Book review: Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

He's the author of one of the most acclaimed running books of all time - so is Christopher McDougall's follow-up to the brilliant 'Born to Run' a repeat success?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

As huge fans of Born to Run, the book that spawned a million barefoot runners and chia seed munchers, we were worried there might be an element of ‘difficult follow-up’ about McDougall’s next offering.


However, Natural Born Heroes is another rip-roaring trip through history, heritage and adventure, with a good dose of biology, physiology and staggering acts of human brilliance thrown into the mix.

This time, he turns his attention to World War II and the island of Crete, where a small band of resistance fighters learn to traverse huge distances by foot, use cunning acts of bravery and fire up their metabolisms to outfox the Nazi invasion. Along the way, he tries out parkour, cross-training, street-fighting and a special diet that encourages endurance athletes’ bodies to burn fat.

All in, a fantastically entertaining book for a feet-up winter evening – but with lots of sports-relevant info to take in too.

Verdict: Part war story, part biology lesson… and damn good entertainment! 87%

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