I find some “running” books intimidating, which is why Running Like A Girl appealed so much to me, Alexandra’s story felt easy to relate to, inspirational and inviting.
Alex was 30 plus and happy to live on the outside of sport, believing that she “couldn’t run” or that she wasn’t built for running. However, like many of us she decided one day to give it a go.
It was disastrous. But again, like many of us, after a while she gave it another go and another and another.
This is where Running Like A Girl is such a good read. It’s light, easy and Alex’s tale of falling in (and out and back in) love with running is lighthearted yet emotion evoking.Or maybe that’s just me, I always start blubbing at the start of a race.
She talks us through buying her first proper pair of runners, her first proper bra and signing up for her first London Marathon. Her transition from nervous newbie to seasoned marathoner is fabulous, especially as you read that it is not all plain sailing. Sometimes running is just as tough mentally as it can be physically.
The book doesn’t give her race times which is also refreshing. This is not a how-to bible with training plans and nutritional advice, but a woman’s story of how she learnt to run and what has worked for her.
I loved this book, loved the ease with which she writes about her races, I felt her pain as she talked about hitting the wall, teared up about her over-enthusiastic mother shouting from the side lines, and appreciated the bond that she found running with another when she wanted to give up.
Amongst the pages of inspiration there is also a lot of practical advice, like how to look good on race day (I always paint my nails too!), packing your race day bag, how to fund raise, buying gear, as well as chatting through some of the runner’s injuries that are encountered, real and fake (no, running will not give you a saggy, bum, face, vagina etc).
There is also a little history section at the back which you must read, and read to your daughters as well. Stories of runners before us that were banned from races, tackled mid race by officials so they couldn’t run… Incredibly this was in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Most of all, reading Running Like A Girl will make you lace up your trainers, get out there and celebrate running like a girl.
Published by Hutchinson Books
Alexandra Heminsley can be found on twitter @Hemmo
Emily runs like a girl, because she is one. She blogs over at Mrs Sabbatical.