You can improve your running by study these born to run natives in a special way
As a passionate runner, you search all the time for different sources teaching how to improve your running. The Tarahumara runners are some of the best long-distance runners in the world, and when you get an opportunity, you will explore all that is possible.
A week ago I had the chance to run the yearly Tarahumara half marathon race, and of all races I have done around the world, this one occupies a special place on my fan list.
For hundred of years, this group of people lived isolated from the rest of the world in the northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains. They were growing their own corn, potato, and beans, living in caves escaping from slave raids by Spanish conquistadors.
The communication between the different villages was linked by a complex network of trails. The Tarahumara, or Rarámuri as they call themselves, developed an ability to run the long distances to deliver messages to different families.
Running was also necessary for hunting animals.
Thus, running for the Tarahumara has been a must for survival more than a strict athletic skillset.
There are some different translations of the name Rarámuri, but it means more or less “the running people.”
Improve Your Running As An Ultra-Runner
With the increased interest for ultra marathons, ultra runners have a lot to learn from the Tarahumara. In the famous bestselling book, “Born to Run” by Christopher Mc Dougall, the mix of life and running habits are explored.
The Tarahumara natives run with their huarache sandals and argue that modern running shoes damage your running more than they help. The sandals mold to your foot and give enough protection without interfering with the natural movement of a human being.
From an early age, the Tarahumara guys start to compete in their traditional rarajipari races. It’s a game where they kick a wooden ball down the mountains for hours, well, even for days.
Running for fun and running for survival has developed a peculiar attitude among the Tarahumara to always run with joy.
Mexico sent two Tarahumara participants to the Olympic Games in Amsterdam 1928 to run the marathon. Their positions, 32 and 35, didn’t impress and after crossing the finish line, they claimed that the race was too short.
The fact is that the Tarahumara people do not run fast but long distances. And they always run with joy. “Running for exercise is one thing, running for fun is completely different.”
Ultra Caballo Blanco held yearly in the Copper Canyon, is a 60 miles trail challenging for true ultra runners. The best Tarahumara runners are always among the top three runners in the race.
What To Copy From The Tribe To Improve Your Running?
After the fourth Tarahumara half marathon in a row I have learned some things that can improve your running:
- Save energy– something that I have noticed all the times I have had the opportunity to be together with the Tarahumara people, is that they do not waste any energy. When they run, they run, but as soon as it’s time for rest, they sit down and instinctively they do whatever they can do to not waste more energy than necessary.
- Teamwork – maybe it’s there hunting or games for fun that gathers them as a team. When running, they use to run close together to support each other
- Run with joy – when running alongside a Tarahumara guy you will always notice a smile on his face. Running has to be fun.
- Simplicity – even if the best Tarahumara runners always occupy top positions in the competitions where they participate, they refuse to use modern tools as we “normal” runners use. They do not use any GPS watches. Their huaraches sandals are one of the most particular attributes for these runners. The tagora (loin cloths) will not be changed, and it all together form part of an almost extreme simplicity
Starting to argue about pros and cons, their surprising response changes the game plan immediately. The Tarahumara runner claims that it’s not about running fast but to be a good runner.
What is fascinating is that these clear, straightforward and simple characteristics, apply to anything in life…..also for your business.
As point No. 5, I therefore, wold like to add -true entrepreneurship and passionate running have a lot in common.
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Jan Nilsson – 5 Great Lessons From The Tarahumara To Improve Your Running And Business<== Go to the top of page