Why We Run_Bernd Heinrich_2002

Why We Run: A Natural History
by Bernd Heinrich (Author)

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ecco (May 7, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060958707
ISBN-13: 978-0060958701

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In Why We Run, biologist, award-winning nature writer, and ultramarathoner Bernd Heinrich explores a new perspective on human evolution by examining the phenomenon of ultraendurance and makes surprising discoveries about the physical, spiritual -- and primal -- drive to win. At once lyrical and scientific, Why We Run shows Heinrich's signature blend of biology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy, infused with his passion to discover how and why we can achieve superhuman abilities.

《Why We Run: A Natural History》书籍目录: 

Acknowledgments v
Author’s Note
Prologue i
1. Wind-in-the-Face Warm-Up 1
2. Ancient Runners and Us 7
3. Start of the Race 13
4. Back to the Beginning 23
5. High School Cross-Country 35
6. College Cauldron 59
7. How to Reduce an Insect’s Flight Endurance 91
8. Ultramarathoners in the Sky 105
9. The Antelope’s Running Prowess 119
10. The Camel’s Keys to Ultraendurance 133
11. Athletic Frogs 143
12. To Run on Two (or More) Legs 153
13. Evolution of Intelligent Running Ape People 163
14. Running Like Dogs and Cats 187
15. The Fitness of Being Out of Shape 199
16. Diet 207
17. Racing Fuel 211
18. Training for the Race 221
19. Final Preparations 237
20. The Race 245
Epilogue 261
References 269
Index 283
Contents
About the Author
Other Books by Bernd Heinrich
Credits
Cover
Copyright
About the Publisher

《Why We Run: A Natural History》作者简介:

About the Author
The author of numerous bestselling and award-winning books, Bernd Heinrich is a professor of biology at the University of Vermont. He divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.

《Why We Run: A Natural History》读者评论:

Heinrich fans, take note: "Why We Run" is Heinrich's "Racing the Antelope," retitled and repackaged. Don't make my mistake and order this book thinking it is a new work. It isn't.
As to the book, I thoroughly enoyed "Racing the Antelope." Part autobiography (Heinrich is a very interesting person) part biology (presented in a very accessible way), part scientist at work, this book gets to the core of, well, why we (at least some of us) run.

 

Heinrich is a biologist and world class ultramarathon runner. This book is a combination of random biological vignettes, autobiography, and inspirational story of Heinrich's training for and racing a major 100 kilometer race in which he basically broke the world record for that distance. Of course, there are only a few hyper-dedicated individuals that compete at that distance, but nevertheless Heinrich's accomplishments are astounding.
WHY WE RUN has all sorts of biological discussions that remind me of the worst of Stephen J. Gould's pieces. Unfortunately the biological passages for the most are incoherent although tantalizing. For example, and there are many like this: "Eating is controlled by psychological drives, which in turn are influenced by blood chemistry. Just thinking about a hamburger can change your blood chemistry." But wait a minute, the blood chemistry was supposed to influence the thinking (i.e. psychological drives?). Much of the writing and thinking is mushy like this.
The strong points of the book are that despite the self-indulgent and poorly connected and developed thinking, Heinrich is a passionate and engaging person and this comes across in his writing. He has also led an interesting and bizarre life.
To me the book is most valuable as an inspirational story. His inspirational attitude is deeper than the "if you just believe and try hard enough you can do it" variety. Heinrich has a kind of hard-knuckled, gritty attitude toward life (and at the same time a love of nature and animals--although he is also an avid and skilled hunter). He manages to communicate a holistic view of human nature and biology that I found encouraging and inspiring, and at the same time realistic.
As a 20 mile a week runner nearing 60, I found the book helpful to my puny efforts. Heinrich, however, is so far beyond anything that any ordinary runner could ever even dream about in his wildest dreams, that it is hard to connect with him. Frankly his running seems super-human, and not just a little crazy, but downright insane. Unlike some other writers, Heinrich never makes the reader feel inferior and I appreciate that. He is modest and humble. Fine traits, I'd say in a world class athlete.
BTW: The author explains in the preface why the book has been retitled. Several other non-related books had been published at the same time with "antelope" in the title.

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