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Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
32863 posts

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Well, just finished that book up. Never thought I'd spend time reading a book about Ultra Marathons, but here I am...


Anyway, I was curious what the runners on the board thought of the book. I find it odd that they make the claim of our evolutionary succession came from persistence hunting. I've never heard that claim before now. Got a little excited about minimalist running and ordered some sandals to try out. Not sure I'm sold on ultras yet, but warming up to the idea.


StringedInstruments
Auburn Fan
Member since Oct 2013
13894 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
I’m almost done with it myself!

I love the book, but there were a few sections that felt more like a commercial than sticking with the story. Barefoot/minimalist shoes and vegetarianism took up too much space. Just a little too preachy.

I’ve heard the evolution argument before. It seems legit to me and makes sense that we’re meant to be runners more than anything else. I mean, even the strongest men in the world would have a tough time winning a fight against the majority of predators. And no way would they be able to catch prey without technological advantages. Using groups to run down and tire out prey seems logical to me.

I have noticed with my own son that running was always natural for him. Rarely getting tired. Never complaining. He just enjoyed running. It was part of his play. Now that he’s getting older and stuck in school, reading, playing video games, watching TV - he’s not as “in shape” as he was when he was little. I imagine if he spent the majority of his time running and playing throughout his childhood and adolescence, he’d be in great to enjoy running long distances.
This post was edited on 9/3 at 3:03 pm


SaintTiger80
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2020
199 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
The book Eat and Run was also really enjoyable. Some vegan propaganda, but overall just amazing stories from training and races.


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OysterPoBoy
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City of St. George
Member since Jul 2013
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re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Along those lines is Running with Kenyans. I really liked both but I still wear cushioned running shoes.


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LSUfan20005
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
7424 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Good book that started a very much needed revolution in running thought.

I wouldn’t get caught up in the persistence hunting thing, that certainly matters for “Out of Africa” but if your ancestors were Northern Europeans you are likely less inclined.

Any transition to minimalist footwear should be painfully gradual - tissue changes take time.

Something like:
1.) Switch to Altras for 3 months min
2.) Now take out the insole
3.) Switch to Minimus/Xero/Vivo
4.) Switch to Vivo smaller/Merrell Trail Glove
6.) Five Fingers/Sandals
7.) Nothing but skin.


StringedInstruments
Auburn Fan
Member since Oct 2013
13894 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
quote:

Any transition to minimalist footwear should be painfully gradual - tissue changes take time.


I don’t think I could ever do it. My achilles get strained easily when running long distance. I go for shoes with a higher-than-average heel drop. I need powerlifting shoes to have the ankle mobility to squat parallel. Somewhere along the line, my Italian/Celtic ancestors lost the ability to have healthy Achilles tendons.


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Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
32863 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
quote:

Something like:
1.) Switch to Altras for 3 months min
2.) Now take out the insole
3.) Switch to Minimus/Xero/Vivo
4.) Switch to Vivo smaller/Merrell Trail Glove
6.) Five Fingers/Sandals
7.) Nothing but skin.


Very good advice. I’ll add that even transitioning to my Altra Torins took months of stretching and calf raises. Order my Xero Clouds this week and will slowly start transitioning to those. Put in two miles barefoot this week on the Astro turf field by the house. It takes time.


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Twenty 49
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Jun 2014
15078 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Washington Post just ran an article about the back and forth on minimalist shoes. Not a lot is established by solid studies. Mucho speculation. The book was mentioned in the article.

quote:

”When minimalism came around the first time, its big flaw was the promise that if you went to a minimalist shoe and ran on your forefoot, you wouldn’t get injured,” says Jeff Dengate, editor in chief of Runner’s World magazine. “That didn’t happen, didn’t pan out, and the pendulum really swung back to the extreme opposite, to Hokas, to maximalism.”

