Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Good Running Read!

Over the past few months, I've recommended several great running-themed books such as Once a Runner, Running Within, and Running With the Buffaloes. I'd like to add another book to the list—Strides: Running Through History With An Unlikely Athlete. When I first ran across Strides, the topic of running through history interested me, but I wondered whether it would be the typical dry boring text-book read or not. I'm so glad I took the plunge and gave it a try.

With Strides, Benjamin Cheever has written a wonderful piece of narrative nonfiction. The book does a great job of covering not only the importance of running throughout history, it also chronicles the author's move from back-of-the-pack high school athlete to a solid athlete nearing his thirties all the time exploring how running has changed his life.

The topics covered in the book include how our ancestors evolved the ability to run long distances in order to hunt, to Pheidippides' first marathon in 490 BC, to running in Renaissance Italy and early America, and beyond.

This book is very well researched and he pulls from a diverse selection of material. I particularly like the Appendix which includes a list of Cheever's favorite marathon running books. Runners and non-runners will enjoy this book!


Junk Miler said...

Thanks for the review - I'll add that one to the list.

Do you (or any of your loyal readers) know of any books detailing the running boom of the 1930's?

Molly said...

Sounds like a good read, I recently read "Born to Run" and I devoured it.

Junk Miler said...

I prefer Cheerios, but to each their own.

Felice Devine said...

I loved Strides -- couldn't put it down. Cheever is so fun to read!

Mark U. said...

Thanks. Here's a GREAT running book which I recommend to everyone: Bernd Heinrich's "Why We Run - A Natural History" See: