Run? I just finished Christopher McDougall’s book by that name and I have to admit, I’m sort of inspired to run. I enjoyed the journey through the book from learning about the history of Leadville to feeling like I was in Mexico with the crew.
As an aspiring cyclist, there’s one thing I need to know about running which is: There is no running in cycling. My leg muscles do not appreciate when I don’t follow that rule. I probably wouldn’t have sought out this book, but since it appeared in my living room, I decided to read it. There are some cross-overs so here are the things I’m taking away from the book:
1) Don’t overlook technique. I thought that cycling was a simple sport- second only to running. Just put on your shoes and go, right? Or just get on a bike and go, right? Wrong! I learned this winter that my pedaling needs a lot of work. My “natural” tendencies aren’t exactly the most efficient. So, I started with a bike fitting and am still working on perfecting my pedaling stroke. Inevitably, there will come a time when I return to running (maybe after cycling or when I’m traveling) and when I do, I will definitely be reviewing my gear/shoe choice and my technique.
2) Look at the source before following advice. Every (for- profit) organization has one goal: maximize shareholder’s wealth (i.e. profits). Big companies are not interested in creating millions of healthy runners or cyclists. They’re interested in selling products which means creating demand. Independent research on what you need to accomplish your specific goals is always worth it.
3) Never say never. The Tarahumara and the American Ultra runners, for different reasons, never limited themselves. They believe anything is possible and I think that is an important attitude to have.
4) Things work out: Against all odds, Caballo pulled off the race with the gringos and the Tarahumara in the jungle. There were some close calls, but they all made it. Sports bring people together in strange circumstances sometimes – like when you’re out for some exercise in Indonesia and you look back to find you are being followed by half a village of children and goats- but usually it ends with smiles all around.