Book: ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall

I got this book – Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – on my birthday about 5-6 years ago, when I was, frankly speaking, obsessed with running. Despite that, the book was calmly laying in my bookshelf until today.

‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall

It was a nice story – with spiritual and scientific things that sport possesses. Initially my expectations about the book were somehow different. I don’t know what exactly (I still don’t know how to formulate) was I expecting, but that was something else than I red. However, I really enjoyed only one chapter – chapter 25, where author describes about running shoes and their purpose (or rather – non-purpose), about the birth of ‘Nike’ and how business overtakes the real needs of human body; I enjoyed also some parts in the book describing about animal’s physiology during their run.

After reading the book, I was convinced that, in order to run better, I should start either barefoot running or running with minimalist shoes. I can agree that nowadays the fitness of our feet is neglected. All the footwear we are used to wearing (platform shoes, high-heels, running shoes with thick cushioning etc.) does not do good for the fitness of the feet – muscles, ligaments and joints stop doing their job, just because they constantly get the support. But feet should support and hold the whole body… Once you start supporting a structure, it becomes weaker: “No bricklayer, who is worth his own trowel, will never add the support under the vault; creating a pressure from the bottom, the entire structure shall weaken.”

I red the book in Latvian – excuse me if some of my translated sentences doesn’t match exactly with the original text.

  • There’s something so universal about that sensation, the way running unites our two most primal impulses: fear and pleasure. We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.
  • You live up to your own expectations…
  • But you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.
  • You have to be in tune with your body, and know when you can push it and when to back off.
  • […] connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running. […]: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you’ve got, being patient and forgiving and undemanding […].
  • Deny your nature, and it will erupt in some other, uglier way.
  • […] you embrace it [fatigue]. You refuse to let it go. You get to know it so well, you’re not afraid of it anymore.
  • Athletes instinctively strive for stability. […] feet are instinctively landing stronger, feeling a soft foundation.
  • The heel is only needed for standing, not for movement.
  • Runners are conveyor workers; they develop one skill – to move straight forward at a steady speed – and repeats this movement until overload causes a crash in the mechanism. On the other hand, the athletes are Tarzans. […] He is strong and impulsive. […] doesn’t get injured.
  • I knew aerobic exercise was a powerful antidepressant, […] mood stabilizing and […] meditative.  
  • You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.
  • It’s easy to get outside yourself when you’re thinking about someone else.
  • To be a great athlete, you need to pick your parents wisely.
  • Running isn’t about making people buy stuff. Running should be free.

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