Born to Run 2

November 8, 2023

Book Notes

Born to Run 2 Book Cover

When I read a book I have the habit of highlighting certain passages I find interesting or useful. After I finish the book I’ll type up those passages and put them into a note on my phone. I’ll keep them to comb through every so often so that I remember what that certain book was about. That’s what these are. So if I ever end up lending you a book, these are the sections that I’ve highlighted in that book. Enjoy!

Eric never meant to train me for a race. He was training me for a lifetime.

You and I know how good running feels because we’ve made a habit of it. But lose the habit, and the loudest voice in your ear is your ancient survival instinct urging you to relax. That’s what our brain tells us – why fire up the machine if you don’t have to?

Your brain is constantly whirring in search of energy-saving shortcuts. That’s how we’re wired.

Greek battlefields didn’t have Powerade stations and orange slices. Survival depended on two things: choosing slow-burn food and adapting their bodies to use it. You can have the finest fuel in the world, but it’s useless without the proper engine.

The more mellow your base training, the more your body will rely on stored fat, rather than shifting into emergency mode and reaching for fast-burn sugars.

In Ultras, we learn to smile and fake it till it changes.

We start running to get in shape, and never bother to get in shape to start running.

Barefoot Blog’s Three Great Truths:

  1. Shoes block pain, not impact.
  2. Pain teaches us to run comfortably.
  3. From the moment you start going barefoot, you will change the way you run.

Sometimes you can confuse quick with hard. It’s actually easier to run at a quicker cadence, because you can bounce rather than stop…go…stop…go.

Running fast can help autocorrect your biomechanics, while slow leads to sloppy. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to sprint all the time, but the technique is the same. Believe it or not, running fast is the best way to learn how to run slow.

Focus on pushing into the ground to get your speed. Resist the temptation to stretch our your leg and overstride.

The Three-Day Rule was Chris’s yardstick: continuing to run when you know you won’t be able to walk for seventy-two hours means it’s time to question why you’re running in the first place. If it’s because you’ve got something to prove, then it’s only a matter of time before you get injured for real of quit for good. The extaordinarily successful Illinois high school track coach Tony Holler calls this philosophy Don’t burn the steak. “Kids are good at what they like, obsessed with what they love” he explains. “Push too hard today, and they won’t be back for many tomorrows. I’ll always take a Did Not Finish over a Did Not Start” is how Zach’s coach put it.

I think any runner knows when the forces all align during an amazing run, you have that feeling like you understand the universe and your place in it and it’s this hard-won euphoria.

The best races start where you scratch a line in the dirt with your foot

It’s just that he was alwasy in a hurry to grab breakfast or go surfing, and cared so little about results that he had no idea he’d won seven races in a row until a competitor told him.

While hiding out from her soon-to-be-ex, Alyx reached out online to Billy for advice about a Big Island trail race she was considering. Emails grew into phone calls, and those phone calls ended with a dare: “If you like what you see,” Alyx told Billy when he offered to pick he up at the airport, “kiss me”

Few sports are more isolating than ultrarunning and surfing, which demand self-reliance and endless hours alone.

Bodybuilding is literally a trophy system for selfishness; you triumph only if you are thinking about yourself all the time.

“I had no idea I could run a PR, especially in a healthy way” Billy told me afterward. still slightly dazed by the experience. “You only associate personal records with the razor’s edge of injury, but I was totally relaxed. My only goal all year was to spend as much time as possibly with Cosmo and Alyx.”

Getting better looks different than most poeple think. We’ve been sold on this mindset that running is a solitary pursuit.

Humans are the world’s greatest team players.

Sharing your run may be the best selfish move you’ll ever make.

People who sweat together, soar together.

Racing is the Great Uniter, not a divider. It’s the opportunity to spend hours and hours side by side with someone as skilled as you or better.

The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.

Running form requires a straight back, squared hips, steady cadence and short consistent stride.

If you’re gonna be a runner, why not make it fun?

Happy people live up to seven years longer thatn unhappy people, and are half as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease. (Not sure of source so don’t take this too seriously)

Be smart! Don’t push up your miles until you feel ready. Frequency is our gold standard, so be patient. It’s better to do a little less each day and come back strong the next.

@joekotlan on X