Sep 24, 2009

Born to Run

I just finished Born to Run. A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. And it is one of the best books I've read in a long, long time! Why? Because it has great stories (and stories within stories within stories...), lovely characters and great science that links humanity & running.

But I was really fascinated by two things. First, by what the human body can achieve. The book follows ultra-marathoners who run 50-150 mile races! It takes them anywhere from 6-25 hours to complete them. Quiet amazing!

And second, by the critical role of feedback:

the more cushioned the shoe, the less protection it provides (p173)
So with a modern shoe, with lots of cushion, while running, the foot comes down hard and pushes "through the soles in search of a hard, stable platform." But when it comes against a hard surface, the foot goes into self-defense mode. And so, you come down lighter. Thus, without that "harsh" feedback the foot get fooled, and this is said to cause all sorts of running related injury.

But the best part is that I now have an urge to run, just like the people described in the book