Running: An Inspiration and Triathlon: An Inspiration by Ali Clarke
(Disclosure – I was given copies of these books in return for an honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own.)
Running isn’t a hobby. It’s a way of life.
We all need a little inspiration sometimes. Whether it’s to lace up those trainers for the first time and take the first tentative steps towards becoming a runner, or whether it’s the motivation to get out the door when it’s dark and the weather is terrible, we all need a little push in the right direction from time to time. Maybe it’s the English teacher in me, but I do love an apt quotation, so often find that an inspirational quote does the trick in reminding me just why I love to run and provides part of the boost I need to get out the door and keep training when the lure of the sofa seems a bit too much. After all, I’ve never regretted a run!
And inspiration is just what these two books provide. Filled with photographs featuring stunning scenery, happy runners (and the odd bit of kit to covet!), Running: An Inspiration features mantras and quotations from a diverse range of sources such as great runners (Mo Farah and Kara Goucher) and inspirational figures (Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi) all designed to provide the motivation to fire you up for a run or keep you going in the tough moments. Companion book Triathlon: An Inspiration is additionally packed with exciting photographs from across all three triathlon disciplines and a similar range of inspiring quotes ranging from Paula Radcliffe and Chrissie Wellington to Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela. Some of the quotations may be familiar, but the photography is beautiful and the aim remains the same throughout – to inspire – and for that reason, I really enjoyed flicking through them and coming across some quotations I had not heard before.
“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible”
-St Francis of Assisi
But these are not the kind of books that you buy for yourself, these are the kind of books that you buy for other people. They are the kind of glossy, hard-backed books that sit prominently on a coffee table and are dipped into from time to time, either to seek inspiration or to revisit an old favourite. As a bookworm (the sort of bookworm who covets pretty, shiny books with that glossy new book smell) they are the sort of thing that I love to find under the Christmas tree, and so would make an excellent stocking filler for the runner or triathlete in your life. And if you happened to draw the office athlete in your Secret Santa (let’s face it, every office has one – in my department I suspect it might be me!) then one of these books might just solve the problem of what to buy them since most running kit doesn’t exactly fit the average Secret Santa budget!
Whether you’re buying for a seasoned competitor, a nervous beginner or simply someone who needs a little boost to their motivation levels, these titles are certainly worth a look.
“It’s when the discomfort strikes that one realises a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all”
– Chrissie Wellington