Sunday, 18 August 2013

See Harris Inspired: 'Running Like A Girl' by Alexandra Heminsley

So I'm planning on trying to do a little regular slot about what has and ched ontinues to inspire me, whether it's a book, person, picture or just some music. They say that running is 80% mental and so I find it really important to keep finding stuff that inspires me to keep going and stay motivated.

My first Inspired post is about 'Running Like A Girl' by Alexandra Heminsley. I admit that what first attracted me to this book was the fact that it has an endorsement from Caitlin Moran (I'm a littttle bit of a fangirl). I didn't want anything too intense for my first bit of running reading and I thought that if unashamed fag-smoker Caitlin liked it, maybe I would too.

My hopes were well-placed. 'Running Like A Girl' seriously helped me in my prep for the Race For Life. Granted Alexandra is talking about training for a marathon rather than a little old 5k, but a lot of what she talks about in the book really rings true for me. Her description of that very first run struck a particular chord with me: setting off with the best of intentions, only to return unable to breathe and totally beaten.

She covers all sort of topics with honesty and a great sense of humour. She never takes herself too seriously but at the same time this feels like a book that you can trust. She gives loads of advice all the way through, from finding your perfect trainers to the importance of a decent sports bra (seriously, this is really bloody important), much of which I've found absolutely invaluable.

This girl seriously knows what she's doing (credit)

Alexandra's running journey is, I suspect, like a lot of people's: huge highs, terrible lows and lots of hard work in between. It might sound strange but I actually really like that she includes her low points too - everyone has moments where they totally lose their motivation and hers came straight after she completed a marathon. I would've thought that this was when you would be feeling totally invincible but Alexandra admits that she just lost her running mojo for a while. These negative moments, along with the euphoric highs of completing races, make this is a really accessible and human book.

I can't really stress how much 'Running Like A Girl' encouraged and helped me as I started out running - I would recommend it in a heartbeat!

Harris x

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