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Running the Edge – Adam Goucher & Tim Catalano

Reviewed by Edward Chapman


I did not like this book, but it did make me look at my running in a different light and it had a very positive effect. Originally I thought that it was a load of psycho-babble and the personal examples were self-indulgent, however on reflection I believe there is a lot of merit in the book. Perhaps my adverse reaction was because it made me see that I have been taking my running for granted and, because I am not putting enough into it, I am not getting enough out of it. Being criticised makes me a bit prickly.

My dislikes are probably caused by my own prejudices rather than any intrinsic deficiencies with the content. I do not like the American style of writing, I am English and trained as a Chartered Accountant, had I worked in marketing I might be more accepting of the style. Throughout the book the authors talk about the ‘distance maven’. Maven is not a word that is in my vocabulary, although I understand that it has more common usage in the USA due to several successful advertising campaigns using it. I also did not identify with the authors use of the word ‘distance’. They are track athletes and cross-country runners not ultra-runners. In view of these negatives the fact that I made it to the end of the book and that it had a positive effect upon me is a good recommendation.

Do not expect to discover any new training techniques, stretching routines or cross-training ideas to improve your running performances; there aren’t any.

Do expect to be taken on a journey of self-criticism and discovery and one that will not only improve your running experiences, but also other areas of your life.

If you want to discover how a blood-soaked couch, alcoholics, hypothermia, computer games and a bit of silliness can be combined into a thought provoking book read ‘Running the Edge’.

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