David's Reviews > What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jan 10, 2009

it was amazing

Enjoyed this tremendously. A novelist's reflections on his 25-year distance running habit as he prepares for the New York marathon 2005. He's not a great runner, nor especially scientific in approach to training, so I can't say you'll learn too much you can use in that regard. It's more that he has a terrific way with words and a thoughtful perspective on running and life.

Many pleasant digressions along the way concerning famous Japanese marathoners, his voluminous record collection, his writing process, his efforts to improve swimming stroke when he takes up triathlons, etc. One interesting theme is his belief that physical exercise helps with the endurance needed for sustained work on a novel.

Another aspect he captures well is how distance running can be a good fit for an introvert -- he clearly values his alone time to think on the run and describes "knowing" quite a few people he barely speaks to over the years -- but still foster a sense of community and shared endeavor in dealing with challenges. An illustration of the kind soul behind this book is the last sentence: "I dedicate this book to all the runners I've encountered on the road--those I've passed and those who've passed me. Without all of you, I never would have kept on running"
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