We know judging a book by its cover is bad.. but the title is OK, right? When Liz blogged about Run Like Duck, I was immediately intrigued. It just sounded like a fun book.

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Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to share whether the book was as good as it’s title was funny.

Spoiler: it is. I’ve read a number of books about running, but this is definitely top five. I was also happy to find the author is a pretty funny read on twitter.

Running and reading, a perfect pair. My review of @montythemole's Run Like Duck Click To Tweet

Atkinson is a fat British man who was encouraged by a friend to go for a run, and ultimately ended up running ultras and a Quadzilla (four marathons in four days) en route to joining the 100 Marathon Club. That’s not to say this is a book just for those who want to go extremes, I’d say it’s more applicable to the everyday runner than Dean Karnazes’ books. He started where many runners do, running after dark in his neighborhood and gradually increasing his distance. He also balanced his running journey with his family life: his wife crewed for him in his 100M run and occasionally he had to check the finances before signing up. I feel like the latter is something that doesn’t often come up in running books. It’s as if there’s a race fee fairy that pays them.

Atkinson shares race and training recaps, as well as specific tips applicable to the race he ran. I like how he established traditions such as the Milton Keynes Marathon which he made the effort to return to each year as a measure of tracking his own growth. I also like that he makes no claim that he’s perfect – he still enjoys McDonalds and bacon & egg sandwiches as breakfast. A word of advice, don’t read the chapters on ultrarunning if you’re hungry, the aid stations will make you hungrier. I felt for his chafing on one of his ultras.  He still occasionally forgets his race bib in the hotel room and struggles with pacing-there’s no magic in this story. He also acknowledges that not every race is perfectly organized.  Running isn’t perfect and he doesn’t paint it out to be.

Although parkrun hasn’t yet expanded to NYC, I love his tips and information about it as well as other races I will probably never run. The advice is applicable to many other runs. I think I finally understand the role of tail running, though I had to chuckle at the image when he runs to a parkrun, is late and comes up from behind said tail runner probably catching him or her by surprise. One thing to note, I was slightly confused at the timing on some, so make sure to pay attention to the dates/marathon numbers in the chapter heads.

I think there is a lot in this book for both beginners and experienced runners, and many runners will see a bit of themselves in the author. Excited to share this book I enjoyed with you, enter to win a signed copy. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, January 13.

  • Any favorite running reads?
  • Any books you’re looking forward to reading in 2019?
  • If you need running ideas, The Runners’ Bookshelf on Facebook is one of my favorite sources along with Wendy’s book club.

  1. Ooh, you’ve had a redesign, I think. No Like Button? This was an excellent book and had loads of things that other books don’t consider – like his advice to try out hairstyles in advance of a race if you have long hair. Thanks for linking to my review!

    1. My old template didn’t work with the new WordPress so I went back to my prior one for functionality.
      Yes, this won on practical.

  2. If you say this is in your top 5 of running books, then I definitely need to pick it up. I did see it mentioned on Liz’a blog as well so now I’m totally intrigued! I just entered your giveaway too.

    Thanks for linking up with us this week!

    1. If you don’t and you do e-books, it is or was only $5. Well worth it
      My top running books change, but probably: Lisa Jackson’s Your Pace or Mine, John Bingham’s No Need for Speed, Phil Hewitt Keep on Running, and Becky Wade’s Running the World

  3. this does sound like something I would like. I never finish reading anything though so the two running books I’ve started (Recovery Run by Nicky Lopez and Ultramarathon Mom by Holly Zimmerman) are the only ones I’m thinking about finishing sometime this decade.

    I don’t think I could win your book as I’m not in the US so I didn’t enter the giveaway. So I hope Darlene wins 🙂

    1. I asked him about shipping to the US, but could see if he’s willing to ship elsewhere. He’s in the UK so once it’s international, it’s probably not an issue. Even if he can’t, it’s a good read and worth it if you feel like it’s one you’re in the mood for

    1. Me too. Even the ones who do things that I never will / have no interest in (like Spartans) I find enjoyable

      1. I’m obsessed with Mt Everest. I definitely have no desire to climb it, although I’d love to get to base camp — but from what I hear, even that is super hard (I have a nephew who lives in India who went).

  4. Very interesting book! I have been doing a lot more reading but I haven’t found too many running books that have caught my eye. I will have to check out that Facebook page/group for ideas!

    I recently joined Goodreads and my list keeps getting longer – so many amazing books to choose!

    1. It was a fun, light read.
      I’ve read books by the elites as well as those every day runners, both kinds interesting. In some ways ones like this a little more accessible, although I’m not sure I want to run one marathon let alone a hundred!

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