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March 29, 2013

On The Run: Reading about running is fundamental

Like any sport, running is the subject of many books. If you’re like me and can’t get enough information about running, there are plenty of books on the topic to keep you occupied when you’re not on the road.

You can find many training manuals about how to improve your running. Some of the most prominent include Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger, Daniels’ Running Formula by Dr. Jack Daniels, Running to Win by George Sheehan and The Lore of Running by Dr. Tim Noakes. And there are many biographies and autobiographies of famous runners, including Pre: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine by Tom Jordan and Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports by Kathrine Switzer.

I also enjoy books that incorporate running to tell a larger story. Lately, I’ve been reading Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time by Caleb Daniloff. The author details how he used running to help him maintain his sobriety, specifically through his journey in 2009 running marathons in cities—Boston, Burlington (Vt.), Moscow, New York—where he once had run rampant in a very different way. It’s dark at times as Daniloff slips in flashbacks from his past as he trains for and runs four marathons in a span of seven months, but ultimately rewarding.

Another book that provides an interesting look at the redemptive power of running is Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Murakami, a Japanese novelist best known for surreal books like Kafka on the Beach and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, is also an avid runner who has run more than 25 marathons and ultramarathons. In this book, he wrote a series of essays detailing his long-distance running and what it means to him.

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