From the category archives:

Reader Letters

From Reader Dr. T. Riabokin

by Christopher on January 6, 2010

Many, many thanks for your book!
After 30 years in practice (and 30 years of preaching going barefoot)
I now have a treasure of a book to hand to my patients regarding the
benefits of walking/running barefoot.
Having heard of this tribe years ago I always wondered when we would
see an accesible book about them. My copy of your book has already
transformed the lives of four people and I’ve only had it one week. I
salute you for the manner in which you presented and closed the
material – so many levels of love and wisdom!

Wishing you much success, happiness and health!

From Reader Howard

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

i just wanted to say that this is the best book i have ever read. it felt like a series of lighbulbs going off. your insights and research made me realise what was wrong with my running… the shoes. i am now running in minimal shoes (still working on getting my feet strong enough to run in vibram fivefingers) and my knee and ankle pains are all but vanished, and i now smile when i run. not only is your book full of insight and useful information on nutrition (i now take a flask of chia seeds and orange juice on runs over 10 miles, i like it much more than gel) and training, it is also beautifully written – your descriptions of the tarahumara running are brilliant – and, even though i am now reading it for the second time, i still got excited reading about the tarahumara racing against ann
trason in the leadville run. i will keep an eye on the newsletter to see if you ever come to the uk to talk
thank you so much for this book, it might sound like frothing hyperbole, but i think i can say that it has actually changed my life. running now feels more like flying
thank you mr mcdougall

From Reader Will

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

I heard the same interview during a long car trip from Chesepeake Bay to Nashville.  I pulled over in Roanoke, found a bookstore and bought “Born To Run”.  I dove in as soon as I got home and devoured the book in a few nights.  Since then, I’ve been running and walking barefoot daily (about 16 weeks I think).  My 20 year battle with achilles tendonitis, which had me hobbling around, not running, eating 12 to 16 ibuprofen a day…the battle for now is over.  My achilles tendon, knees, hips, and back feel great.

I have been running for 37 years, and getting a new lease on running is such a wonderful thing!

From Reader Larry

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

I read your book Born To Run. Because of you, I feel like I have my life back again. I was a marathoner for 20 years, and then in my mid 30’s I ran into a wall of injuries, to the point where at 42, I never thought I would be able to run ever again. Running was my true love.

After reading your book, I am back baby!! Wow, I feel alive again. I have been running for the past 6 weeks not only injury free, but pain free, and enjoying every stride. I seriously cannot thank you enough!!! The most influential and inspiring book to date that I have read in my life. No joke.

My next step is to mix in some barefoot running, which I haven’t done yet, and eventually run marathons again, and hopefully one day an ultra. Who knows, maybe I’ll be fortunate enough one day to run into you or BFT, no pun intended. LOL

From Reader Sarah

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

Howard Luke is almost 86 years old, born in Nenana (just south of Fairbanks, Alaska) and raised in a traditional Athabascan, Alaska Native lifestyle. He says his mother put the lower foreleg bone of a Dall sheep around his neck when he was about 5 or 6 years old, so he would be a runner. She started making him run about 1/2 mile every morning, bare foot, when he was 8 or 9 years old.

He was about 18 or 19 when he ran down the fox – it was a cross fox worth about $90 in those days and he brought it to his mother. She had taught him that he could run down fox “because they get winded”. He did this on snow shoes, and could see the fox the whole time he was running it down. He said it was also kind of soft trail, so he could also see the tracks if he needed to. He killed it when he caught up with it. He shared this story with me spontaneously when (after reading your book) I asked him if he knew anyone that had ever run down an animal.

When I asked, he knew of one other guy that ran down animals, but he said the old timers probably did it more, since they knew all these things about animals – how they got winded and all.

Howard used to race sled dogs, and was famous for running in moose hide moccasins. He could run so fast he could change out dogs without even stopping.

He’s written a book called My Own Trail. He says if you are interested he can send you a copy.

He’s a very amazing person. At his age and with a Feb. hip replacement, he still gets out most every day for a long walk in the woods or on the sand bar by his camp – the Gaalee’ya Spirit Camp. He works with the University of Alaska Fairbanks a lot in many different ways.

He’s given his permission for me to write all this to you, and is willing to talk with you too if you are interested.

That’s about it for what I know. I really enjoyed your book and had a hard time putting it down – a book has to be really good for me to feel like that.

Let me know if you would like to try to connect with Howard directly.

From Reader Eric

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

I’ve been a miserable runner for as long as I remember – I’m a big, tall guy and everyone always told me I just couldn’t – except my mom. She’s 63 and runs 80 miles a week, and has been since she was 17 and started trail-running as part of her biology degree (she’s a botanist, liked to go out and get her own samples). Its her entertainment, her hobby, and her therapy.
I always wanted to be a runner, just like her, and so I read a lot
about it – I bought fantastically expensive shoes, tried bizarre diets
and painful routines. I got injured constantly.
I never understood what I was doing so wrong – my mom got injured twice running in her whole life, both times while running on ice. She buys shoes at the supermarket – the same place she gets her vegetarian produce. How can someone who spends $10 on a pair of shoes, runs with that funny-looking short-stride, and doesn’t even know that they need to protein-load teach me anything about running?
*sigh*
Long story short, I read your books a few months ago, and tried to
apply the distance-running-meets-tarahumara synthesis, and have never
enjoyed running so much in my life.
Thanks – I owe you all more than I can say.
Eric
p.s., I asked my mom where she learned to run the way she does.
“*shrug*”. She doesn’t read running books or magazines. She wasn’t on a track team. No-one ever taught her the wrong way.
p.p.s., I probably wouldn’t have even picked up your book if it
weren’t for how human and interesting you were on The Daily Show. So
please thank your publicist, or whomever got you on there for me, too.

From Reader Naomi

by Christopher on January 4, 2010

Hi I just wanted to let you know that i loved your book born to run, It has completely changed my life. The book is definitely any runners bible! About 6 months ago i suffered from plantar fasciitis and was told by a number of practitioners that my running days were over. I was devastated as i am only 28, a massive running enthusiast, and had my heart set on a marathon and an ultra marathon one day. After reading your book and applying the techniques I am extremely happy to be back running longer and faster than i was before and completely pain free, its the most wonderful feeling, thank you!