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Born To Run Book


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#51 BostonCalling

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:39 PM

Well I have just fininshed "Born to Run" whilst lounging on a deck chair in Fiji.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this brilliant read and gets you thinking.  In fact, upon my return today, I have already gone out and bought some beans and tortillas and started to plan my new Tarahumara eating plan (to some extent).  Even though I am on a self-imposed three week break following the MM, after reading the book, I felt like heading straight out for an 8 hour run.  It is written to entertain, no doubt, but certainly throws out some questions and I guess the best way to find out the true answers is to try some of the ideas yourself.

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#52 redbackrun

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 07:25 PM

just finished the book. it was a good read. couldn't wait to find out how the races went. just think how good the Tarahumaras would run with a good taper :LOL: it got me thinking about running as i was reading the book. made me want to go for a nice hilly looong run. have we got our running all wrong? thats the big question. i guess the answer maybe in the barefoot thread. do people have time, patience or the guts to try something new with their running or maybe stick to the same old same old.

well worth the read.
cheers
rbr

#53 walshy2

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 07:38 PM

Finished it today

some good bits, some boring bits, some bits where I could not distinguish facts from fiction

The book was fast paced and kept my interest and when reading it I was entertained (except for the few boring bits.....no biggie)
and it provoked a lot of thoughts for me about, other cultures, running styles, motivation for running, where to next for me and my running?

Despite the yankee bluster, which I tried to look beyond, overall a good read

I give it 8/10

walshy

Edited by walshy2, 10 December 2009 - 07:40 PM.


#54 PinkSkirt

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:51 PM

As the token CR Seppo, I agree that this book would appeal to an American audience. Or, perhaps I should say, to a 'mass audience'. McDougall is a magazine hack, not a scholar; he is paid to be punchy. I thought the book was terrific for what it was. It's not meant to be a major tome of scientific data and specifics. It's like one, long, Esquire article. Great summer beach reading, and quite inspiring, IMHO, if one allows oneself to escape into the text for a while. This is the perfect book for the rest of the world to read to understand why some of us think running 50km+ races can be enjoyable.

#55 Emma100

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:34 PM

I enjoyed this book. Some of the science had me a little sceptical (I'm a scientist in my real life...).

I've tried out something from it, and it is working splendidly, so well worth the read. I'm not good at eating breakfast. For most of my life, I've struggled to find food that I can stomach before 9am. On long runs, I frequently crave lettuce and olives. There was a few pages on eating salad for breakfast. Tried it, liked it, am still doing it (and am not hungry during the day. Oddly enough, if you run 10km before work, and have a slice of toast for breakfast, you are a hungry camper by lunchtime. Hungry people may make less than optimal choices at the work canteen.)

I'm considering barefoot. It might help with strength.

And I liked the attitude towards running. I loved the bit near the end when Eric says "I've got some bad news, you're not going to win." I'm a runner who is likely never going to win anything other than a wooden spoon. I like the idea of running for the love of it, and for fun.

#56 Greg_Waite

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:35 AM

View PostEmma100, on Dec 13 2009, 09:34 PM, said:

I like the idea of running for the love of it, and for fun.

Well said Emma100  :D  I like the idea of running til I'm 100 too, aiming for the long run not racing - boy, am I going to have to change the way I train this year....

#57 Sparkplug

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:12 PM

As another CR seppo, I loved it.  I found it to be very inspiring.  I'm sure there are embellishments and a lot
of poetic licence, but so what?  Do you believe everything you read?  Just enjoy it for what it is and if it
inspires you, great...if not, no harm done, pass it on (or not) :D

#58 harro

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:14 PM

View Postredbackrun, on Nov 6 2009, 08:25 PM, said:

just finished the book. it was a good read. couldn't wait to find out how the races went. just think how good the Tarahumaras would run with a good taper :D it got me thinking about running as i was reading the book. made me want to go for a nice hilly looong run. have we got our running all wrong? thats the big question. i guess the answer maybe in the barefoot thread. do people have time, patience or the guts to try something new with their running or maybe stick to the same old same old.

well worth the read.
cheers
rbr

Yep...have the time and the patience...its like starting from scratch...loving it..
Harro

#59 Greg_Waite

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 06:38 AM

I just damaged my foot in a motorbike accident, and was interested to feel - through all those sore tendons and bones - how much a shoe pushes my foot around. Its much nicer walking in sandals, so its not hard to see why the Raramuri might prefer them...

