This mum runs, Jo Pavey, London, Yellow Jersey, 2016. ISBN 9780224100427
A lovely book telling the story of Jo Pavey’s triumph over adversity to become a national treasure. As an athletics writer I have been privileged to watch Jo in three Olympics plus the 2014 Commonwealth and European Championships.
Jo’s career is an account of how she battled injuries and obstacles throughout her career. She points out that at 26 she had “still only had one proper injury free season as a senior athlete” and “I was crocked and I was only in my early thirties.” She succeeded by finding a way to overcome the difficulties: “I have embraced a new philosophy. I decided that if I was going to have a career I would have to find a way of running through injuries, taking each day, one at a time, modifying training as necessary in order to keep going in some manner as long as I could put one foot in front of the other”. Another secret, she says, is that in her 40s she still has the same passion for running that she always did. Her mantra might be summed up: “I love being a mum who happens to run”.
Another secret is time-management. As she puts it: “I take multitasking to an extreme. It may sound insane but I often do some strength and conditioning work, or core stability work, and do domestic chores in the short rests between exercises”.
Very readable. Very enjoyable.
Believe, Sally Pearson, Melbourne, Hardie Grant, 2013. ISBN 9781742706368
The book takes the reader through the career one of the greatest woman sprint hurdlers of the modern era. It is very readable and gives insights into the person as well as the athlete.
I read with interest her account of her disqualification following a GB protest at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Her account is at odds with what I was told by team GB at the time.
The world Marathon book
Christina Neal, London, Carlton, 2018. ISBN 878-1-78739-059-1
The book is an encyclopedia of world marathons. Starting with the legend of the ancient Greek origin of the marathon, the book moves into the rise of moderate marathons. Then the 10 marathons are profiled. London, Boston, Chicago and New York are included, of course, but I wonder if you would agree with the author as to which other six great marathons should be included. This section brings out the history and character of each one. And there is helpful advice on how to secure a place.
The book reports that in one year alone (2014) 0.5 million people ran and finished marathons in the USA. Given that the first Olympic women’s marathon was not until 1984, it is interesting to note that currently 41% of participants in marathon are women.
A section entitled “modern marathons” includes Istanbul -where the route crosses continents, the great wall marathon in China and the Loch Ness marathon. “Weird and wonderful marathons” describes the big five safari marathon, the Everest marathon, Kilimanjaro marathon, Le marathon de Medoc which includes are wine party, the midnight sun marathon and the north Pole marathon among many others.
But if 26.2 miles is too short there is a section on ultra races.
While the book is not a “How to”, there is a section on preparation and training.
As you’d expect in the Carlton book, every page includes stunning photographs
Total Running, London, Carlton, 2017 ISBN 978-1-78097-992-2
The book is effectively a handbook of running with detailed instructions in six chapters:
The first section is called “reasons to run” and the last gives 26 tips for running your first marathon. The book can therefore take you through all the stages of starting running, getting the right kit and shoes, exercise to avoid injury, training, food and nutrition until you are ready to run that marathon.
Even if you don’t aspire to run that far, the book will guide to in the pursuit of improvement in whatever running you do, helping to maximize the achievement whether you want to run for fun, for health and fitness or competitively.
There is a short section intriguingly called: “How to run faster” and another “Running for busy people”. There are training plans geared to different levels of running. The book is full of helpful tips and really does have something for everyone.