What I Read About When I Read About Running
I love running, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle to get out and actually go for a run as often as I'd like to. Whether it’s too cold, or too hot, or too dark, or I’m tired, or I have more important things to do, or I have less important, but more interesting things to do, I can come up with plenty of excuses. That’s where books about running come in. It turns out that nothing gets me excited for a run quite like reading about someone else’s run. If I’m really lucky, there’s an audiobook version available and I can read while I run. Fortunately, there are plenty of people logging as many words written as miles ran, so I can reap the benefits of their advice, mistakes, funny stories and deep thoughts.
Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley
Running is hard, especially when you’re first starting out. As Heminsley learns, the perfect running playlist doesn’t offer much help when you can’t make it around the block without stopping to walk. She persists, however, and this book chronicles her journey with the sport, as well as all the benefits, both physical and emotional, that she reaps from it.
Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe by Becky Wade
Fresh out of college and done with her impressive NCAA running career, Becky Wade received a Watson Fellowship to spend a year studying running culture around the world. She starts in England during the 2012 London Olympics, then moves through Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Finland. Over the course of the year, Wade participates in different types of running organizations, training regimens, fueling philosophies and types of races. It’s an interesting lens to approach culture through, especially as Becky warms to new experiences and training methods.
Mindful Running: How Meditative Running can Improve Performance and Make you a Happier, More Fulfilled Person by Mackenzie L. Havey
There’s more to mindfulness than the typical yoga and meditation activities we often associate with the word. Using scientific research, personal anecdotes, and contributions from a number of elite runners, she gives you both the ‘how to’ and the ‘why’ on mindful running. So if you’re looking to boost your running performance, or just use it to be a happier person overall, incorporating Havey’s methods might be just what you’re hoping for.
Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong
From confidence to clarity, friendship to fear, Armstrong muses on 26 of the reasons why women get into running. She draws heavily on her own personal experiences, not just from years of running, but as a divorced mother of three with strong religious beliefs. The essays, which began as posts on her blog, run the gamut, but there should be a little something that resonates with everybody.
Running: A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport by Jen Miller
When Jen Miller begins running in high school, she sees it as a necessary evil to conditioning for other sports. But early in her journalism career, she discovers that running clears her mind, and helps her focus. Thus begins her love affair with running, one that mimics the ups and downs of her various relationships with men. In the end, it’s running that is the great love of her life, helping her find her way out of bad relationships and grow strong and confident in her own life.
Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack by Jill Grunenwald
It takes a lot to be the kind of runner who competes in every race, racking up trophies and medals from the get go. Most of us are more like Jill Grunenwald, who finished dead last in her first ever 5K, and continues to carve out her space at the back of the pack. There’s a lot to learn from slow runners though, and Grunenwald tells her story with both heart and humor.