Here are two GREAT reads I have enjoyed recently:
Running and Stuff by James Adams was recommended to me by Andy Holgate, author of some of my favorite books, Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run and the sequel, Can't Sleep, Can't Train, Can't Stop. Given how much I enjoy Andy's writing, I acted on his recommendation and ordered it right away.
This book is captivating from the start. It's the author's first-hand account of his discovery of running, and his relatively rapid ascent through marathons and into ultrarunning success over a relatively short period of time. He tells it like it is, with powers of self awareness and observation that few possess. Runners will be able to relate to many of his experiences, and you'll find yourself wondering what you would do, how you would feel in his shoes. He brings great wit and honesty as he tackles such notables as Spartathlon, Badwater, and a race across the United States.
I hope he writes a sequel. In the meantime, I follow his blog, www.runningandstuff.com.
Despite being named a "top five book about running" by Runner's World this year, I did not have high expectations. How exciting can a book about one season for one cross country team be? Well...VERY. Very. It was very hard to put down and I was so sorry when it was over.
Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear is an account of the 1998 University of Colorado Cross Country Team under Coach Mark Wetmore. Among the team members was Adam Goucher, an outstanding runner with an incredible work ethic and talent, who was a HS XC National Champion who went on to become an Olympian. (I won't tell you how he fared in 1998, you'll have to read it yourself.)
This is the behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to be a collegiate cross country runner on a top team - the workouts, the group dynamics, the personal ups-and-down of each athlete. These athletes know their gears and can nail an interval to within a second or two! You get to know the personalities of the runners, and see the thought, care, motivation, and energy that Coach Wetmore pours into his team.
Running with the Buffaloes reminds us that top running performances come from a combination of talent, consistent and appropriate hard work, recovery - and a GREAT coach!!