#60 virtualkerri

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:01 PM

I've just finished the book, loved the spirit of running, the stories of the amazing (albeit mas locos  :good: ) ultra runners discussed, and much of the biomechanical discussion. It reminds me of how I try (usually without success) to explain why I run to my non-running friends. To do with the journey, when you start it seems so hard like it will never get easier. Then one day you find yourself running smooth and easy, finally understanding what 'running within yourself' as opposed to 'at the limit' is and you want to go all day.

Greg - hope your foot is gonna be ok! I've been thinking the same thing lately as I've been trying to straighten out my running style, so many things going on in my foot and I just can't get the 'feel' in my shoes.


There was just one paragraph that irked me, in the comparison between four-legged animals running and humans.

Quote

... top galloping speed for most horses is 7.7 meters per second. They can hold that pace for about 10 minutes, then have to slow down to 5.8 meters per second. But an elite marathoner can jog for hours at 6 meters per second.

By my calculations, the mens world record marathon time of 2:04 equates to 5.67 metres per second. Slower than the horse time and doesn't make quite the impact 6m/s does! (6m/s = 1:57... if one were to be really nit-picky, you would have to run further than 42.195km to run for "hours" at that pace!) I'll never run that fast, although I have run a marathon, I guess even at elite pace the first half of a mara needs to feel somewhat 'easy'. Would Haile really describe his marathon race pace as "jogging for hours"?

Anyway, as I said up front, really enjoyed the read, some good food for thought and inspirational stories. Just distracted by an exaggeration that I think really wasn't needed to make the point.

#61 Deaky

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

Read this book over my christmas break, as it was a gift from my brother.

Was a fascinating insight into the many worlds/cultures of runnning throughout America/Central America.

Although Chris McDougall got on his high horse a few times throughout the book, it was interesting to re-read the scientific research that shows how far mankind had evolved to become the ultimate running machine, and also just how quickly we have gone backwards with technologies and infrastructure such as paved roads, runners and cars. (In particular the tribes that have had large amounts exposure to the 'outside' world, to the point where they also run in 'normal' runners and shorts)

Definitely an inspiring book that you cant put down once you pick up, unless you are heading out for a run. I must admit, it did help the miles go by quicker (easier) and motivated me to do more miles

#62 Traveller42

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 05:06 AM

View Postcurls, on Sep 2 2009, 03:58 AM, said:

Please let us know how it goes.  My husband is convinced this is the way to go but I'd like some empirical evidence.

There are a few runners up here that are doing more minimalist and barefoot running.  There is also a healthy debate over the benefits and risks thereof.  Like most of running, it seems to be a personal thing.  Some do better with more, some with less.  Again, like most things, trying new things in a reasonable manner and finding what works for you is the best approach.

Still reading (started during the Christmas break),
Clark

#63 runninghappy

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:52 PM

Love BTR! Love it so much. Admit to being a big Jenn Shelton fan. She reminds me of me before I got healthy. Except I was not fit. Anyone know what happened to hear. I've done some extensive googling and she seems to have dropped off the running radar since 2008. Did she get injured? Did running stop being fun for her? Or did she just prefer to be anonymous? Any clues?

xx

#64 charlieboy

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:00 AM

View Postrunninghappy, on Jan 23 2010, 12:52 PM, said:

Love BTR! Love it so much. Admit to being a big Jenn Shelton fan. She reminds me of me before I got healthy. Except I was not fit. Anyone know what happened to hear. I've done some extensive googling and she seems to have dropped off the running radar since 2008. Did she get injured? Did running stop being fun for her? Or did she just prefer to be anonymous? Any clues?

xx

I believe she DNF'd at Western States last year. lives in Ashland OR and works for Hal Koerner at Rogue Valley Runners. Looking at their blog she ran a decent 50k this month.

http://roguevalleyru...s.blogspot.com/

#65 runninghappy

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:16 PM

Charlieboy, I think I loves you. Thank you so much for this! I was hoping to see her around.

xx

#66 charlieboy

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:46 PM

View Postrunninghappy, on Jan 27 2010, 04:16 AM, said:

Charlieboy, I think I loves you. Thank you so much for this! I was hoping to see her around.

xx

No stalking please!

#67 runninghappy

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:58 PM

haha! You're safe. I'm too busy to be a stalker.... xx

#68 langswm

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:48 PM

Just finished this book. I must say I really enjoyed it, even his quirky style of writing. I did not find it too "Americanised" at all. Plently of positive references to some famous Aus names, Perc Cerutty, Ron Clarke and even Cliffy Young!

Some of his "evolutionary" references, while maybe a bit whacko, were certainly thought-provoking and good fodder for further debate.

Enjoyed the insights into Scott Jurek.

