In Born to Run, Christopher McDougall looks at the history and physiology of running and comes up with an interesting, if sometimes bizarre, narrative about ultramarathons, the surprising downside to expensive athletic shoes, and how to recapture the joy of running without becoming an injury statistic.
The tone of the book is somewhat hyperbolic at times, and it does tend to present speculation as fact at points, but overall it was funny and well paced and certainly informative.
After a skiing accident in college and subsequent extensive knee surgery to replace torn ligaments, I was told to stop running for fitness (at that point in my life I had been doing regular 90 minute runs). Recently I found out that orthopedists now say it’s all right to run on a partial meniscus (that’s the cushion between your bones–I had half of mine removed due to the injury). So when I read Laura Vanderkam’s review of this book I thought I’d read it for inspiration.
Sure enough, I found the book inspiring and am now thinking about the best shoes to get (or not get–McDougall is a fan of barefoot running but I’m not sure I’m up for that) to get back into running. I’ll let you know how that goes.
If you enjoy running, hate running, or are in any way interested in how the human body works, I’d really recommend Born to Run. You’ll learn a lot of helpful information that might change your mind about running, improve your form if you already run, or at the very least entertain and inform you.
Do you run for fitness? If not, what holds you back?
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