Summer Reading for Runners

For those of you visiting the blog for the first time - which will be the majority of you - thanks! I am assuming that you found your way here from the nice little blurb that Running Times magazine put out in this month's issue. While I knew that there was the potential for a bit of exposure, I was very happy to see the way the folks there presented Finishing Kick.

They also had very nice articles on two other books by very accomplished writers. One, Rachel Toor, lives and works nearby (as we measure things out here - a couple of hours away, at most.) I've already ordered her book, On the Road to Find Out and I'm excited to read it. Runners should have more fiction to call their own.

After I'm done with Rachel Toor's book, I'll move on to Brewster: A Novel" by Mark Slouka. This book has won numerous high honors and I'm looking forward to the change in viewpoint, going from a female protagonist to male, from a contemporary story to one set in 1968.

I also have a slate of  books that I'll be reading to get ready for cross country season. Just as the runners should be putting in the miles (intelligently, please) so the coaches try to get better at what they do. Speaking for myself, I have loads of room for improvement.

Up first is Pat Tyson's Coaching Cross Country Successfully. He's been one of the most successful coaches in the country and again, he's close by at Gonzaga University in Spokane. With this book, I'm looking to become a better assistant to the head coach of the junior high team and develop better skills at teaching the kids running form and good habits. At some point, I may drop. Bashful I'm not. Before I do that, I'll try to absorb everything in his book.

In that same vein, Jason Karp's 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners"> 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts should provide a good foundation of material so I can correctly help the athletes to improve. The Asotin JRHS team has a wide range of experience so finding ways to individualize the workouts while maintaining a strong team concept is huge.

Which leads me to my last book as I prep for the season, Bruce Bowen's Teaching Character Through Sport: Developing a Positive Coaching Legacy. While not exclusively a running book, Coach Bowen has tremendous insights on the role of athletics in a young person's life. His organization, Proactive Coaching, has a wealth of materials. The team there travels the country lending their collective wisdom to the coaches, athletes, and parents that they meet. They are one of the few organizations I follow on Facebook. Almost daily, they see an angle or have a positive story that makes me go, "Hmm."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get out the door for a run. I've got some youngsters who will fly away from me if I don't get my miles in. And running always makes the day go better.

Run gently and have some fun!