If you have been reading my posts lately, you know that I love running. However, it wasn’t always like this. It was my boyfriend who first inspired me to take up running. Knowing I was also a bookworm, he recommended me some of the books which really got me into this whole philosophy of long distance running. Later on, I went to hunt for books about running, and here is the short list of my absolute favorites:
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Both my boyfriend and I are big Murakami fans, so this is the first book I have ever read on the subject. I must say I was completely blown away by it. This book combines my two passions: reading/writing books and working out. It really opened my eyes to the spiritual dimension of long distance running. Since I am an aspiring writer, it was interesting to me to read another writer’s approach to running, instead of picking up some generic “how to” manual. The main revelation of this book is the huge impact that running has on writing. Certainly, to compare myself to Murakami would have been a sacrilege, however, I must say that running often times help me clear my mind and organize my thoughts in a much more concise way. Running leaves me refreshed and ready to continue working on my stories. In fact, if you are suffering from writer’s block, running is definitely the one thing that I would recommend to get your creative juices flowing. All in all, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a great book for all of us writing folks who just can’t see the point of running.
- Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
This book is very different from the previous one on this list: instead of an intellectual perspective, it shows us the sheer power of human body and what it’s capable of. The novel focuses on the tribe of world’s greatest long distance runners, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians. The narrator not only gets to meet Caballo Blanco, a legendary runner who lives among the tribe, but also trains for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race
taking place in the dangerous Tarahumara country. Other contestants include a famous, but surprisingly modest ultramarathoner, a hot young surfer, and a guy who feels strongly about only running barefoot regardless of the circumstances. This is an exciting story about surpassing the limits that once seemed unreachable. I might not be running with the Tarahumara tribe, however, I believe that running is more about training your mental strength than just physical endurance. It was also a very educational read, as it offers some interesting answers to the questions that every runner wonders from time to time: why do we run? And why are we good at it? To find out, read McDougall’s book. You won’t be disappointed.
3. Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley
This is a great, relatable read for first time runners. When Alexandra Heminsley decides to take up running, at first she fails miserably despite careful preparations (a.k.a. Eating toast and honey for breakfast and creating a perfect playlist). This is a refreshing novel that tells it how it is for the beginners: running is not always a blissful experience, and to achieve some progress you really have to push yourself forward and be consistent with your training. However, the novel assures us that it’s all worth it at the end, because the benefits of running outweigh by far its cons (a.k.a. Our laziness to get going instead of watching another episode on Netflix). All in all, this is a fun and inspiring read and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is just starting to hit the road and feels like running is a mission impossible. Because it does get better . And once it does, you will be amazed by what you can achieve.
These are my favorite books about running. If you have any recommendations, let me know. I am always in search for new reads.