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NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 24:  Mardi Gras reveler...
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Coupla articles on a related subject:
1) The painful truth about trainers: are running shoes a waste of money?

Then there’s the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world. These are a people who live in basic conditions in Mexico, often in caves without running water, and run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet. They are virtually barefoot.

Come race day, the Tarahumara don’t train. They don’t stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old.

When it comes to preparation, the Tarahumara prefer more of a Mardi Gras approach. In terms of diet, lifestyle and training technique, they’re a track coach’s nightmare. They drink like New Year’s Eve is a weekly event, tossing back enough corn-based beer and homemade tequila brewed from rattlesnake corpses to floor an army.

(Speaking of “running shoes” reminds me of the joke about the “reading lamp”)

2)The Ray Mears caveman diet

Forget those faddish diets: the grapefruit diet, the South Beach diet, the cabbage soup diet, Posh Spice’s latest starvation diet. There’s only one diet real men need to worry about and that’s the Paleo Diet – aka the Caveman Diet – which, in its most basic form, consists of what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten.

Who says so? Ray Mears. He’s qualified to pronounce on such matters because he has spent more than a decade researching what our distant forebears used to survive on. He has also spent weeks in the wild with nothing more to eat than nuts, berries and lean meat. These, he believes, are the key to avoiding illness and premature death associated with our excessive western consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrate.

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