Running with Joy is a running log of America’s best marathoner, Ryan Hall, as he prepares to run the 2010 Boston Marathon. I’m a fan of Ryan Hall, and not only for his running achievements. Ryan is also very open about his Christian faith and makes it an integral part of his running. It was very inspiring to see a world class athlete’s daily struggles with training, confidence, set-backs, happiness and life in general – the same things we all struggle with – and at the end of the day, put his faith in God and persevere. It is very rare to find the intimate insights of professional athletes of what really makes them tick, but Ryan is very transparent and writes on a level that I found accessible for the amateur runner.
The book’s chapters are broken down by training weeks leading up to the Boston Marathon, for a total marathon training cycle of fourteen weeks. The book starts with an introduction providing some background of his life and how he knew running was his calling, the ups and down of his running career, and training plan. The book then proceeds with his daily running log, how he felt that day and various sidebars on training, gear, rest/recover, cross-training, injuries, etc.
The book was a pretty quick read and motivating. I enjoyed all aspects of the book, from the detailed training logs to his Christian faith that is woven in throughout the book. If you are a Christian who likes to run, I highly recommend this book.