Friday, January 2, 2009

Book Review: Running With Buffalos

My final book from the library was Chris Lear's Running with The Buffalos. This book followed the 1998 University of Colorado Cross Country team throughout their season - ultimately ending with the NCAA championships in Lawrence, KS. (Spoiler alert - if you are going to read the book, skip down to the last paragraph)

While the book profiles the entire XC team, the book primarily follows Adam Goucher and his quest to finally win the NCAA championship 10k race. At that time he was a 4:20 miler which was nearly 30 seconds faster than any other members of the team. It follows Mark Wetmore's rigorous training program and the trials and tribulations of training at a very high level. Injuries, pains, and even death are all part of the story. Fortunately, Adam does win the NCAA title and (as we all know) goes on to a very successful professional running career.

There were a lot of things that I didn't like about the book. It was VERY methodical. I honestly think that it was written more for a XC coach than a casual reader. It was a day by day description of each workout, the duration / times / distances. Additionally, it did not go much into the runners personal lives. It talked a lot about WHAT the runners did, but not much about
HOW they did it. That is, nutrition, sleep, how they balanced their school / running etc.

Unfortunately, I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to like this book. I gave it two Shakespeare heads because it was a bit too methodical for my tastes. I think that for someone to like this book, they would really have to like reading biographies in a diary format that spare no detail. If you like that - check it out for sure!