From elite marathoner and Olympic hopeful Becky Wade comes the story of her yearlong exploration of diverse global running communities from England to Ethiopia - nine 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 on the sport she loved.
Over the next 12 months - visiting nine 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 listener 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 US 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.
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Even if you Don't Run...
Listen while you run
This was simply a 'fun' listen. I took it with me on my Sunday long runs, and I really enjoyed it. Nothing heavy, just a good yarn about running culture throughout the world. If you are a runner and listen to books on your weekend long runs...you'll like this one.
- Paul Yoder