The Tarahumara are people from northern Mexico considered to have superhuman athletic abilities, they can run sixteen times more than the average marathon runner. How do they do it? I have my own theory but scientists suggest that their high liquid and glycogen diet consumed from a special “beer” in their culture might be the key. They also suggest that it is their natural way of running barefeet, where their forefoot lands first, giving less stress to the body as opposed to runners who use running shoes. My theory, which is far from being scientific, is that they could have evolved to run for practical purposes. I know that in ancient China and Rome there were messangers who would run to alert distant command posts of an eventual ennemy attack. Perhaps the Tarahumara are evolved messangers who worked for the ancient Mayans. And if you wonder what the word Tarahumara means, it literally translates to “running people”, “foot-runner”, “swift of foot” or “he who walks well”.
Now if you wonder how you can start running barefoot, nowdays it might be a little too risky with all the junk on our streets and parks but you can get Gecko shoes and it will be pretty close to running like the Tarahumara.
Nestled in northern Mexico and the canyons of the Sierra Madre Occidental is a small tribe of indigenous people known as the Tarahumara. They call themselves Rarámuri, loosely translated as “running people,” “foot-runner,” “swift of foot,” or “he who walks well.” They are known for evading the Spanish conquerors in the sixteenth century and keeping their cave-dwelling culture alive and secluded. They are also known for their long distance running and their superior health, not displaying the common health issues of “modern” societies.
A recent National Geographic study (Nov. 2008) states: “When it comes to the top 10 health risks facing American men, the Tarahumara are practically immortal: Their incidence rate is at or near zero in just about every category, including diabetes, vascular disease, and colorectal cancer…Plus, their supernatural invulnerability isn’t just limited to their bodies; the Tarahumara have mastered the secret of happiness as well, living as benignly as bodhisattvas in a world free of theft, murder, suicide, and cruelty.”
So what is the Tarahumara story and what can we learn from them? How can we use their history as an example for our own primal living? For some they may not be an example of what is considered primal, but they are one of the closest we can find in today’s world.
Via Valentin – Wikipedia – Tarahumara