive), they enjoyed running and it became their way of life.
The author and narrator, Christopher McDougall, describes himself as a beat up, middle aged journalist who is fascinated by this tribe of people that could run twice as much as he can without any injuries.
What’s their secret?
To find out, McDougall leads us on an adventure to the Colorado Mountains, Mexico, and even to the wide open plains of Africa. Along the way, he introduces us to several characters including ultra marathoners, doctors, scientists, and even Nike specialists to help him get the answers he is looking for.
It turns out that they run barefoot. Yes, without any shoes.
Throughout the adventure, McDougall relies on science and pure facts to help explain this phenomenon. He introduces study after study to back up the fact that our bodies have naturally evolved to run incredible distances without suffering injuries. Personally, I found some of the studies to be quite far fetched, but this book did actually convince me that there is something about barefoot running that I needed to investigate for myself.
From reading this book, I learned that humans are uniquely designed for distance running and we don’t need expensive running shoes.
I only run in my Vibrams once or twice a week, but it’s a great change of pace.