Let these three books inspire to run—faster and farther—this fall.
By Haruki Murakami
This book has gotten oodles of press in the last few months, mainly because the Japanese novelist has a kind of cult following, especially in North America. But there’s also the intrigue: What is Murakami talking about? The book is a kind of memoir rather than a training manual, but you can’t help but be inspired by Murakami’s dedication (if not obsession) with running. He was 33 years old when he began long-distance running; he was also a heavy smoker and only managed about 20 minutes straight when he first started. (Sound familiar?) But within a year or so, he was running marathons (including the original course from Athens to the town of Marathon) and continued to push himself, eventually completing an ultra-marathon—a distance of 100 kilometres. But interwoven with his reflections on training and accounts of past races is the real substance of the book, in which Murakami reflects on the art of writing and what it means—mentally and physically—to grow old.
26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York
By Liz Robbins
Newly published in the lead up to the 39th New York City Marathon (on November 2nd), this book brings the race alive, detailing the running of the 2007 Marathon through the stories of the runners themselves. The author, a New York Times sports reporter, recreates the men’s and women’s races, which saw the return of Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, nine months after she’d given birth. Highlighting both the professional runners, such as Radcliffe, and amateurs, such as Harrie Bakst, a 22-year-old cancer survivor and first-time marathoner, the book has a little something for everyone. You won’t stop reading ’til they’ve crossed the finish line.
A Natural History
By Bernd Heinrich
An oldie but goodie. Here, world-class biologist, award-winning science writer and ultra-marathoner Bernd Heinrich blends biology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy in this examination of human endurance and the drive to win. Heinrich is one of my favourite nature writers—and in this book, which showcases his lyrical prose and sharp scientific mind, he doesn’t disappoint.
Now that you’ve found your inspiration, start running with this 5K plan from Best Health.