This book was recommended to me by about half a dozen people, but I’d been sitting on it for the past few months — the first couple of chapters just didn’t grab me. But I recently read the whole thing, and am glad I stuck with it.
I’m interested in running — I try to do it a few times a week, even though, as Murakami puts it, it highlights that I’m a very imperfect man, living an imperfect life. (That’s actually a hopeful sentiment to me — that we’re all living imperfect lives, but still try to get out there and run.)
This book is a few different stories: it’s the story of several tribes of long distance runners (100 mile +) in Mexico, a report on ultra-distance running here in the states as well as the rise of barefoot running, and a bit of an evolutionary biology story about why humans are nature’s greatest distance runners (in terms of stamina, not speed).
I have to say, I believed some of it, but not all of it — it felt like a bit of a marketing piece for barefoot running. But it was also a fun book, and helped me understand running a bunch better. I don’t know whether I’ll ever run a marathon, let alone an ultra-marathon, but it was neat to try to imagine that a little bit.
I’ve been experimenting with running in my Vibrams about once a week or so — so far, I’m liking the experience of forefoot striking, and the way that it helps me focus on engaging my core. Not sure I’m sold on running that way all the time, but definitely plan to keep it in the mix to vary my workouts.