Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

11.21.2011

Finally Indexing All My Born to Run Posts

Christopher McDougall just wrote an excellent article for the New York Times that sums up the ideas in his excellent book Born to Run in a few pages. It even includes a short instructional video for a quick, easy drill to do daily to train your body in a healthier running form. A few quick excerpts if you're unfamiliar with the book:

The Once and Future Way to Run

We were once the greatest endurance runners on earth. We didn’t have fangs, claws, strength or speed, but the springiness of our legs and our unrivaled ability to cool our bodies by sweating rather than panting enabled humans to chase prey until it dropped from heat exhaustion. Some speculate that collaboration on such hunts led to language, then shared technology. Running arguably made us the masters of the world. . . .

Two years ago, in my book, “Born to Run,” I suggested we don’t need smarter shoes; we need smarter feet. I’d gone into Mexico’s Copper Canyon to learn from the Tarahumara Indians, who tackle 100-mile races well into their geriatric years. I was a broken-down, middle-aged, ex-runner when I arrived. Nine months later, I was transformed. After getting rid of my cushioned shoes and adopting the Tarahumaras’ whisper-soft stride, I was able to join them for a 50-mile race through the canyons. I haven’t lost a day of running to injury since. . . .

The only way to halt the running-injury epidemic, it seems, is to find a simple, foolproof method to relearn what the Tarahumara never forgot. A one best way to the one best way [to run]. . . .

Last fall, at the end of a local 10-mile trail race, I surprised myself by finishing five minutes faster than I had four years ago, when I was in much better shape. I figured the result was a fluke — until it happened again. No special prep, awful travel schedule and yet a personal best in a six-mile race.

“I don’t get it,” I told Cucuzzella this past June when we went for a run together through the Shepherd University campus in Shepherdstown. “I’m four years older. I’m pretty sure I’m heavier. I’m not doing real workouts, just whatever I feel like each day. The only difference is I’ve been 100-Upping.” . . . .


(See the video for a demonstration of the 100-Up; read the article for a description.)

Previous Posts
(In chronological order)

Was it a coincidence that the world's most enlightened people were also the world's most amazing runners? - I started listening to a book today I've been looking forward to for a long time. Not only did it not disappoint, it's so far better than expected. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. First a quote I like then a full introduction via The Daily Show . . .

They were so ignorant, they didn't even realize they were supposed to be burned out, overtained, and injured. Instead, they were fast. - I'm only about a third of the way done with Born to Run, but I am totally into it. My running geek is fascinated by learning more about the Leadville 100, the Adams State coach, and all kinds of other people, places, and things, I'm casually familiar with. McDougall knows how to tell a story, and he has an unending stream of them woven into this book. More than geeked, though, I'm stirred. It makes me feel everything I love about running. . . .

Trail Running Is My Favorite Form of Meditation - . . . "When I'm out on a long run," she continued, "the only thing in life that matters is finishing the run. For once, my brain isn't going blehblehbleh all the time. Everything quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow. It's just me and the movement and the motion. That's what I love--just being a barbarian, running through the woods." . . .

Might Have to Try Some Barefoot Running - "Everyone thinks they know how to run, but it's really as nuanced as any other activity," Eric told me. "Ask most people and they'll say, 'People just run the way they run.' That's ridiculous. Does everyone just swim the way they swim?" For every other sport, lessons are fundamental; you don't go out and start slashing away with a golf club or sliding down a mountain on skis until someone takes you through the steps and teaches you proper form. If not, inefficiency is guaranteed and injury is inevitable. . . .

Running was the superpower that made us all human--which means it's a superpower all humans possess - Lieberman began calculating temperatures, speed, and body weight. Soon, there it was before him: the solution to the Running Man mystery. To run an antelope to death, Lieberman determined, all you have to do is scare it into a gallop on a hot day. "If you keep just close enough for it to see you, it will keep sprinting away. After about ten or fifteen kilometers' worth of running, it will go into hypothermia and collapse." Translation: if you can run six miles on a summer day, then you, my friend, are a lethal weapon in the animal kingdom. We can dump heat on the run, but animals can't pant while they gallop. . . .

Born to Run Review - . . . That’s the summary, but McDougall shares his entire journey of conversion and more. He’s one heck of an entertaining storyteller, and he has woven countless tales throughout the book. In his quest to discover his own inner runner, he has been part of a convergence of U.S. ultra marathoning and the Tarahumara people of remote Mexico. Along the way he’s had more than his share of adventures into the Mexican wild lands, science, and the ultrarunning subculture, and met an amazing number of amazingly colorful people. . . .

Born to Run Visuals and Extenders - If you've been intrigued by the book, then you need to start with McDougall's site. That links to the photos of some of the people mentioned in the excerpts I've shared (like Jenn doing a handstand at the top of an 8,000 foot climb). . . .

Raramuri Diet Tips - . . . The Tarahumara diet is described in some small detail in the book, with repeated mention of two staples — pinole and chia seeds. The author relates a few stories that ascribe almost magical qualities to these simple foods, and though he is prone to hyperbole, I found myself intrigued enough to do some research and try making them on my own. . . .

I'm a Trial and Error Learner - My dad and brother are in town, and last night I took my brother hiking on some fairly rocky mountain bike trails. I wore my Vibram FiveFingers and stubbed my toes a couple of times. I knew when I hurt the middle toe and hopped around going, "Ow! Ow!" for a few seconds, but don't know when I hurt the pinky. They hurt to the touch, but seem to be OK for walking (although the soles of my feet are sore from all the rocky walking). . . .

If you don't have time to read (the rest of) Born to Run - This succinctly explains the theory that humans evolved as the world's best endurance runners and how the barefoot running style is better for you. Even has a short video demonstration. From NPR.

Natural Born Runners - A new study, it seems, would support the idea that the evolutionary advantage humans developed as predators was distance running. A Yahoo News summary:

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