Saturday, October 04, 2014

More Fire (Book Review)

When I was on my vacation / training camp in Dolomites back in August, I stumbled upon a recommendation of supposedly "the best book about Kenyan running" in some article or blog post. Thanx to the modern technology, I got sample through the kindle store and I was hooked, few dollars later, I was reading like a maniac every day.

I don't really do book reviews often, but this book is really amazing. I liked the "Running With The Kenyans" and I can only recommend it, but that was more poetic and one person's experience kind of book. More Fire really opens the view on distance running in Kenya.

Author of the book is Toby Tanser, director of the Shoe4Africa charity organization. Notably, he has great knowledge of Kenyan runners and also the environment of distance running. The first part of the book covers the history of distance running in Kenya, then there is another section talking about training and its principles, third are profiles of the famous Kenyan runners also talking about their training regimens and the final section talks about how you can apply this on your own running.

The first part talking about history might be little bornin and encyclopedic for some, but I found it interesting to understand how relatively late distance running started to develop in Kenya and what where the first successfull attempts on the international field. Second part talks about the training patterns of Kenyan runners, which is quite understandable and you probably have read about them in many different aricles and/or blog posts. Reading through the runners' profiles is what opened my eyes and made me really understand those principles as you see the dedication repeat itself over and over again.

What was truly inspiring for me was the persistance of the Kenyan athletes. From my cozy and convenient central European point of view, I see young Kenyan runner coming to race and probably directly winning. Here I understood that it sometimes takes many seasons and years even for those gifted Kenyans to break through and even be able to compete abroad, outside of Kenya.

Reading about the great runners and the simple yet dedicated approach they have is great inspiration. I think that if we want to succeed as distance runners, we should make our lives simpler, dedicate time of course to gruelling training and take the resting as seriously as running. Resting and no distractions is something Kenyans are really excelling at. I can understand that this is super tough in today's hectic technological world, but we should all give it a thought.

Overall I can only recommend this book, really loved it - here is affiliate link to Amazon Kindle store if you are thinking about reading it and are OK with supporting me a little :) You pay the same, but Amazon gives me a little of that sum :))) 

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