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Book Review: The Art of Running Faster by Julian Goater

Review of ‘The Art of Running Faster’ by Julian Goater. Author Julian Goater at a book signing There are a great number of running books out there. Some offer an insight into different running cultures, such as Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn or Born to Run by Chris McDougall which focusses on the Tarahumara tribe’s mystical approach to running. Others tell you how to lose weight through running or how to even begin to run. There’s a notable correlation between the perceived value of advice given in books, and the experience and knowledge of the author. The advice in ‘The Art of Running Faster’ is immensely valuable. Penned by Julian Goater, a  two time IAAF World Cross Country Championships medallist and one time Commonwealth Games bronze medallist this is a book by a runner, for runners (Julian’s 10k PB is 27:34!). His personal experience in both training and racing at an elite level is evident throughout the book, whilst his more recent coaching roles mean the advice is entirely useful for beginners. The Art of Running Faster With a plethora of advice, including technique, form, training and mental approach, any runner would be hard pushed to read this book and not become a faster runner. In the process of this review I have read the book cover to cover, jotting down numerous pieces of advice. However, for me, two pieces of advice around ‘making yourself tall’ as you run and pushing your hips forward have stuck with me in every run that I do. It was only when I read this book that I realised it was the position of my hips whilst running that was giving me shoulder pain whilst running. It made me really think about everything that I did whilst running. How and where my feet hit the ground as I run, the fact that I lacked specificity in my training schedule and my attitude on race day (positive, relaxed etc). The Art of Running faster really does do as described. It focusses on running as an art form. Something that yes, some people are naturally better at, but that anyone can improve at through training and application. The narrative of the book is such that you can almost see Julian crossing the line of his World Cross Country win, or visualise the advice he’s giving you on improving technique. Although a factual, advice led book, it is told as a story; the story of how Julian did great things but then, later, the story of how you the reader will run faster. Chapters include: ‘Running with Skill’, breathing, the importance of hill training, speed work and mental strategies. In terms of tone, this is a no nonsense book, written by a person clearly passionate about running and the rewards that it can bring. The author doesn’t sugar-coat the fact that any improvements you make will be the result of hard work and commitment on your part – this…

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Rob Murray
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Rob Murray

Rob is a self confessed running geek, obsessed with all things related to the sport, whether road, track or triathlon.
Rob Murray
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Review of ‘The Art of Running Faster’ by Julian Goater.

Author Julian Goater at a book signing

There are a great number of running books out there. Some offer an insight into different running cultures, such as Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn or Born to Run by Chris McDougall which focusses on the Tarahumara tribe’s mystical approach to running. Others tell you how to lose weight through running or how to even begin to run.

There’s a notable correlation between the perceived value of advice given in books, and the experience and knowledge of the author. The advice in ‘The Art of Running Faster’ is immensely valuable. Penned by Julian Goater, a  two time IAAF World Cross Country Championships medallist and one time Commonwealth Games bronze medallist this is a book by a runner, for runners (Julian’s 10k PB is 27:34!). His personal experience in both training and racing at an elite level is evident throughout the book, whilst his more recent coaching roles mean the advice is entirely useful for beginners.

The Art of Running Faster

The Art of Running Faster

With a plethora of advice, including technique, form, training and mental approach, any runner would be hard pushed to read this book and not become a faster runner. In the process of this review I have read the book cover to cover, jotting down numerous pieces of advice. However, for me, two pieces of advice around ‘making yourself tall’ as you run and pushing your hips forward have stuck with me in every run that I do. It was only when I read this book that I realised it was the position of my hips whilst running that was giving me shoulder pain whilst running. It made me really think about everything that I did whilst running. How and where my feet hit the ground as I run, the fact that I lacked specificity in my training schedule and my attitude on race day (positive, relaxed etc).

The Art of Running faster really does do as described. It focusses on running as an art form. Something that yes, some people are naturally better at, but that anyone can improve at through training and application.

The narrative of the book is such that you can almost see Julian crossing the line of his World Cross Country win, or visualise the advice he’s giving you on improving technique. Although a factual, advice led book, it is told as a story; the story of how Julian did great things but then, later, the story of how you the reader will run faster.

Art of Running FasterChapters include: ‘Running with Skill’, breathing, the importance of hill training, speed work and mental strategies.

In terms of tone, this is a no nonsense book, written by a person clearly passionate about running and the rewards that it can bring. The author doesn’t sugar-coat the fact that any improvements you make will be the result of hard work and commitment on your part – this is not a ‘get fit quick’ regime. There’s no ‘if you believe, you can succeed’, fairy-dust mantras. The idea is very much if you work your ass off, improve your technique and form, and focus on specific goals then you will get faster.

 

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