Its not one of those books that are going to change your life, but I would thoroughly recommend it to any weekend warrior, even those amongst us who are not so "ultra-inclined".

I can see Action as a latter-day "Caballo Blanco" going into the wilds of Mexico one day once he finishes his next adventure!

#69 shaken

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:05 PM

I read it over the last two days and loved it. Putting aside the ranting and raving, there is a lot of food for thought.

The characters are hilarious and Jenn Shelton and Cabalo Blanco are now some of my sporting idols.

I particularly liked the simple philosophy behind running.

Nike's approach to barefoot running was also quite funny.

I was inspired to go for a run, but couldn't make it out. So I googled chia seeds and ate some tortillas instead!

#70 BIGKEV

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:44 PM

All,

The book inspired me to 'think' about 'stuff'..!! Haven't got the balls to stop buying my 3 monthly shoe fix (I currently have over 14 pairs of Asics Kayano's in various states of use under my bench outside my front door !! and funnily enough just ordered another pair of Asics DS trainers for the Melbourne Marathon in a few weeks..might as well run in new shoes...tha last pair have been used for Comrades this year and a few marathons!!!).....so you see I'm a shoe junkie and believe that by buying new shoes before I need them I'll stay fit and injury free. After 3 Comrades campaigns in a row and many thousand of kiloemetre's injury free my theory works but....there's always that nagging question in the back of your mind .....

anyway..the main reason for this post was this year while running Comrades I came across a young man wearing sandels he had made using instructions from this book. He reckoned his calf have been causing him problems and the only way to fix these issues was using these sandals...he was looking very strong and left me early on (I went on to get a silver maedal and he must have finished ahead of me!) ...he'd done 2 Oceans in the sandals earlier in the year..

so they do work but it'll take a brave person to try ..and as long as I keep running injury free I ain't that brave .....plus what else would I spend my money on..

keep running (in new shoes) bk

#71 CCor

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 06:10 PM

I read Born to run and Ultra Marathon man at around the same time. Both books were great and i found it interesting that although they were both about long distance running they were so different. Ultra Marathon Man likes taking advantage of all of sports sciences benefits, gels, sports drinks, shoes,heart rate monitors etc. and BTR is very primitive bare feet, bean burritos, chi seeds etc. I liked Born to run a bit more, it inspired me to try some barefoot running (or VFFs). Don't know if i am brave enough to run down a steep rocky hill in some huaraches just yet.

#72 slowmo

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:02 PM

View Postccor4981, on Sep 21 2010, 06:10 PM, said:

Don't know if i am brave enough to run down a steep rocky hill in some huaraches just yet.
I'd love to get to the Copper Canyon and see how the Raramuri runners go down those slopes. I still find steep downhills tough wearing huaraches but I haven't practised nearly enough.

A running book that includes some amazing accounts of really steep, rocky downhill running is "Feet in the Clouds" about fell running in England and Scotland. Some runners are described as flying more than running !

slowmo

#73 CCor

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 07:13 AM

View Postslowmo, on Sep 21 2010, 08:02 PM, said:

I'd love to get to the Copper Canyon and see how the Raramuri runners go down those slopes. I still find steep downhills tough wearing huaraches but I haven't practised nearly enough.

A running book that includes some amazing accounts of really steep, rocky downhill running is "Feet in the Clouds" about fell running in England and Scotland. Some runners are described as flying more than running !

slowmo

Hey slowmo

I just bought a copy of Bare Foot Running: How to run light and free by getting in touch with the earth. I find myself buying a book nearly every week so Feet in the clouds will probably be next.

#74 slowmo

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:36 PM

View Postccor4981, on Sep 22 2010, 07:13 AM, said:

I find myself buying a book nearly every week so Feet in the clouds will probably be next.
Wow. Does that mean you're getting plenty of sleep, or no sleep at all ?

slowmo

#75 Katz

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

Started reading this last night. About half way through and am loving it. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

#76 CCor

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:29 PM

View Postslowmo, on Sep 23 2010, 03:36 PM, said:

Wow. Does that mean you're getting plenty of sleep, or no sleep at all ?

slowmo

Noah is like clockwork! Bed at 7 every night. So it gives me a bit of time to read before he is up again for his midnight feed :D .
I also take a book to work for the slow days.

#77 Jogger

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 03:01 PM

I have almost finished this book now. Usually I never buy anything that is too popular on principal but I saw a copy in a 2nd hand bookstore and thought it looked good enough to buy. I was on the USA-ultralist back in the day when Rick Fischer was a well discussed gentleman and the Tarahumara ran at Leadville and of course it was fascinating to re-read. I am really loving it and was surprised that not all runners liked it.

