Books of the Month for May 2010: Born to Run

born I have a lot of fun reading books, and sorry I have not been sharing more, bur I have several  good books I have been reading and I am pretty excited for this book this month:

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

Every so often with the books I read they will challenge my notions of what I perceive to be right and true.  For example if you go for a run, whether it is 2 miles or 26.2 miles, it is simple you wear shoes.  After reading this book, I really am not so sure anymore that shoes are the answer after reading this book.  The book details the starts with one simple statement, my foot hurts.  If you are runner at some time or another you most likely have gone to the doctor and made that statement.  To the author, Christopher McDougall, he wanted to know why and how to make it go away as do we all.  He found his answer with the  Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons. 

Christopher McDougall, chronicles his wonderful journey and experience in Mexico, as well as some great research around the art form, known as running.  He also goes in to detail how most shoes are working against the natural form of our feet and bodies.  This book really changed my perspective on running, and how I can avoid injuries.  Christopher, writes a great book, but I do have to warn you a bit, is he also likes to go down side tracks during his story telling.  It is a great way to drive his point across, but sometimes I just wnated to know how the race was going to end.

So what impact has the book done for me, well my neighbors now think I am crazy, or I should say crazier than they initially thought.  Because I am trying bare foot running.  Yup, that is right I am running down on the street in my bare feet, to improve and strengthen my feet.  The only thing for I was not sure where to start, so I contacted my former trainer, and great friend in Texas Jimmy Hart, to see if he had heard of this or done anything like it.  Turns out he has, and better yet he has a website:

Go Barefooting 

bare Jimmy is doing a great job at educating how to start barefooting, and what it can mean for you.  The best thing I love about Go Barefooting is that Jimmy does not force feed you barefoot running he simply tells his stories and shares his learning.  He realizes that barefoot running may not be for everybody, but he is not like many other sites around this issue that seem to be dead set against or for it.  I would highly recommend the site, and learn about Jimmy’s quest for the Bikila

One of my favorite sayings from Jimmy comes from my question, what is the best way to toughen my feet and should I start on grass or concrete, and here is the wisdom of Jim:

grass is like candy.  concrete is the beef!  stick to the concrete because it will actually give more sensory responses than the grass will and you will adapt faster

I have been toughening my feet and most likely I will look into the 5 fingers to protect my feet, but every month I will let you know how my barefooting is going.

Now I realize maybe it is not something I can retrain my body to make it work, but I am going to try or as the book states:

“Because if you don’t think you were born to run, you’re not only denying history.  You’re denying who you are”

If you have read the book, and are trying barefooting, let me know what you have learned

Comments (1)

  1. Jimmy Hart says:

    Nice talk about Born to Run Matt.  I can tell by the way you wrote it that you are excited and I’m guessing you are enjoying the way the ground feels on those feet!  

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