I have never reviewed a book. There have been numerous packs and shoes and various pieces of gear that have had to pass my scrutiny, but never a book. Then, my friend Brendan Leonard wrote I Hate Running and You Can Too. A book so fun and insightful, I have to share.
Similar to Brendan, I too truly Hate Running. In my angst, I’ve produced the print guidebook and the online resource for trail running in the Swiss Alps so countless others could grow to hate it as much as I do. I hate it so much that I refused to run one kilometer more than 3500km last year.
Running has stolen countless hours of my life. Time that could have been spent being questionably productive on a computer or phone was instead squandered on mountain trails wandering aimlessly and often with little purpose.
I Hate Running and You Can too is a welcome book about why we run, not how to run. Brendan sums it all up in one simple line, “Running gives you time alone with your thoughts and gives you the freedom to have one thing in your life that you do just for you.”
That’s it, that is why so many of us fall in love with running. And that is why you might want to run too. It’s simple, meditative and peaceful. Each trail run can be a micro-adventure of discovery, grounding us with the natural world and processes. Things that might sound insignificant are pretty special moments that come in the headspace running provides.
To be in the mind of Brendan Leonard is a wonderful and humorous thing. Handy charts and graphics detail what all of us do. Even while talking about emergency poop stops, there is a certain eloquence he manages to maintain. He makes us laugh at what is most important to laugh at, ourselves.
Brendan isn’t trying to make you a better runner, he won’t tell you the top 10 things to buy, or the top 10 workouts to make you faster, he’s trying to make you better at enjoying running. He breaks it down to the things that matter. Things that will have people sticking to running not for weight loss or to accomplish a random race, but because running can be wonderful just for the sake of running. He brings joy to something that should be joyful but is all too often associated with being a chore.
“What’s the rush?”, he asks. “My run is often the best part of my day.”
Read this book, no matter your running skill level, then pass it along to help someone else hate running too.
By Dan Patitucci