Meeting McDougall

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to meet Chris McDougall, the author of the book Born to Run.


It was exciting to find out that Boise was his first stop of only 13 on his Naked Book tour. 🙂

Yes, he is calling it the Naked Tour. Which is exactly what he talked about, the idea of running naked. Naked in the sense of leaving all these running gadgets and gizmos behind.

And how they actually can be a distraction to us as we run, taking our attention away from our form and even causing mental barriers.


I’m so guilty of this. I rely on my garmin to tell me when my work out is over. I hardly ever just run until my body is done. I usually monitor my garmin until the last possible second it hits X miles.

But he suggests that by letting go of some of those barriers, you may actually improve your running.

This rang a bell with me. My first race ever, I had no garmin or iPod, just me and my pre-race jitters. I ran my little heart out without a worry of time or knowledge of what mile marker I was at. I finished my first 5k race in 31:32. A time that blew my mind considering I had no concept of speed since it was my first race. I just ran that day. It’s still one of my most amazing runs to date.

Which makes me wonder how much I let my garmin hold me back, ya know? Or how much more I pay attention to my garmin when I should be paying attention to my body as it runs.


He also made a simple statement that we were all born to run.

We have all the technology we need, without all the iPods, garmins, etc to hinder us. But it’s our technique that is most important, and is what is causing runners injuries in the long run when it’s wrong.


It was fascinating to hear about his experience of running with the Tribe and to hear about he found a running technique that has kept him injury free when before he could barely run a few miles without problems.

When asked what his favorite running shoes were, he proclaimed that running barefoot is his favorite.

But he said that was due to the fact that it kept his feet closest to the ground without anything in between his foot and the ground to interfere with his running technique.

It was so enlightening to meet Chris McDougall. He was just such a down to earth guy.


And he just seemed so passionate about running. But from the perspective that anyone can do it.


It was fun to listen to him talk and to learn more about his experiences with the tribes that he wrote about in the book.

I am honestly so excited to take the steps into running barefoot and finally getting my Vibrams some love! And I want to try to focus more on myself and the run as opposed to worrying about my garmin or other things around me that may be distracting as I run.

What are your thoughts about running “naked”?

For my race in May (a 5k), I am going to just run it. No garmin, no ipod and just see how it goes.

Happy Tuesday Friends!!


10 thoughts on “Meeting McDougall

  1. So cool that you got to meet him! Sounds like it was a really good talk. It’s definitely intriguing to think about this whole “running naked” concept, since I am someone who relies SO MUCH on my Garmin, and also music. Oh, and shoes. 😉

    Will be interesting to find out how you like “racing naked” in May!

  2. I love this idea!!! You are so lucky to have heard him speak! I cannot wait to read this book and try naked running myself! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. i wonder if he is coming to canada? i hope so. im excited to read his book.

    i know what you mean. my first half marathon, i ran with nothing. not water, no Gu, no garmin and got a time of 2:08. and i was aiming for 2:30. sooooo i guess running naked has something to it!

    great post and cool that u met him!

  4. That’s very cool!

    I think I need to try naked running, the whole reason I ever even got a garmin was because I felt I needed one to be a ‘real’ runner but it’s def more of a distraction than anything!
    And I do love listening to my ipod but I don’t like to when running outside because it makes me much less aware of my surroundings/

  5. How awesome that you got to meet him and hear him speak! I love that book! That’s really fascinating that one of your best runs was “naked.” I have run without my ipod before and it is always so relaxing to just listen to my breath. At the same time, sometimes music is necessary to just zone out to!

  6. Thank you SO much for sharing about Chris McDougall’s insights. I wonder if the reason I get injured so frequently is because I wear stability shoes with custom orthotics. What would happen if I went barefoot? I’m intrigued to try it but nervous at the same time. That’s so cool you got to meet him! I definitely want to read his book now.

  7. I definitely think running “naked” is good. That said, I never do it 🙂 I love my Ipod during runs, especially the route I run are pretty boring. I rely on my Garmin because otherwise I sometimes run too fast and am exhausted before the run is over. But it would be a good idea to leave it at home on shorter runs from time to time. Maybe I just do that sometime.

  8. I saw this book at the airport last week and I want to read it! That’s great that you got to meet him. I love running with no Garmin or music every once in a while. It’s a nice change and I just go to run, not to go a certain distance or time. It’s refreshing 🙂

  9. Pingback: Running Naked « beyond DESTINATION 26.2

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