Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Isbn-10: 0307271919 | Isbn-13: 9780307271914 | Publish date: 05/05/2009
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gedeoskij said on Sep 08, 2013, 10:23
A good book to read if you want to learn more about running, almost an encyclopedia on running. It is certainly worth the time.
The book starts a bit slow. I almost threw it away after 20 pages. Fortunately, with the relatively good comments here and in amazon, I force myself to read on. By page 50, I just cannot stop loving it.
A few points are noteworthy: 1) Running Man theory: we erect because we evolve to run? 2) Bare foot running is good to your foot health 3) Expensive running shoes hurt, believe it or not 4) You don't stop running because you get old. you get old because you stop running.
Ironically, the only complaint I have is the book almost covers everything. There are so many sidetracks (theory, experiments in universities, etc) from the main plot - running with Tarahumara. The flow could be much better if the book is written in two sections, one for science and another for the story.
Waleswong said on Aug 15, 2012, 13:13
This book on running easily outruns any other book on sport. It talks about the obscure Tarahumara tribe and their amazing running legends, tells spellbinding stories of ultramarathons and their gurus, reveals the true secrets of running, and - most importantly - gives us back our true identity: that we are all born to run.
Holmes said on Feb 09, 2012, 13:19
*** This comment contains spoilers! ***
The most interesting information and knowledge I have gained from reading this book include:
(1) expensive shoes may induce more injuries and the safest may be just to run barefoot ; and
(2) human beings dominate the world because we were able to run longer distance than other species (including deers or Neanderthals). One of the reasons is that we are capable of releasing heat through perspiration whereas the other mammals can't and therefore a deer (for example) may not stop after long distance which allows us to catch them.
At the beginning of reading this book, the Tarahumara guys seem much better than anybody else in terms of running but at the end, we realize that we can be like them, especially after training. I have learnt quite a bit about evolution, anthropology and physiology and it has opened my horizon in this topic. There are quite a lot of diversions because the final actual race took place. It is during these diversions that we have learnt a lot about running and ourselves (homo sapiens).
The book doesn't seem to like to stress upon the exact time but the race (the 1st race in Copper Canyon) described seems to happen in 2006. Reading to the end of the book, I even got sentimental and felt sad that the runners have had to part their way after the race finished. There was considerable mutual admiration among the runners as well as the people in Urique and around. It is a surprisingly good read.
The book uses a lot of slangs but I think I caught a typo: on p.185 (3rd line), "the first the time I met him" should be "the first time I met him".
Kin Yip said on Feb 08, 2012, 02:12
I'm a recent convert to exercise and having spent 40+ years of my life doing everything I could to avoid running, found that a side effect of exercising and getting fit was an ability to run. Small distances, nothing like those described in this book, but for me the thrill of anything over 'to the corner shop and back' is worthwhile. So this book was my first book on running and I'm not someone who is going to invest a lot in books on running. But this one captured me on the first page when the author's description of his self so closely mirrored me - age, weight, exercise ability, that I had to read more. His completion of a 50 mile race was great to read, and the descriptions of these tribes of ultra runners in the US and Mexico were fascinating. Their 50-100 mile runs are described much as I think of my 5-8 mile runs - except they drop terms like 'got serious at the 60 mile mark'! What makes this book enjoyable is that McDougall threads the whole story with research & background - on the characters, on the science of running, on the history of ultra long distance running, rather than just layering on chapter after chapter of theory and opinion. Again, I didnt reach the end of the book and think I have to read more about X, Y or Z, but it has given me something to think about as I run and how I run.
John Trigg said on Oct 10, 2011, 08:21
If you are really passionate about running, you can enjoy this book. Even if the story isn't always linear and sometimes you get a little lost, it reveals some interesting and unexpected facts and findings about running. Otherwise, if you don't give a toss about running, don't buy this book.
Francesco A. said on Apr 18, 2011, 13:32
TC said on Nov 03, 2010, 14:30
For someone like me who see running as a leisure/hobby with my every run equipped by Nike gadgets and music, this book lets me see running from a totally different perspective, and convinced me that we are in fact all born to run! This book makes the case that human body is designed for distance running, and strips running right back to its basics. It also introduced me to the concept of barefoot running; apparently the modern soft cushioned trainers are the main cause of running injuries, which stop us from sensing/adjusting our strides to use the right muscles and run the right way.
Very interesting book overall and makes me think of running in an entirely different way. Only negative is the first few chapters are a bit slow-going... but stick with it and you will get a rewarding read.
Ok, enough book/running talk, now I want a pair of Vibram five fingers to start experimenting with barefoot running!!
olivia said on Oct 10, 2010, 12:15
This is really two books: a series of athlete and competition descriptions, and several essays on disparate running-related science. I didn't care about the people at all. The science was interesting and very approachable, but clearly written by a sports writer. He gets a few things outright wrong and others are woefully incomplete.
pktechgirl said on Apr 14, 2010, 22:45
40迷 said on Feb 21, 2010, 15:32