Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen is an amazing tale of an ancient Native American tribe and long distance running. Capturing the audience, this book inspires its readers to run and makes a great argument for humans being born to run.
McDougall recounts his journey into the world of the Tarahumara Indians, their healthy eating, and their amazing ability to run extremely long distances. As he travels to learn from them in person, he falls into organizing and taking part in an ultra long distance race with the Tarahumara. Scott Jurek and a few other ultramarathon westerners find themselves running with amazing athletes in the Copper Canyons of Mexico.
Along the journey, McDougall finds himself studying long distance running, various running styles, and nutrition from labs at Harvard to ultramarathons in Death Valley. He recounts the conversations that he has with scientists, running coaches, and ultramarathon champions.
McDougall also makes the compelling argument that in various places in the world, running for days at end was a form of hunting. We as humans are neither fast nor strong compared to our animal cousins. As a result, our capacity to run long distances without overheating, due to our ability to sweat, allowed us to run down prey until they died from overexertion. McDougall ties this into our natural born ability to be able to run long distances… we were literally born to run.
Born To Run is a magnificently entertaining book that captures the spirit of running. Read this book if you are someone who has been looking for motivation to get outside and run. Not only will this book inspire you to become more physically active, it will also take you on a journey to learn from possibly the best long distance runners the world has ever known.
Book Citation – McDougall, Christopher. Born to run: a hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.