Book: Born to run

9780307279187This book is not a manual how to run. It is however, a gripping tale of how a group of western world’s best endurance athletes came together to race an ultra marathon with fabled Mexican tribesmen called Tarahumara.

If it was was fiction, it would not be believable.

Yeah, but what about actual running?

The book is pretty bullish on Nike. The company invented the modern running shoe and (according to the author and his research) that was the worst thing that could happen to runners. Modern running shoe cushions the foot and it promotes landing on the heel. The impact caused by full weight being amortized only my the shoe heel is very detrimental to knee, hip and the foot itself.

The alternative would be landing on the side of the foot and using foot’s many muscles and bones to in a process called pronation to slowly absorb the impact.

Human beings are perfect runners. The ability to keep head on top of the center of the mass, ability to perspire, ability to breathe independently of running pace and achilles tendons make them the best long – distance runners in the animal kingdom. Some scientists theorize that the running was what gave us the edge over Neanderthals.

With this construction optimized for running, any high-tech additions that are modifying running style are throwing the complex machine out of balance and in turn cause injuries.

How to run Tarahumara style

  • Have thin-sole shoes
  • Straighten up
  • While running, place your feet under your center of gravity, push back
  • Flick your feet to your ass
  • Move feet in smaller contractions ( ideally 180 steps per minute )
  • Your upper body should flow through space, move vertically as little as possible
  • Run like kindergarteners
  • SMILE and love running

Memorable stuff for me

  • Thats another place I’ve seen the benefits of Chia. I’ll try to eat more
  • Keep heartbeat in cardio range – the same thing they told me in Unleash the Power Within
  • Another insight congruent with UPW – vegetarian diet is best for runners
  • I need to run more

My clippings

  • iskiate is otherwise known as chia fresca—“chilly chia.” It’s brewed up by dissolving chia seeds in water with a little sugar and a squirt of lime.
  • If you have a choice between one step or two between rocks, take three.”
  • “Lesson two,” Caballo called. “Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t give a shit how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go. When you’ve practiced that so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one—you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”
  • PAINFUL TRUTH No. 1: The Best Shoes Are the Worst
  • PAINFUL TRUTH No. 2: Feet Like a Good Beating
  • Their feet land right under them, and they push back,”
  • “Set it for one hundred eighty beats a minute, then run to the beat.”
  • Evolution Running.
  • The way to activate your fat-burning furnace is by staying below your aerobic threshold—your hard-breathing point—during your endurance runs.
  • “Anything the Tarahumara eat, you can get very easily,” Tony told me. “It’s mostly pinto beans, squash, chili peppers, wild greens, pinole, and lots of chia.
  • Back straight? Check. Knees bent and driving forward? Check. Heels flicking back?
  • So how long would it take to actually run an animal to death?


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