Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Review: My Life on the Run

I recently borrowed (from the awesome library) Bart Yasso’s book: My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon. This book spoke briefly about Bart’s life, the exotic races he has completed for Runners World, and his recommended training schedule for marathons, half marathons, and 10ks.

Overall, as a runner, I really liked this book. Bart spoke of his troubled youth, his (continued) battle with lyme disease, and of course, all of the crazy runs that he has completed. Some of the more memorable were his Badwater 146 run, a marathon in Antarctica, marathons in the mountains of Tibet, a naked 5k, as well as many others too numerous to count. I found the chapter on the Yasso 800s particularly interesting. In fact, I think that I am going to do the test prior to my next race. Hopefully they’ll give me a better indicator of my final time!

That said there were a few things that I didn’t like. I really didn’t like the constant plugs for his Lehigh Valley half marathon. Not a chapter went buy the he didn’t mention this race in one form or fashion. Granted, he was the race director for quite some time, but it seemed like he was really working to get the plug in. Also, I was a bit surprised that so much of the book was dedicated to his training plans. Something like 30 to 40 pages of a 250 page book.

In summary, I have to give this book two ratings since the followers of this blog are 50/50 split – runners vs non runners.

For runners I give this book a very firm four Shakespeare heads. It was a really quick read and was, at times, very entertaining. Bart does a great job of mixing the right amount of running history with his own personal biography.

For non runners I give this book two Shakespeare heads. Not many people who run are going to like a story about Bart running in a naked 5k!