Run the World by Becky Wade
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 5, 2016)
From elite marathoner and Olympic hopeful Becky Wade comes the story of her year-long exploration of diverse global running communities from England to Ethiopia—9 countries, 72 host families, and over 3,500 miles of running—investigating unique cultural approaches to the sport and revealing the secrets to the success of runners all over the world.
Fresh off a successful collegiate running career—with multiple NCAA All-American honors and two Olympic Trials qualifying marks to her name—Becky Wade was no stranger to international competition. But after years spent safely sticking to the training methods she knew, Becky was curious about how her counterparts in other countries approached the sport to which she’d dedicated over half of her life. So in 2012, as a recipient of the Watson Fellowship, she packed four pairs of running shoes, cleared her schedule for the year, and took off on a journey to infiltrate diverse running communities around the world. What she encountered far exceeded her expectations and changed her outlook into the sport she loved.
Over the next twelve months—visiting 9 countries with unique and storied running histories, logging over 3,500 miles running over trails, tracks, sidewalks, and dirt roads—Becky explored the varied approaches of runners across the globe. Whether riding shotgun around the streets of London with Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt, climbing for an hour at daybreak to the top of Ethiopia’s Mount Entoto just to start her daily run, or getting lost jogging through the bustling streets of Tokyo, Becky’s unexpected adventures, keen insights, and landscape descriptions take the reader into the heartbeat of distance running around the world.
Upon her return to the United States, she incorporated elements of the training styles she’d sampled into her own program, and her competitive career skyrocketed. When she made her marathon debut in 2013, winning the race in a blazing 2:30, she became the third-fastest woman marathoner under the age of 25 in U.S. history, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials and landing a professional sponsorship from Asics.
From the feel-based approach to running that she learned from the Kenyans, to the grueling uphill workouts she adopted from the Swiss, to the injury-recovery methods she learned from the Japanese, Becky shares the secrets to success from runners and coaches around the world. The story of one athlete’s fascinating journey, Run the World is also a call to change the way we approach the world’s most natural and inclusive sport.
This book is a recount of a year in the authors life when she won a fellowship to travel around the world and learn how other countries train for runs. During this year, Becky travelled to 9 countries.
She not only got to see different parts of the world and study their running techniques, she also met many interesting people and learned their cultures and ate a lot different types of food. Still, this was a grueling year of hard work, and a lot of adjusting to the differences in each country like terrain and altitudes etc. I knew training for a race like a marathon would be time consuming, very physically demanding, and would take a huge commitment, but this book really magnified that for me.
I loved that the book has a number of photos from her year of travel, and underneath each one is a description. It also includes a recipe at the end of each chapter, a few of which I want to try.
This is a terrific book for anyone who loves to running, wants to start running, or just likes to read about running. I used to be in the first category, now I’m in the last.
I’m really glad that I read this. I loved learning not only of the authors training experience, but she also tells a lot about the the places she visited and the people she met.
Becky Wade is a professional long-distance runner who competes for Asics. At Rice University she was a four-time All-American and the winner of the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, Rice’s highest athletic honor, and the Conference USA honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rice with a triple major in history, psychology, and sociology, Becky traveled the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and visited 22 countries to explore long-distance running cultures.
In her 26.2-mile debut in December 2013, Becky won the California International Marathon, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Currently, she is fulfilling her dream of running professionally and chasing Olympic aspirations, while coaching and working part-time at a shelter for homeless youth.