Chris’s Wild Idea: To explore the limits of human potential, and to write amazing stories about it.

Chris McDougall is the author of the bestselling books, Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes. His first book spawned the barefoot running movement and altered the running shoe industry forever. It’s also being made into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey.

Natural Born Heroes dives into the history of how every-day citizens and amazing athletes on the island of Crete withstood the German forces during World War II. This is the kind of thing he loves: finding amazing stories about less-known athletes achieving amazing feats, and digging in to learn about their strategies, training, diets, and more, then sharing them with readers.

In 2011, I traded Chris surf lessons for barefoot running lessons. Since then, Chris has become not only a great writing mentor, but also a friend. On this episode, we talked about his life since the success of his books, what techniques he learned while researching them (including movement based exercises used by the Cretans), why he may discourage you from becoming a writer, and why donkeys (yes donkeys) make great running partners. Chris is an amazing storyteller and I think that really comes through in this podcast.

Listen to this episode if: 

  • You’ve read Born to Run or Natural Born Heroes.
  • You’re interested in the minimal running footwear revolution.
  • You want to shift your diet and improve your performance.
  • You’ve thought about moving to the country.
  • You’re a runner of any distance.
  • You want to be a writer.
  • You want to know how the heck he trains with donkeys.

For full show notes, including guest links and books mentioned during the episode, visit: