Born to Run & Chris McDougall

Earlier this week, I listened to a YPO-WPO conference call with Born to Run author, Chris Mcdougall. Debbie has read his book and I’ve read parts of it. I preferred the executive summary that McDougall gave over the phone. His talk wasn’t a substitute for reading the best-seller, but he gave us a few key tidbits.

The book has been a sensation and it is popular way beyond the running community. It has altered the way running shoes are designed and sparked all kinds of changes in the way people approach running. I’m sure it has even drawn people to running, especially trail running and ultrarunning.  It really is amazing what has happened. I’m still running in traditional shoes, but I’ve got enough inventory to last me a while. I’ll look at a minimalist shoe eventually. I’m just slow to come around.

I love McDougall’s focus on trails. That is where I prefer to run. The book also raised the profile of several runners, including Scott Jurek, who was a resource on a call that I moderated for YPO-WPO in May 2010. Scott was joined by Krissy Moehl and Debbie Livingston. Our call was just days before Jurek set the U.S. record for the 24 hour run.

On the call, McDougall raised the concept of “running form.” He mentioned the golf swing and tennis shot as examples of how much focus has been put on technique. Yet, he said, until now, very little focus had been put on running technique. People were led to believe that they ran the way they ran because that was how their bodies were built. Obviously, that isn’t true. You can train your body to do anything.

2 Responses to “Born to Run & Chris McDougall”


  1. 1 Ron Starrett 23 June 2011 at 8:49 am

    This book led to me changing my stride and getting much more out my running. True, changing your form isn’t for everyone but it is worth a try to see if it is. The book is a great story too…

    Recent podcast with an interview with Chris here:
    http://www.ultrarunnerpodcast.com/ultrarunnerpodcast.com/Podcast/Podcast.html

  2. 2 David Merkt 23 June 2011 at 9:08 am

    Born to Run is an immensely inspiring book; it planted in me the seed for the ‘ultra bug’. I saw Chris’s TED talk, and he’s as engaging a speaker as he is an author.


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