Winter Break Reading: "Born to Run"

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Born to Run

With winter break just around the corner, you'll have time to catch up on the movies, music and books you missed throughout the year. We recommend a book that has made it onto multiple "Best" publication lists: Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall.

Born to Run was written in response to a problem common to many runners—foot pain. As McDougall relates, "I'd gone to see one of the top sports medicine specialists in the country, because an invisible ice-pick was driving straight up through the sole of my foot. The week before, I'd been out for an easy, three-mile jog on a snowy farm road when I suddenly whinnied in pain, grabbing my right foot and screaming curses as I toppled over in the snow. When I got a grip on myself, I checked to see how badly I was bleeding. I must have impaled my foot on a sharp rock, I figured, or an old nail wedged in the ice. But there wasn't a drop of blood, or even a hole in my shoe."

Instead of taking doctors' advice to slow down, McDougall asked himself how the long-distance runners from Mexico's Tarahumara tribe could continue to run for hundreds, even thousands of miles, without injury and even become stronger with each passing year? To find the answer, McDougall traveled to Mexico.

Those expecting Born to Run to be a dry book filled with complicated running techniques will be pleasantly surprised. McDougall uses running as a backdrop for a globe-trotting adventure, with stories of mountain treks, colorful characters and strange energy drinks made from recipes that are almost as old as the hills the tribe runs on. Born to Run culminates with the greatest race of the author's life: a 50-mile run through the unforgiving Tarahumara terrain. (Want a more in-depth review of the book? Head over to

For runners seeking inspiration before spring training begins, Born to Run really delivers. You can snag this bestseller in paperback for around $10 on Amazon—even less in digital formats on Barnes and Noble's Nook Tablet or Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock