Book: The Happy Runner
Authors: David Roche & Megan Roche
Who Should Read This Book: Long-time runners, new runners, fair weather runners, young runners, wise runners, people thinking about being a runner.
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Why is that girl smiling so big while running? What is wrong with that chick?
This was the best running book I’ve ever read. ( My second favourite is Born to Run by Chris McDougall). The main method is SWAP, Some Work All Play. That’s the attitude you should have toward running. And Play while running is definitely front and center in this book.
Megan and David spent part 1 reminding me why I started running in the first place. They told me that running should be more about the fun and feeling good than about the numbers. I spent the whole fall of 2018 stressing about my upcoming half marathon and how I desperately wanted to get a PB. And when I didn’t get it, I was crushed. I quickly snapped out of it and resolved to try again in the spring of 2019. But I was mad at my body for being 4 minutes short. 4 minutes over 21kms is nothing! I was beating myself up for nothing! Reading this book made me focus on the real reasons why I run and personal bests and numbers, aren’t my reasons.
In Part 2, Megan and David give concrete strategies to improve your running form, your pacing, and your attitude toward running. They stressed that running should be easy. If you can’t talk, you’re going too fast. Part 2 was full of training tips that can be applied to any distance. This part inspired me to push myself a little more, and try new things with my training.
Throughout the book, the Roche’s make you laugh and smile. Their dog Addie is a frequent all caps contributor to each chapter which is heart warming and funny. I only have one critique and I’m not evening dropping a rating point for it because it’s not a big deal. It’s just something that bothered me a little bit.
There are examples of runners, mostly athletes they coach, having these amazing running transformations from using the methods of SWAP. They are all the way through the book reinforcing the point of each chapter. However, every single example, every single transformation is about a champion runner. They are people who are winning world class races or Olympic medals. These runners are already incredible and fast. I couldn’t relate to any of the examples. I would just think, wow that’s really amazing that the person running a 3:30 km can run a 3:15 km now. Oh wow this guy could only run a marathon in 2 hrs and 47 minutes and then he changed up his training routine and he can run it in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Good job! Don’t get me wrong those stories are inspiring but they aren’t relatable. Tell me about the girl that ran a 5 hour marathon then got happy and ran a 4 hour 30 minute marathon. I can relate to that!
Okay my one complaint is voiced. Let’s move on. My favourite part of this book was when the Roche’s asked me Why Do You Run? Ummmm because I’ve always run??? Not a good reason they said. They asked some great questions to get me to really think critically about this question. If I couldn’t give a good answer what was the bloody point??? They also asked me to name some long-term running goals, come up with three daily affirmations, and choose some habits to practice the three R’s on. Repeat, Reinforce and Reflect. So below I’m listing all my discoveries!
3 Daily Affirmations
- I am proud of this body that carries me.
- I am happy, healthy, and kind.
- I embrace each day with enthusiasm and a smile.
Long Term Running Goals
- Marathon number 3.
- 50 mile race with Dad for his 60th birthday.
Why the HECK am I doing this?
- To relieve stress and have time to think.
- To be healthy, a morning run makes my whole day better.
- I race for motivation and because I enjoy the routine of a training schedule.
- I like to test my limits.
Habits to Repeat, Reinforce and Reflect
- Be Kind.
- Let it roll off your shoulders.
- Be honest about my feelings.
Overall this was a great read. Very motivating and funny. I would recommend this book to every runner I know.