Put your feet up to hit the ground run­ning in 2019

Rein­vig­o­rate your run­ning reg­i­men and get ready for the new year with one of these in­spir­ing reads, says Liz Con­nor

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health -

IF you’re strug­gling to lace up your train­ers, an easy (and win­ter­friendly) way to get your fit­ness mojo back on track is by delv­ing into a great read about run­ning suc­cess. Here are our top picks.

1. What I Talk About When I Talk About Run­ning by Haruki Mu­rakami (€11.25 Vin­tage)

As if train­ing for the New York City Marathon wasn’t enough, cel­e­brated Ja­panese nov­el­ist Haruki Mu­rakami de­cided to put pen to pa­per and write about the ex­pe­ri­ence as well. In this beau­ti­ful mem­oir, the ti­tle of which is a play on Ray­mond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, he doc­u­ments his four-month train­ing jour­ney, while re­flect­ing on the men­tal and emo­tional strug­gles that come with long-dis­tance jog­ging. If you’re as ob­ses­sive about run­ning as Mu­rakami is, or just re­ally want to chase that marathon dream, you’ll be able to re­late to it all.

2. Let Your Mind Run: A Mem­oir Of Think­ing My Way To Vic­tory by Deena Kas­tor (€25.19, Crown Archetype)

Deena Kas­tor was a gifted run­ner from a young age, but her fear of fail­ure meant her ca­reer al­most ended after col­lege, when she ran her­self to the edge of men­tal fa­tigue. In­stead of throw­ing in the towel, she trav­elled to Colorado, where she trained with leg­endary coach Joe Vigil who had just started the first pro­fes­sional dis­tance-run­ning team. In this in­ti­mate mem­oir, she ex­plains how train­ing her in­ner voice to be kinder and more com­pas­sion­ate to her­self ul­ti­mately im­proved her run­ning and even­tu­ally led her to scoop­ing up Amer­ica’s first Olympic medal in the marathon for 20 years.

3. Born To Run by Christo­pher McDougall (€14, Pro­file Books)

Award-win­ning jour­nal­ist McDougall has earned high praise for his best­selling tome on how Mex­ico’s mys­te­ri­ous Tarahu­mara tribe have de­vel­oped the in­cred­i­ble en­durance to run hun­dreds of miles with­out rest or in­jury, of­ten bare­foot and in treach­er­ous con­di­tions. Com­bin­ing hu­man bi­ol­ogy and per­sonal sto­ries, along­side some his­tory of the trainer in­dus­try, this fas­ci­nat­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion asks what it takes to be a good run­ner and ex­plains how our bod­ies are nat­u­rally pro­grammed to run. it’ll make you ques­tion ev­ery­thing you think you know about run­ning so far.

4. Eat And Run: My Un­likely Jour­ney To Ul­tra­ma­rathon Great­ness by Scott Jurek with Steve Fried­man (€10 Blooms­bury Paperbacks)

As one of the most cel­e­brated ul­tra­ma­rathon com­peti­tors of all time, plant-based Jurek is liv­ing proof that you don’t need to fuel your­self on meat to achieve sport­ing great­ness.

A mix­ture of prac­ti­cal ad­vice, anec­do­tal wis­dom, and gen­uinely thought-pro­vok­ing science, this book is for any­one who’s re­think­ing their meat-based marathon meal prep.

5. Run­ning Like A Girl by Alexan­dra Hemins­ley (€12.60, Cor­ner­stone)

Af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to as ‘the Brid­get Jones of run­ning’, Alexan­dra Hemins­ley’s hi­lar­i­ous ret­ro­spec­tive is a re­lat­able run­ning com­pan­ion for any­one who’s more likely to spend Sun­days hun­gover in bed than tack­ling a 10k. Funny, warm, and bru­tally hon­est, this is a to­tally down-toearth read that will res­onate with any new starter who wor­ries they’re a bit rub­bish at run­ning.

6. How To Lose A Marathon by Joel Co­hen (€13.45, Abrams Im­age)

Any wannabe marathon run­ner knows that the worst thing about sign­ing up for a big race is the ex­pec­ta­tion to be good at it — and in­deed, able to com­plete it. In this book for non-ath­letes, The Simp­sons writer Joel Co­hen (who proudly ‘barely’ com­pleted the New York City Marathon) gives stepby-step ad­vice about how to go from couch potato to a couch potato that can run a marathon. This is an ul­ti­mate guide for any­one who isn’t look­ing to run a marathon in a par­tic­u­lar time, but just make it through.

7. Find­ing Ul­tra by Rich Roll (€17, Three Rivers Press)

At age 39, Rich Roll was 50lb over­weight and barely able to climb up the stairs with­out stop­ping to catch his breath. That’s why, on the night be­fore turn­ing 40, he de­cided he needed to make a ma­jor life change for the sake of his health.

Adopt­ing a plant-based diet and daily train­ing rou­tine, Roll shed the ex­cess weight and took on the Ul­tra­man 2008, a gru­elling three-day event in­volv­ing 320 miles of swim­ming, bik­ing, and run­ning. With only six months to get into shape, he amaz­ingly scored the sec­ond fastest swim and fin­ished 11th over­all. Roll re­flects on how he man­aged to turn his life around overnight, and why it’s never too late to change your destiny.

Pic­ture: Think­stock/PA

PAGE TURN­ERS: There’s a string of up­lift­ing books on the joy of run­ning to chose from — just what’s needed to get you up and out dur­ing the depths of win­ter.

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