Tag Archives | Christopher McDougall

Natural Born Heroes | Christopher McDougall

The cover of McDougalls Natural Born HeroesNatural Born Heroes is three books in one. The first book tells the story of how the daring resistance movement on Crete kidnapped a German General and then disappeared. The second book is a study of the hero in Greek mythology, suggesting links between the Greek heroes and modern Cretans. The third book is an autobiographical glimpse into McDougall’s studies in endurance diets and fitness training.

I picked up Natural Born Heroes on the strength of McDougall’s first book, Born to Run. While Born to Run was an inspiring book that actually made me want to run more, his sophomore effort lost me. The World War II story was exciting, but in order to fit the other material in he had to draw it out to an unnatural length. His fascial fitness ideas were exciting, but ended up sounded like fringe science.

While the idea was interesting, the execution left me wishing I could have just read a complete history of the Cretan resistance or a scientific study of endurance training. Both subjects are well worth their own treatment!


McDougall, Christopher. Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.

Born to Run | Christopher McDougall

“It simply makes you want to run.”

I bought this book because of that blurb from Outside Magazine on the inside of the cover.  They’re absolutely right. After all the chapters are read and all the information is digested, the desire to run sticks with you. McDougall has written some strong motivation here.

Born to Run is a collection of narratives thrown together into one perfectly balanced package. There’s the meta-narrative about the author who sought to discover why he couldn’t run very far without injury. This question led him to the reclusive Tarahumara tribe that live in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. Their running ability is legendary—what’s their secret?

From the Tarahumara, McDougall branches out into ultramarathon culture, introducing the reader to a diverse cast of hard-core distance runners. One of these runners is a devoted bare-foot enthusiast.

Compelling tangents such as Mexican drug-runners, the nefarious role of Nike in running injuries, and the human ability to run down wild game round out the package.

This book is equal parts travel, adventure, science, and sport. If you run or have ever thought about starting, enjoy this book!

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