Running Books

Tough times require a tough mind.

When I lived in London, I used to commute in my black Renault Megane (aka The Black Beast) with the heater on max. And this was during summer. I was getting ready for the Swiss Ironman at the time and was trying to acclimatise to the European heat. Sweating in my work suit did pretty-much-zero in making me a better athlete, but did wonders for my mind.

I love the whole concept of placebo effect, psyching yourself up before a race, visualisation, oiling the mind. I could go on. And the seeds are gathered from experience or other people's experiences. Another reason why books can inspire - by allowing you a brief glimpse of the mind.

Enough said. Here are some great books which have done just the job. I have read quite a few books on the subject but have included only those that planted seeds in my mind. I must acknowledge Gordo Byrn , a voracious ingester of literature (and UltraMan World Champion), for his recommending many of the books.

Deep Survival - The slogan under the title seems pretty ominous but is a great read of what goes through the mind of people who have been to the edge.

Running with the Buffaloes - a look at cross country running and people who live running day in day out. What it takes to get to the top is often too much for mere mortals.

The Lore of Running - a reference bible for anyone who wants to dig deeper into what makes a person go faster. Some great programs and philosophies of great runners who have been to the top. Tim Noakes is a South African sports scientist and The Guru in running. If Arthur Lydiard and Bill Bowerman had a love child, Noakes would have been the spawn.
UltraMarathon Man - this is a must-read based purely on Dean's pizza delivery guy story. A great story of how a drinking office worker converted himself to an ultra-lean ultra-marathon dude.
Bruce Fordyce - Comrades King: - Bruce is as South African as boerewors and pap. An interesting and informative biography of the greatest ultra runner of all time. In my view. Which counts.

The Climb - what goes through the minds of expedition leaders in getting high paying consumers up Everest. Inspiring and frightening.
Happy reading,

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