Quote

The book certainly has sparked a lot more interest in barefoot and minimalist running but, much as I'm a paid up member of the Church of Huarache, I hope it doesn't end up being badged as barefoot propaganda because it's appeal is a lot broader than that.
Absolutely - I enjoyed the bits on diet and other exercise and the complete mindset. I have realised of almost 30 years running that ONLY running is not enough we need to be fitter all round. The book was about a lot more than the barefoot thing, interesting though that is.

I thought this thread deserved a boost!

#78 slowmo

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:18 PM

My favourite parts are the passages about Joe Vigil and Emil Zatopek because I think they really get to the nub of running. This one for example...

"But the American approach - ugh. Rotten at its core. It was too artificial and grubby, Vigil believed, too much about getting stuff and getting it now: medals, Nike deals, a cute butt. It wasn't art, it was business, a hard-nosed quid pro quo. No wonder so many people hated running, if you thought it was only a means to an end - an investment in becoming faster, skinnier, richer - then why stick with it if you weren't getting enough quo for your quid ?"

Despite the irony of the book itself having become such a marketing vehicle for stuff (minimalist stuff is still stuff) I think it does bring together a lot of great stories and ideas.

slowmo

Edited by slowmo, 06 December 2011 - 07:20 PM.


#79 Freesoul

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:29 PM

View Postslowmo, on 06 December 2011 - 07:18 PM, said:

My favourite parts are the passages about Joe Vigil and Emil Zatopek because I think they really get to the nub of running.
Yeah, these are my favourite parts too!  :)

#80 BradCarron

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:52 PM

I've been running 150-200km a week for the last month. 400% more than I normally do. I gradually increased my training over a few months before that. My heels hurt a bit but nothing to worry about. I wear shoes with the most support money can buy and personally I wouldn't trade them in for anything. When I read "born to run" I was carried away with many of the various approaches, especially barefoot running, I thought to try it and then realised, well I don't have any problems in the first place. Now that I've had more time to think, I've decided that "born to run" gives the impression that there's a generalisable solution to every bodies running problems. I think running is a very personal experience. We all run very differently and we need to discover what works best for us. For me it's just all in the mind. I only start to hurt when I'm worrying too much.
Nevertheless, a brilliant book that certainly got me to get more out of my running.

#81 slowmo

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

View PostBradCarron, on 07 December 2011 - 05:52 PM, said:

We all run very differently and we need to discover what works best for us.
Brad, I think you might enjoy this interview with Caballo Blanco. LIke you, he doesn't subscribe to a one-size-fits-all attitude towards running...

http://www.runnerswo...ran-born-to.htm

Warning: you have to endure one or two ads (in Swedish) before the interview starts.

slowmo

#82 charlieboy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:08 AM

View PostBradCarron, on 07 December 2011 - 05:52 PM, said:

Now that I've had more time to think, I've decided that "born to run" gives the impression that there's a generalisable solution to every bodies running problems. I think running is a very personal experience. We all run very differently and we need to discover what works best for us. For me it's just all in the mind. I only start to hurt when I'm worrying too much.
Nevertheless, a brilliant book that certainly got me to get more out of my running.

Certainly agree with this Brad.

Geoff Roes wrote a good piece recently on this very topic

#83 slowmo

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

View Postcharlieboy, on 08 December 2011 - 08:08 AM, said:

Geoff Roes wrote a good piece recently on this very topic
Thanks for the link charlieboy - some good points there.

I think it's amusing how things go around. When I switched from shoes to home-made huaraches, inspired by recurrent injury problems, it was in the days long before 'the book' and there only seemed to be a tiny number of people in Sydney running barefoot or with minimalist footwear. I used to get endless comments, many baffled and some very negative, about running with huaraches for any distance on roads or trails. These days it sometimes seems like things have turned 180 degrees. If you're not wearing Vibrams or Inov-8s or similar you must be a motion-controlled, excessively cushioned dinosaur. Each of those extremes is as unhelpful, unthinking and blind to the individual as the other.

slowmo

#84 Max72

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:31 AM

View PostDavo, on 09 September 2009 - 07:04 PM, said:

I hate to sound as if I'm playing the devil's advocate (I haven't read the book yet but I have it on order), but all of the above begs the question "How many Tarahumara Indians have won medals at the Olympic Games?"
If they're so wonderful, why aren't they running the legs off Gebresallasie, Mottram and all the rest?

Having read the book, I think the answer is they don't want to.. Won't spoil the book/story but they did come over and compete in elite ultras in the US with impressive results. I guess competition and winning is not why they do it..

