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Book review on the run: Born to Run

Posted Jul 22 2011 8:00am
Born to Run made me want to be a better runner.

Seriously.

And clearly I am not the only person bedazzled by the book. Amazon reviewers give it 4.5 (out of 5) stars, the Seattle PI reviewer writes
Part adventure story, part runner's diary, and part popular science, McDougall's book ties together unforgettable real-life characters, the close calls of off-the-beaten path investigative journalism, and ongoing research in evolutionary anthropology to produce something epic... You might not think long-distance running sounds as edge-of-your-seat as mountain climbing, but you'd be wrong. Whether you've run a mile recently or not, this is a fascinating and thought-provoking book.
and the Washington Post called it "a thrilling read, even for someone who couldn't care less about proper stride and split times and energy gels."

So when I say that the book made me want to be a better runner, I do not exaggerate.

I read quite a lot (to the point where I really should consider a second job just to keep up with my Kindle habit.)

Despite all that reading, rarely does a book make me want to get up and do something. I wanted to drop everything, tear off my shoes, and cruise barefoot around my neighborhood for a few dozen miles.

But clearly that's not practical without risking injury. So to be both inspired and practical, I've reworked my summer training plan to gradually increase my mileage, and I added some drills to shorten my stride and improve my midfoot (rather than heel) landing when I'm running.

While I'm not out running 50 miles at a time (not yet, anyway) I am taking a page from McDougall's book and running even when it's hot and miserable outside. Being new to the Gulf Coast, prior to reading Born to Run I had resigned myself to mostly indoor running and stationary bike work for the long, hot summer.

But if the Tarahumara (aka Raramuri) people can run in the heat of the Mexican canyons, surely I can put in my regular weekly mileage outdoors.
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