“Born to Run” Summary

29
Apr

“Born to Run” Summary

“Born to Run”

If you are having trouble finding motivation to get out and go for a run, this book is a great place to start!

Christopher McDougall’s easy to read true account about learning to run, after being told by his doctor that he was too big to do so, is more than just a story. “Born to Run” is also part biomechanical running instruction, part anthropological explanation of the evolution of human running and part investigation into lives of the elusive Raramuri indigenous people.

Rarámuri, “means ‘runners on foot’ or ‘those who run fast’ in their native tongue according to some early ethnographers like Norwegian Carl Lumholtz, though this interpretation has not been fully agreed upon. With widely dispersed settlements, these people developed a tradition of long-distance running up to 200 miles (320 km) in one session”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rar%C3%A1muri  

One of the key concepts in the book is that there are experts in the field of anthropology who believe one of the reasons homo sapiens survived while our cousins the Neanderthals did not (although it is now known that many of our species actually contains a small amount of Neanderthal DNA) was our ability to cooperate and hunt in groups by running prey to exhaustion.

Personally, I believe to consider yourself healthy you should be able to go out your front door and run continuously for at least an hour. Depending on your current fitness level, for some people that may mean going 5km for others 15 or 20. Start slow, focus on the details (you can learn to run more efficiently and safely – https://posemethod.com/running/ ) The POSE method described at the like above is based around the idea that there is a more biomechanically efficient and safe way to run than what we tend to do when we put modern running shoes on our feet. This concept is a major premise of the book and one of the reasons why the Raramuri can run such great distances with virtually no injuries.

Excerpt from the book:

“And if I really wanted to understand the Raramuri, I should have been there when this ninety-five-year-old man came hiking twenty-five miles over the mountain. Know why he could do it? Because no one ever told him he couldn’t. No one ever told him he oughta be off dying somewhere in the old age home. You live up to your own expectations, man.”

Running is like every other skill we talk about in CrossFit. Starting is difficult, but the more you do it the easier it will become and the more you will enjoy doing it. You also don’t need to run a personal record (PR) 5K every time you go out. Learn your pace, some days go easy some days go fast. There is this bad concept that gets perpetuated in the Crossfit community (specifically in the competitive side of CrossFit) which is for something to be worthwhile it has to be extremely hard and you have to do more than the last time. If you take anything from this blog post, take this:

NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE A PR TO BE WORTHWHILE

It’s the act of doing it where the benefit comes from, not the outcome. The ninety-five-year-old in the above description surely isn’t hiking/running 25 miles in the same time he did when he was 30 years old, but doing it consistently is the reason he can continue to do it.

The take home message from the book is that we don’t run to compete against each other, but to be with each other.

GET OUT FOR THAT RUN! Be thankful that you can.