(just my interpretation)

Edited by Max72, 12 December 2011 - 08:32 AM.


#85 HillsAths1

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

View PostMax72, on 12 December 2011 - 08:31 AM, said:

Having read the book, I think the answer is they don't want to.. Won't spoil the book/story but they did come over and compete in elite ultras in the US with impressive results. I guess competition and winning is not why they do it..

(just my interpretation)

I think this is a big cop out, sorry, buy I am with Davo on this.

Yes they may well be the best credentialed runners in their pond, but if their pond is the 50 to 70 thousand or so runners in the tribe, it seems like a very small pond.

If these guys were as good as portrayed (and I am not saying that I know anything about their abilities), then there are about 20 agents in Europe and North America that would love to sign them up to race in all of the big Marathons(With their pedigree they would be able to back up and run a time that will pay well every week, not like the rest of the mere mortals that can only run a couple a year).

#86 russell2pi

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 03:27 PM

View PostCrunchie, on 01 September 2009 - 09:52 PM, said:

I'd never understood the appeal of ultra-running before but it's a bit more attractive if we are actually born to do that.  Not sure what I think about barefoot running etc but it's given me lots to think about at least.

I'm also fascinated by this concept. Bernd Heinrich's Why We Run: A Natural History is an interesting read along similar lines (plus much more), without all the hyperbole.  (Heinrich is/was an elite ultramathoner and a biologist by profession.)

#87 TomJH

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:07 PM

Just posting to see if anyone in perth has a second hand copy of 'Born To Run' I could buy? I really want to read it but am in the middle of a 6 month trip and just don't have enough for the $25 or it's going for new, and not enough time left in Australia to order it online!
any help much appreciated,

Tom

#88 johnnyboyrun

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

So, I read Born To Run and for the most part its a good yarn. I'm just not sure of how he got some of these stories from years ago that appear to be in great detail when he wasn't there?
Is this the case of a few facts buried with a bit of pinnichio story telling ?

#89 Curreo

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

He is a journalist so he probably 'dug' them up!

#90 Rico

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

There have been a few threads on this.

The bit I found most interesting is that he ends up deciding that super cushioned high profile shoes are right for him, but lots of people who read it get converted to barefoot running by it.

#91 AndyP

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the spoiler. ;)

This is the current book that I am reading and it seems a bit all over the place.

#92 Easy Tiger

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:06 PM

I thought it was mind numbingly boring, that was prior to reading Paul Tergat's and Michael Johnson's books, zzz zzz.

Edited by Easy Tiger, 24 January 2013 - 07:06 PM.


#93 Bellthorpe

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:04 PM

Having read countless reviews, in this forum and elsewhere, this is definitely on my list of books not to read. Right up there with Harry Potter.

#94 runmaamrun

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

Can't agree - I loved it.

#95 AndyP

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

I'm 40% through and it's a struggle. I don't like this guys writing style at all. Back to books about magic and dragons for me.

#96 brownsinglet

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:07 AM

He's not the best novelist that's for sure, very repetitive .  It's still a great read though and it's helped me a lot with my running.  I'm now a pure minimalist and I havent had even had one blister (which I used to get constantly) in my trail gloves (which I use on trails and road).  Seriously, if it wasn't for this book I'd still be struggling.

#97 WhyNot

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:56 PM

I also loved it. I had moved to training for ultra's through basically running for the enjoyment of running before reading the book so it struck a chord with me. Can be hard to explain to people that the reason i run is for running and that fitness is just a by-product, rather than their belief that i run only to get fit. They just dont compute so would be good if i could convince the wife and friends to read it just for some insight, save them constantly telling me im ridiculous for going for a weekend run that lasts several hours.

#98 Harryo

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I'm with the "crappy read" group.  All over the place, some hardly believable, some interesting.  Far too much crap to wade through to get a few snippets of value.  I really dug in to finish this - almost dropped it.  I always read a book through, this one was tough.  Moving on.

harry

#99 jockster

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

I read the first quarter eagerly, next quarter slower, and still to read the final half...!  Did enjoy but lost something as I was reading.

Still not a bad read so far.  Still have intention to finish before 2013 ends...

ps. ebay had brand new copies for $14 with free postage when i looked this morning

#100 speedmeup

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Yeah I'd give it a 4/ 10 .. readable but don't think I'll need to pick it up again for a second read for a while.

A bit Ironic that some time afterh the book is published . .that one of the leading characters actually dies in real life from heart issues whilst running . . .

No doubt the indians are great runners .. but they aren't doing it for the glory (as the Americans try to encourage them to do) .. these people did it historically for survival. I say leave them alone and stop bothering them.