I haven’t done an Athletic Bookworms read in quite some time, but that hasn’t meant I’ve entirely stopped reading. Far from it! I still read a ludicrous amount, and let the bookworms fall to the wayside. I also have been reading a ton about marketing and things like that for some of my other work, like The Business of Fitness Podcast… But I have read/am reading a few great books that have me thinking about my athletic life.
Born to Run 2 by Chris McDougall and Eric Orton
OK, while I’m still disappointed they didn’t go full on Fast & Furious by calling it Born 2 Run 2, I still have been pleasantly surprised by this training manual. You all know I deeply, deeply love Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes from McDougall, and I was nervous about what his first more ‘how to’-ish book would turn out. And no, it’s not going to feel like diving into the world that Born to Run brought you into. But it is packed with super useful information, tips, drills, and just enough follow-up about the cast of characters from the first book to bring back all the feels. (PS hear Chris and Eric talk about the book on the podcast!)
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
I’ve had a weird affinity for survival books lately (including ones about shipwrecks, for some reason) and this one was particularly interesting because it combined plenty of harrowing survival stories with morals and practical advice for being a survivor. Not survival skills, per se, but more the mental side of survival. What makes some people collapse under pressure while others thrive? How can you shift your mindset to harness that power in scary situations, or in workouts? I’ll be looking at racing differently, for sure!
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
I will start by saying that I was not as enamored of this as the 22K reviewers seem to be… but I did enjoy it! It’s an interesting read that definitely gets you thinking about your breathing habits. But in the same way that Born to Run got people drinking chia and running barefoot instead of simply finding the joy of running (guilty!), Breath has definitely made people go for the trendy bits, like taping their mouth shut at night and nose-breathing during workouts where it’s absolutely not the right response. So, read it, but don’t get so caught up in the trendy bits that you completely miss the bigger picture of the importance of breathing thoughtfully.