Born To Run

I had heard SO many people talking about this book.  A lot of people who now also wear the Vibram Five Fingers, recommend “Born to Run” and I finally sucked it up and bought it.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but read enough to say that it’s very interesting.  I was already interested in the barefoot movement, if only because of my own running injuries (seriously, internal bleeding on my heel when I’m wearing cushy shoes?  That’s NOT normal).

Here are the interesting tidbits I’ve found out since I’ve been reading it…

-They mention how the foot is a piece of perfect engineering:  it has 26 bones, 33 joints and 18 muscles (I knew about the bones and joints, but had no idea the foot had that many muscles!)

-The founder of Nike (until then, shoes had no cushions), designed the first Nike shoe in a way that people would change their strike into a heel strike.  He looked at people running and realized that if they heel striked, they would have longer strides, and then not only they could get faster, they would take less strides making a long run less tiring (this is all in theory).  So it’s no surprise that most people change their stride to a heel-strike as soon as they put shoes on.

-The human foot searches for stability, so in cushioned shoes people automatically strike harder (there has been studies on this).  Basically, they strike harder to go beyond the cushion and get to the harder surface for stability.  The author also compares wearing cushioned shoes to covering an egg with a potholder then hitting it with the hammer — the end result (the destruction of the egg) is the same.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have the waterproof Five Finger Flows (and it’s not expected to ship until March — boohoo), so I haven’t been able to wear my Five Fingers with all the snow we’ve been getting here in DC (last year we had ONE snow day, of a couple of inches.  Last night was our third snow storm this season, more to come on Friday.  FML).  It seems like it’ll be a while until I can wear them full-time, which sucks, as I love how light they feel when I run with them.

Have you read Born to Run?  What did you think of it?

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