Christopher McDougall's best-selling book, Born to Run, is one of those game-changing books that comes along every ten years or so. It was the book everyone talked about in 2009, as it racked up critical acclaim in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and even Jon Stewart. It also won our "Book of the Year" and praise from MBG friends like Rip Esselstyn, Mariel Hemingway, Gabby Reece, Hillary Biscay, and the list goes on.
If you're not familiar with Born to Run, you'll want to be. It's an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence.
We talked to Christopher McDougall, about the very book that runners and non-runners alike, have called the best book they've ever read.
MindBodyGreen: Why did you decide to write Born to Run?
Christopher McDougall: After spending time with the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico, it hit me that everything I'd been told about running was dead wrong. Only in our lifetime has running become associated with fear, pain and drudgery. For most of human existence, running was the human equivalent of flight, and it's still that way for the Tarahumara. My hope was to show that our greatest natural ability, this talent for running long distances over wild terrain, could still be fun, injury-free, and accessible to absolutely everyone.