Another Christopher McDougall book, "Natural Born Heroes"

Anything of interest to WMAC members or area runners
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Ken S
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:30 pm

Another Christopher McDougall book, "Natural Born Heroes"

Post by Ken S » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:37 am

This book by Christopher McDougall, the author of "Born To Run," is a worthwhile read. It weaves two threads into worthwhile thoughts/lessons on endurance: Nazi resistance fighters during WWII on the island of Crete and the author's experiences with several eccentric endurance gurus. A few topics: Carbohydrate burning vs. fat burning and hydration.

While I don't agree 100% with all the tenets presented, the book has spurred additional research and reading.

Rob: Have you read this? What do you think?

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rob1
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Re: Another Christopher McDougall book, "Natural Born Heroes"

Post by rob1 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:07 pm

Some runner friends told me about that book, but I haven't read it, Ken. It looks interesting, and brings to mind Shackleton's group crossing South Georgia Island.

A couple of years ago I did read "Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind" by Sakyong Mipham, who was a Tibetan lama and good amateur marathoner (about 3 hours). The book draws parallels between benefits of meditation and distance running:

"With an untrained mind, the thought process is said to be like a wild and blind horse: erratic and out of control. We experience the mind as moving all the time - suddenly darting off, thinking about one thing or another, being happy, being sad. If we haven't trained our mind, the wild horse takes us wherever it wants to go.

Even though there are some mental benefits in running, they are usually achieved not by training the horse, but by exhausting the horse... the clarity and peace of mind brought about by physical exercise is temporary. When the horse has more energy, it resumes running around again. Then we go for another run... whereas the peace and clarity that come from meditation are cumulative."

Is the author right about running "not training the horse, but exhausting the horse", or had he just spent more time sitting and meditating than running? Cats sit, and appear the wiser for it, but if humans were "born to run", perhaps it's an open question.
Regards,
Rob

Ken S
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:30 pm

Re: Another Christopher McDougall book, "Natural Born Heroes"

Post by Ken S » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:56 pm

I got Tim Noakes' Book, "Waterlogged," cited in the Natural Born Heroes book from the regional library yesterday. It's written like a medical or scientific journal, so I plan to read parts of it, but not every word. As the title suggests he feels that for the most part drinking water/gatorade during endurance events is more dangerous than dehydration during the event, citing over hydration deaths vs rare or non existent dehydration deaths during or shortly after endurance events.

Reminds me of running the Fat Ass 50K with a San Diego exercise physiologist, one year, who noted that he regularly had been having stomach problems running Comrades in South Africa till he figured out that the stomach has a limited capacity and if you drink too much your stomach spills over and creates problems for you.

I'm sure the Waterlogged book will be useful.

Old runners will recall that even Boston did not have water stops in the olden days, And I think 10k's or less prohibited water stops back when. (before my time ha ha.)

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