Following a hockey injury to my knee, my running has unfortunately had to take a back seat recently. For inspiration, motivation and distraction, I’ve since turned to perusing other people’s physical triumphs and tribulations.
So for the next time your training takes a nosedive, these are a couple of my favourite inspirational reads to spur you on.
One of my most thumbed books is Survival of the Fittest by Mike Stroud. Interlinking stories of his adrenaline-charged adventures, with informative sections on human physiology, Dr Stroud convinces you that we are all capable of great physical achievements.
He takes you adventure racing across 300 miles of American back-country with a 72 year old great-grandmother, hauling sledges across Antarctica with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and battling sand, wind and blisters on the Marathon des Sables. Along the way you learn a great deal about what the body can do in extreme conditions, and why we are all evolutionary designed to be physically pushed a lot further than you'd expect.
Another well-read non-fictional book on my shelf is Life and Limb by Jamie Andrew. After a gripping account of an Alpine climbing accident that turns him into a quadruple amputee, you’re then taken on a hugely emotional journey where he struggles to overcome his disabilities, returns to climbing and runs a marathon. It puts the rest of us to shame!