Run for the hills!
Actually don't just yet - let me tell about these brilliantly inspiring running books first. Plus, fun local races to sign up for!
It’s tough being a runner at this time of year, isn’t it? In recent weeks I’ve battled gales, almost come a cropper on ice and inadvertently become a wet T-shirt competition entrant thanks to torrential rain. And that’s when I’ve actually managed to find a tiny window of daylight during which to hit the streets – not easy when you work full-time and your weekends are eaten up by parental duties.
So I was heartened to find a clutch of new books that offer uplifting, encouraging takes on running – ideal if you’re feeling a little jaded right now. Jog On by Bella Mackie is a witty memoir about how pounding the pavements soothed the author’s mental health issues. Refreshingly, she’s no annoying goody two-shoes – there’s still plenty of time in her life for booze and treats (our kinda woman).
In Outrunning The Demons, meanwhile, Phil Hewitt details how running was his salvation after a personal trauma. Having suffered an horrific attack in which he was left for dead, he seeks out others who’ve also used the sport to heal. It’s moving stuff. And here’s one for any running mentalists out there – Running Up That Hill by radio sports reporter/ Chris Evans’s sidekick, Vassos Alexander and now out in paperback, delves into the world of ultra-marathons (anything longer than 26 miles, basically).
Finally, an oldie but a goodie – Alexandra Heminsley, best-selling author and Muddy literary salon alumna, is so warm and big sisterly in Running Like A Girl that even die-hard refuseniks will find themselves mulling over a cheeky 5k. There’s loads of personal insight – she could only run for about two minutes when she first started, now she does marathons – plus an excellent practical section bursting with tips. And here’s an idea – you could listen to the audiobooks of all these titles (find them here on Audible) while you’re out running. How’s that for multi-tasking?
Next steps (geddit?)
If you’re feeling inspired, there’s absolutely loads of loads of races and competitions this year in our ‘hood, for all levels of ability. As, any fitness expert will tell you, we train better and harder when we have a goal to aim towards. Here are a few…
Wendover Woods Festival Of Running (10k and half marathon), 9 & 10 March
Reading Half Marathon, 17 March
Bicester Triathlon, 31 March
Marlow 5 (5 mile run), 12 May
Colour Obstacle Rush 5k, Windsor, 18 May
Oxford Half Marathon, 13 October (NB – entry is via ballot this year)
PS – If all that talk of exercise is making you hungry, check out our new Speedy Supper here, for a nutrient-packed easy-peasy dinner from The Runner’s Cookbook: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes to Fuel Your Running by Anita Bean. Perfect for ravenous runners.