After Christopher McDougall’s best-seller ‘Born to Run‘ was released in 2009, runners around the world were inspired to discard their expensive running shoes for the novelty of minimalism or even barefoot running. McDougall’s central character in this amazing story is American ultra runner, Micah True, who opted out of the ratrace to live with the Tarahumara tribe in the isolated Copper Canyons in Mexico. McDougall’s mission is to learn the secrets of this tribe and how they are able to run for hundreds of miles without rest of injury. His conclusion is that we are born to run long distances. Ironically, Micah died prematurely at the age of 58.
Here’s a passionate TED talk by McDougall on why we are born to run.
However, on the flip side Dr James O’Keefe, Cardiologist, once an avid exerciser, advocates for running in moderation and not for long distances. Research suggests that whereas moderate running (ie no more than five or six days a week, and no more than five hours total per week) is great for health generally and to lessen the risks of osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc – excessive running can be bad for you.
Watch O’Keefe’s TED talk.
Both food for thought – now, it’s up to you to make your own mind up!