Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen By Christopher McDougall

One of my clients recommended this book to me when I mentioned I had a knee problem running. I thought the concept of Barefoot running sounded really odd and although I enjoyed the film “Chariots of Fire” I have never had interest in watching running or reading about running. I just love running. So I started reading this book in a rather un-plused. It was not my normal reading area or my normal interest. This in fact can often make a good read for the modern me and I found I was soon engrossed.
It has to be said I didn’t like the writing style of the author at first. It is written like modern TV, constantly teasing you with what is going to happened next. Having said this I got used to the structure and the diversions from the main story and I shared the authors passion for running. Towards the end of the book I found I just wanted to keep reading. The author tapped into something in me I didn’t know was there.
I have significantly improved my life with ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome) and moved from being a mobility scooter user to becoming a runner again but it didn’t occur to me how much I really loved running.
At school I was told the history of the Marathon and how it came to be 26miles and of course you hear of Marathons all the time. It never occured to me that people would create and run 100 mile races. This really intrigued me.
As did the whole concept that modern running shoes have not helped reduce injuries but possibly added to them. The logic explained by McDougall seemed quite sound to me. I even have parallels in my life in the fact that I was on Painkillers for 15 years. Once I stopped taking them I was forces to correct my tired backs posture and within a week I was actually more comfortable off painkillers than when I was on them. The concept therefore that cushioning our feet could be causes us to do more damage to our legs therefore seems highly plausible.
I have already started experimenting with running Tarahumara style and while I don’t suppose for a minute I am getting it right I have found my speed over 2.5miles has improved at least 30seconds and my knee is not causing as many problems. I am looking to try some Barefoot shoes and she what that does for me.
In the meantime I recommend this book to anyone especially if you vaguely enjoyed the film “Chariots of fire”.