Maximalist shoes, with a thick sole of cushioning under the foot and a light upper, feel good. However, when it comes to injury, thick-soled, cushioned shoes don’t appear to be any more protective than their thin-soled rivals. In fact, because the body automatically adjusts the springiness of the leg muscles according to the level of cushioning of the shoe and ground underfoot, some research shows that maximalist shoes actually increase the impact to the leg with running.


LINK


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3nOut
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Central Texas, TX
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re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
quote:


I’ve heard the evolution argument before. It seems legit to me and makes sense that we’re meant to be runners more than anything else. I mean, even the strongest men in the world would have a tough time winning a fight against the majority of predators. And no way would they be able to catch prey without technological advantages.



i understand and agree with the evolution argument, but the last sentence kind of nullifies the point of the book.

all shoes are not created equally, but we've evolved as a species enough to know that protecting the foot by covering it and giving it soft undercushion has made humans able to go faster and farther. but we're also running for exercise and enjoyment... not to survive.

we're going to have injuries whether we wear no shoes, cheap walmart shoes, hoka max cushions, new balance fresh foam, nike carbon plates, xero shoes, or whatever.

i'm all about going back to nature and some attachment to our primative history, but i also like air conditioning.


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
32863 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
I started running in 4mm drop shoes with minimal cushioning. Not sure why or how I ended up in those, but I did. Anytime I tried transitioning into something with a higher drop or more cushioning, I blew something up.

Now the transition to the zero drop has been long and sometimes painful. The plantar fasciitis that I got in my left foot was for real. It took a month of calf raises and stretches to get my left foot back in shape. I'm just now able to run in my zero drop shoes without pain or a twinge. Will it help me long term? Unsure. My goal is to hopefully run pain free and injury free for another 20 years. Hoping this transition helps.


OysterPoBoy
USA Fan
City of St. George
Member since Jul 2013
25039 posts
 Online 

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
quote:

ll shoes are not created equally, but we've evolved as a species enough to know that protecting the foot by covering it and giving it soft undercushion has made humans able to go faster and farther. but we're also running for exercise and enjoyment... not to survive.



Something I thought was interesting in Running With Kenyans if I remember right is that it's not the lack of shoes that prevents injury it's the learning to run without shoes. Their form is ingrained into them from a childhood of running barefoot (miles and miles a day just for school) that when they do run with shoes they keep the same running style. Something like that.


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LSUfan20005
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
7424 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
If I can recommend anything:

-Use your 4mm for normal runs
-Use zero drop for stride repeats on a nice grass field 2-3x per week.
-1-2x per week, walk somewhere safe barefoot. This will help build foot muscles a bit

Do this for a few months.

Then,
-Add the zero drop in for one normal run per week, gradually increase


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
32863 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
I finally said frick it and went full time to my Altra Torins. Put 20-30 miles a week on them for the last month. Added a 2 mile barefoot run on the local turf field. Figured next steps are getting some less cushioned shoes and slowly working those in.



zatetic
Missouri Fan
Member since Nov 2015
5068 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Why should you wear toe spacers?

It can take a ridiculously long amount of time to fix your foot. Shoes have messed up the natural foot quite dramatically. It may not even be possible to test the difference in health from wearing normal shoes your whole life to going barefoot, I mean the structure of your foot may be permanently changed.


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OysterPoBoy
USA Fan
City of St. George
Member since Jul 2013
25039 posts
 Online 

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
I saw a baw running barefoot around City Park/LSU lakes last Sunday. That was my first in the wild barefoot sighting. He was on the street.


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Big Scrub TX
LSU Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
25952 posts

re: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
quote:

I find it odd that they make the claim of our evolutionary succession came from persistence hunting
I find ultra marathoning almost the opposite of persistence hunting. The latter would have likely involved long periods of rest while animals grazed/lazed/etc. There would have been sprints interspersed. I can't see any scenario where an ancient human would have run for hours and hours in a row after an animal.

I think all of this extreme distance shite is demonstrably bad for one's health.

quote:

Got a little excited about minimalist running and ordered some sandals to try out.
I am very sold on low heel drop shoes. That's minimalist enough for you, IMO.


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