Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Listening to the "Born to Run" guy.

 Our local running store has a running guru that everyone in the valley who knows anything about running comes to for advice.  He's run and competed for years, and coached many national level runners. When he started telling my brother in law about minimalist shoes, and the book "Born to Run" we all read it.  Last night he hosted the author Christopher McDougall  at his store, and we made the trek with three patient kids (kind of) to listen. McDougall and his book is the reason barefoot/minimalist running has gotten so much press lately.He was pretty entertaining, but didn't give out very much new information.  I highly recommend reading the book though, and going to Hawk's (local guru guy's) website for info about injuries, technique etc.  What the author did say that I didn't distill very well out of the book, was that it's all about technique, there's a correct way to run, and lots of incorrect ways.  Just like in lifting, technique can make or break you.  My boss at the gym said once she wasn't sure about getting heavy weights for class because she didn't want anyone to get hurt, and I replied with this technique argument.  Same thing goes for running. 

The shoes can mess you up though.  If you put a big heel on your running shoe, and narrow up the toes, and live with an arch crutch your whole life, you're going to screw up your feet or legs no matter what technique you try.  The store manager rolled out this big banner during the discussion pimping their own minimalist shoe line.  I thought the blatant advertising was pretty funny.

So McDougall's premise is that we're evolutionarily meant to run long distances as humans --use our big brains and lungs to run down prey --exhaust them to death.  I don't know about that for sure, but during McDougall's question and answer session this guy gets up (the one holding the book) --and tells about how he ran down a deer.  Everybody was cracking up at his story, but it made you think.  If he can do that, and a farmer named Cliff Young can show up in work boots and run 100 miles straight with no training or plan, maybe it IS a basic part of us --part of our destiny.  Maybe I shouldn't fight those running urges so much.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

Rick's brother (and wife) bought those minimalist shoes. I tried them on, they felt good. Plenty of room for my weird, misshapen feet. I might have to think about that...
I still don't know how they fit 125 people in that tiny store. Glad you were able to go. I need to read that book. Sounds like there is always room for improvement--in all things.