Close this search box.

The Born to Run Training Philosophy, with Chris McDougall and Eric Orton

Born to Run inspired runners all over the world with its story of the Tarahumara Indians alongside Christopher McDougall’s quest to run with more joy and less pain. Born to Run 2 digs into the details of training principles you can apply to your own running.

Christopher McDougall is convinced that many of us start running for the wrong reasons.  Instead of chasing weight loss goals or faster times, we should begin by focusing on the pure joy that running can bring. Picture a child effortlessly sprinting barefoot across the grass, contrasted with the marathoner grinding out long, slow miles.  How can we reconcile these?

When Born to Run came out in 2009, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. It remains one of the most popular running books out there! For many the barefoot boom that was ignited by the book inspired a joy of running in a new way. 

This week’s episode features two guests: Christopher McDougall and his longtime coach, Eric Orton.  Their newest book – Born to Run 2 – lays out the path that McDougall followed as he went from chronically injured to successful ultrarunner.  Their goal is to help runners of all levels benefit from Orton’s training as much as McDougall has.

Born to Run 2: “Move well before you move for a long time.”

In Born to Run 2: The Ultimate Training Guide, McDougall and Orton help runners revitalize their running through a combination of training principles and supplementary work that prepares the  body to run efficiently. We  focus on several important concepts of the Born to Run approach, including a “speed first” mentality, ways to instill better form, and how to use shoes and barefoot running to your advantage.

Whether you’re trying to bounce back from injury or find a new way to approach and improve your running, our conversation is filled with practical, actionable training philosophy, including:

  • The value of working on speed before distance
  • How faster running naturally enables better running form
  • Ways that runners can analyze their own form and work on better technique
  • The Rock Lobster cue you’ll never forget!
  • What it means to have a supple body that is ready to run
  • Practical ways to implement minimalist running, and how “supershoes” fit into the picture

I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you Rock n Roll Arizona!

We are supported by the Rock n Roll Arizona race series!  Now that temperatures are dropping and we can take advantage of the cooler, more running-friendly temperature, it’s time to plan some races!

Located in Tempe, Arizona, celebrate the start of 2023 with a tri-city foot tour through the Valley of the Sun. Run through the iconic, red sandstone formations of Papago park, snap a selfie in front of colorful art murals and installations, and soak up the southwestern style while dancing and dashing through the streets. 

Mark your calendars for January 14th and 15th  because Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona is the premier run-cation.  Sign up here today, and use the code STRENGTHRUNNING15 for 15% off any distance.  Get ready for a weekend extravaganza in  the Valley of the Run! 

Thank You Melin!

We are also supported by Melin hats! Quite possibly the best looking, most attractive hats I’ve ever worn, Melin makes premium hats for both casual use and for running. They’re durable, water-repellant, high quality, incredibly detailed, and stylish. You can also go check out our latest video on YouTube to see my full collection.

After eyeing Melin Hats for a long time on Instagram, I’m thrilled that we’ve partnered together. Get 20% off your first order at with code STRENGTHRUNNING. A Melin hat is likely the last hat you’ll ever buy – they’ll last practically forever. 

Even if you find that you don’t like your Melin hat, no worries. You can return it within 30 days with no questions asked, according to their Perfect Fit Promise. Pick one up and let me know what you think!

Get Stronger & Run Healthy

Join our free course to help you better prevent injuries, develop runner-specific strength, and avoid the big mistakes that get runners hurt