I am something of a bookworm, but at the same time, I don’t read tons of running material that isn’t training related. So inspirational bios by elite runners aren’t generally on my reading list. No offense to any of them and their stories, but it’s just not my pick. What I do like, however, is a good, solid book on training philosophies or even the occasional novel that weaves running into its pages.
Two recent reads that fit into these categories were so good that I had to do reviews of both. First up, Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. I’m going to say it: EVERY runner should read this book. Period. It is the be all, end all, look at how our bodies work, how they don’t work, and how to help fix them. Jay is a brilliant PT and yet he explains the how and why on a very civilian level. I’ve often felt there is a gap between PT and running–Jay closes that gap.
The first half of the book digs into the hows of good running form as well as how and why we get injured. You get a real sense of how most of us forgo some very simple building blocks that can help us safeguard against injury. The second half gives you the diagnostics to figure out where your body might need some help and then follows up with how to improve in these areas. It’s info you might not want if you’d prefer to turn a blind eye to your areas of weakness, but the smart runner will go through the tests and then do something about it. Sidenote–the stability move the girl is doing on the front cover is part of my PT routine and let me tell you, it’s not easy to do properly!
My second book, On the Lips of Children, is a novel with two marathoners as the central characters. Written by Mark Matthews, a runner, blogger, and established author, it follows running couple Erin and Macon on a trip to San Diego where Macon plans to run the SD marathon. (Incidentally, that same marathon is this weekend) His ill-timed shake out run the day before on the wrong path leads to some pretty horrific consequences. Erin later follows him with their daughter in the baby jogger and ends up accosted in the same underground tunnel as Macon. Their hard fight for freedom (or not?) will have you on the edge of your seat.
I’m going to leave the plot at that because I want you to read this book, but let’s just say you will think twice about where and when you run in a new locale! I couldn’t put the book down and once I finished, I wanted answers. A few tweets to Mark left me perhaps a bit more convinced on my theory about the ending, but I still have questions. The fact that it left me thinking about the possibilities after I had closed the book is always a good sign. Put this on your summer reading list!
Anyone read either of these books? What’s a great book on running you’ve read lately?
Disclosure: Mark Matthews gave me a free copy of On the Lips of Children but all those opinions are my own.