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Discussion Starter #1
What's the best/most inspirational running-related book anyone has ever read? Fiction or non-fiction.

For fiction, I'd go for Tom McNab's "Flannagan's Run"; the story of a trans-American footrace set during the Depression.

Non-fiction: the two volume autobiography of Ron Hill. Part 1 "Nearly To The Top" and part 2: "To The Peak And Beyond"...
...Far from being the mere inventor of the "Trackster" running pants; this man...
... competed in 3 Olympic Games (Tokyo '64, Mexico '68 and Munich '72)...
...Won the English National Cross-Country title twice...
...Won the European Marathon in Athens in '69...
...Won the Commonwealth Marathon in Edinburgh in'70 with a time of 2-09-28...
...Won the Boston Marathon in '70 (the only British runner to do so)...
...Achieved a then World-best time at 20 miles on the road of 1-36-28...
...Held World records at 10 miles, 15 miles and 25K.

Reading how these things were achieved is at times truly astounding. And inspirational.
 

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I read Hal Higdon's marathon book and found it kept me motivated during the training for my first marathon. Also, a lot of the advice came in really handy, especially in the week before the race and on race day.

I also read "Its Not About The Bike" by Lance Armstrong. I know its not a running book but I found it really inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Grant said:
I also read "Its Not About The Bike" by Lance Armstrong. I know its not a running book but I found it really inspiring.
Yeah, I read that too. Good one. Actually, I've found quite a few of the cycling/Tour-De-France books quite inspirational. Must be the endurance aspect, I suppose.
 

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So far i've read Paula Radcliffe & Dame Kelly Holmes' books, and also read Lance Armstrongs "Every Second Counts"... All very motivating and great reads! Will soon be on the lookout for something else to read so will watch this thread intently! :d

Currently reading Gordon Pirie's "Running Fast & Injury Free"... after the thread on correct running techniques. Interesting stuff!
 

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Also not a 'running book', but the most inspirational book I have ever read is 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' which is the story of Aron Ralston's fight for life when his hand got trapped while he was hiking through a canyon in Utah.

His spirit and never give up attitude have stayed with me ever since I read the book
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trinity said:
... the most inspirational book I have ever read is 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' which is the story of Aron Ralston's fight for life when his hand got trapped while he was hiking through a canyon in Utah....
Yeah, I read that one too. I'm not sure I could've done what he did to survive...but in those circumstances; who knows? :eek:

Another quite recent publication is "The Running Man", by Gilbert Tuhabonye. Another inspirational fight for survival against the odds. And in a similar vein, Joe Simpson's "Touching The Void"; although the impact of the book itself has been somewhat diluted by the popularity of the film it spawned. :(
 

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I'm going in to hospital next week for surgery, and then I'll be having about 8 weeks off work so I hope to be able to read some of the 12 or so books I have waiting for me on my bookshelf... including Barefoot Runner, Footprints on the Water, and Kelly Holmes' autobiography 'Gold'
 

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Trinity said:
I'm going in to hospital next week for surgery, and then I'll be having about 8 weeks off work so I hope to be able to read some of the 12 or so books I have waiting for me on my bookshelf... including Barefoot Runner, Footprints on the Water, and Kelly Holmes' autobiography 'Gold'

Hi Trin will that be a 8 week break off running as well?
Im going to take a break myself soon, and wanted to know if it worries you about getting back into it after. Good luck with the op too!!!!!!!!
 

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I'm hoping to be running well before the 8 weeks are up. My surgeon says he'll have me fit enough to run FLM.

I've got a rower, cross-trainer and tready at home so I shouldn't lose too much.

Thanks :)
 

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Trinity said:
I'm going in to hospital next week for surgery, and then I'll be having about 8 weeks off work so I hope to be able to read some of the 12 or so books I have waiting for me on my bookshelf... including Barefoot Runner, Footprints on the Water, and Kelly Holmes' autobiography 'Gold'
The Kelly Holmes autobiography is a really good read as well, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Footprints on the water, Trinity? That's one I've missed. What's it about? Sounds like there may be some sort of a religious angle there. Biblical running? :rolleyes:

Shame about needing surgery; hope it goes well for you. ;)

Another one you may like to add to your library is "Feet In The Clouds" by Richard Askwith. This gives an insight into a world of running which most of us never see. :cool:
 

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pedestrian said:
Footprints on the water, Trinity? That's one I've missed. What's it about? Sounds like there may be some sort of a religious angle there. Biblical running? :rolleyes:
It says "The story of Katya Schmidt is set in the Deutshe Democratic Republic in the years before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Katya is unwittingly caught up in the Cold War played out on the running tracks of the Olympic Games and must struggle to compete on her own terms and forge her own destiny.
"Footprints" is essentially a story of self-discovery. Katya's sport is like an extended metaphor of her life. She is always running, pushing herself for other people but finally she runs the race for herself and this is when you know she has chosen the right path in life"

"A triumphant story of a woman's passion and pain" - Kelly Holmes
"The search for sporting excellence has great pain and no shortcuts" - Steve Redgrave

:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Trinity said:
"The search for sporting excellence has great pain and no shortcuts" - Steve Redgrave

:rolleyes:
I was thinking the same thing myself (spooky) during my run this morning! :eek:

Sounds like a good read, that one, Trinity. Will have to try and get a copy. :)
 

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As you may have read on the 'correct running technique' thread, I finished Gordon Pirie's book yesterday, worth the read whether you agree with what's being said or not, you're sure to pick up some info you'll end up using! Seems like quite an unsung hero as well, I have to be honest I'd never heard of him but if he were achieving the same feats today his name would stand out with the likes of Lance Armstrong & Paula Radcliffe!

Also forgot to mention reading "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot" (gawd knows why it's spelt that way?!). Which was a fantastic introduction into the world of HR training and also gave me plenty to think about.

Best of luck for the Op Trin, I'll be rooting for you to have a speedy recovery. 8 weeks eh? Should give you a chance to catch up Steve in the Number of posts rankings!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
richardsimkiss said:
Also forgot to mention reading "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot" (gawd knows why it's spelt that way?!).
Another book for you: "The Runner's Literarary Companion" compiled by Garth Battista. A collection of running-related poems and short stories. Good for just dipping into at random.

"Compleat" is the archaic (ancient) spelling of, er, complete.
Apparently.
Don't be reading too much. Get out and do some more running instead! :d
 

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The best running novel EVER is 'Once a runner' by J l Parker.
Train hard, win easy by Toby Tanser is a good one on Kenyans
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I've hard of "Once A Runner", but never come across a copy. I don't suppose it's still in print, is it? It was first published in 1978!
I have another book by John L. Parker called "Runners And Other Dreamers": a collection of running-related essays.
 

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pedestrian said:
"Compleat" is the archaic (ancient) spelling of, er, complete. Apparently.:d
.....and a Scottish way of spelling it? The Scottish Mountaineering Club call me a 'compleatist' - having compleated all the Munros and got a certificate of compleation.
Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Two more titles I've just remembered; probably because I've never actually "owned" them. "Long Slow Distance", first published in 1969; and "Long Run Solution", first published in 1976. They are available for download from www.joehenderson.com (an interesting running website in its own right).

I've applied the "LSD" principles to my own running in the past to great affect. Have a look and see what you think... ;)
 
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