NOTE: This blog entry was originally posted in May of 2009
I am not a runner but I’ve always secretly wished I was. I like the idea of being in shape and being able to run and run and run for mile after mile after mile. Author Christopher McDougall argues that the human body has evolved specifically for distance running so maybe there’s hope for me yet. Most of McDougall’s book (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen) and his conversation with Bob focuses on the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico. They live simple lives in the Sierra Madre mountains and they ENJOY running, they don’t treat it as something they HAVE to do to stay in shape. McDougall says they run like dolphins swim in the waves and the fact that they don’t get hurt has a lot to do with the Tarahumara’s stride. McDougall says they keep their heels under their hips, but lean forward enough to let gravity pull them forward. The Tarahumara also taught McDougall that everything he’d learned about running was wrong - like needing special running shoes with an arch support. They run for hundreds of miles at a time in flat, homemade sandals. Once McDougall learned to run like the Tarahumara, he says all of his old recurring running injuries disappeared.
P.S. If I ever do become a runner, I promise NOT to run in the street when there’s a sidewalk available. Can any of you current runners explain that to me? It’s a personal pet peeve of mine.